Friday, July 07, 2006

Wanted: Great SF Merchandise Program For Large Content Site

I've just posted a major announcement at Spider-food's marketing forum. I've had it with Google AdWords,, and AllPosters.Com. And And SideShow. And all the other stupid advertising programs I've signed up with.

What is it about ecommerce that merchants cannot understand? They'll do anything for spammers (who admittedly bring in a lot of revenue) but when a genuine content provider wants to sell some merchandise, they do everything possible to screw up the deal and make working with their service a nightmare.

Here is what I want from merchants:

  • Valuable, interesting merchandise that is NOT being sold on every other SF site on the Web
  • Easy-to-search catalogues that don't make me click on a dozen check boxes per page out of 15-20 pages
  • Straight HTML links
  • Dead link reports that say, "The referring URL was XXXX"
  • Monthly email commission reports
  • The ability to upload a template into which you insert the straight HTML text links and image links (for images hosted on YOUR server) to create pages I can download for my site
  • Reports that simply show: how many people I sent you, what they bought, how much I've earned, when you'll pay me what I've earned
  • Co-branding. I link to you with your logo, you link back to me with mine. If that's too much trouble for you, then you don't need my visitors and I sure don't need you. I'm sick of this one-way traffic B.S.

Here is what I do NOT want from merchants:

  • Javascript. You can take your Javascript "dynamic store" scripts and shove them where the sun don't shine.
  • Poor search tools. If I type "Conan the Barbarian" into your search interface, don't give me Conan O'Brien. That's not asking much. I'm an experienced programmer. I know darned good and well that this is the easiest type of search to make happen.
  • 1 item displays. What is up with that? I'm not going to insert 1 item on each of 50,000 pages of content. That's not happening.
  • Separate commissions for search tools. If I put your search box on my site, you had better pay me exactly what you would pay if I send you someone through a text link.
  • Links that attempt to open your pages in the visitor's browser window. Since I don't know if your server is hung up, I don't want my visitors to be twiddling their thumbs when your link turns out to be busy or dead.
  • Anonymous dead links. Stop removing merchandise from your catalogues without notifying the people who link to the merchandise. It makes us look like we don't ever update our pages. I'm not going to click on every link I have listed from your catalogue each day just to make sure it still works.

Frankly, I'm about ready to sign off on affiliate sales. I've made more money from Internet consulting for the past couple of years. I kept the affiliate pages going because people like to browse them. Dixie rolls her eyes every time I add a new model or actress poster store to our affiliate section, but they get a lot of traffic and those pages send traffic to other areas in Xenite's network. So guys like to look at pictures of scantily clad women. Big deal.

But now it's just too much trouble. If there is a merchant out there who is offering some unique merchandise, and you haven't yet recruited every other big SF site out there into your program, stop by the Spider-Food forum and tell me about your program. Just make sure you don't waste my time or yours by trying to persuade me that your Javascript is better than Amazon and AllPosters'.

It's not.

It's stupid. I'm sick of it. And I am NOT going to put any more Javascript ads on my network.

That's a major clue to the ecommerce community that depends on guys like me to send them traffic.


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