I’ve been doing a lot of research about e-commerce solutions recently. I’m just wrapping up my first custom Shopify store. It was one of the best experiences working with a third party system, ever..which is even more surprising because shopify is a HOSTED application. For those unfamiliar, shopify allows anyone to create an instant store, load in products and sort those products into collections, and sell those things. The store is free until you make a sale, at which point shopify skims 3% off the top (up to $10,000 and then 2% after that $10k mark). They have a fairly extensible skinning platform called vision, that has good documentation and a well supported forum. In a very short period of time, I was able to build new skins to match the customer’s existing site, and integrate the shopify store to their existing web presence seamlessly. Very nice. I can sell and implement those kinds of solutions all day long. Does it work for a large online store? of course not. But it does handle a few hundred products with ease. And one of the nicest administrative consoles of any web app I’ve ever seen
Today i found RightCart, which has a similar commission based model, but a whole new experience. They use script embeds to place remotely hosted content in your pages. So, lets say you have a line of scarves your girlfriend/wife/mother knits in their free time. You want to help them make some money off those scarves, so you offer up to your blog’s readership, “hey, so and so has these scarves, they are this much, they make great presents!”. Instead of dealing with transactions manually, you can use RightCart to manage the products, their prices, etc. The system then places a nice floating and ajaxy cart wherever you like on the page (though it seems the default is on the RIGHT), which allows the user to add items to the cart, sign up for an account, and checkout, all without EVER leaving out page! My UX guy just had an orgasm. This is checkout workflow at its simplest/finest.
Lets say you dont have someone’s scarves to sell. Lets say you write a tech blog (not unlike myself). Lets say you write about a certain technique outlined in a book. You can use RightCart to post that book from amazon directly on your blog, same pretty checkout process, everything is handled by amazon, and you make commission for advertising for the ‘Zon! COOL!
Does this have room for abuse? Sure. Just like people abuse adsense and blog-spam to get adsense revenue, people will abuse this as well. But think about the positive uses? Very cool, very innovative, I approve.
[tags]online shopping, e-commerce, rightcart, shopify[/tags]
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