Build Your Own Amazon Niche Store

amazon-logo Update: The Amazon Niche Store has been superseded by the Free WordPress Store for Amazon Associates. Redirecting you in 5 seconds…

Given that I recently had some success with my free eBay Store, I decided it would be a good idea to put together a similar WordPress plugin for Amazon.com. I’m pleased to present the Amazon Niche Store plugin. So why should you consider building a niche store with Amazon instead of eBay?

I believe that my Amazon Niche Store plugin has the potential to make more money than my free eBay Store (or BANS, phpbay, and the like) for a few reasons:

  • If you sell eBay products, those that bid through your blog need to have the winning bid for you to get paid.  With the Amazon Niche Store, you are awarded the commissions as soon as they buy the product.  You don’t have to worry about them winning a bid for you to get paid.
  • If the items you sell are more than $75 or so in value, you will receive higher commissions selling them on Amazon than you would on eBay.  Amazon pays a flat minimum of 4% on the sale price, whereas eBay pays on a minimum of 50% on the fees collected for the listing.
    Example
    Sale Price Commissions
    eBay $150 50% of $8.57
    ($2.00 listing fee + $6.57 sale fee)

    = $4.28
    Amazon $150 4% of $150 sale price = $6.00
  • You can sell digital products on Amazon (downloadable music, video games, videos, books, etc.) and receive 10% commission on those sales.

You can display an Amazon Niche Store within posts, pages, as a widget, or any combination of the three.  For example, if you have a video game blog, you may want to display a post or page with Wii products.  You could use the following short code:

[amazon trackingid="yourtrackingid" keywords="wii" rows="3" columns="2"]

And here is what the store would look like:

[amazon trackingid="gee0dd-20" keywords="wii" rows="3" columns="2"]

There are two conditions you should be aware of when using the plugin:

  • The store displays a link back to this page.  This helps to spread the word about this great plugin so that others can take advantage of it.
  • Your tracking ID is used 90% of the time, and the other 10% my tracking ID is used.  This will allow me to be compensated for my efforts, and help me spend more time making even more great plugins.

These conditions are subject to change at any time. By downloading, installing, and activating the plugin you agree to these terms. If you do not agree to these conditions then do not use this plugin.

To get started, you will first need to sign up as an Amazon affiliate (this absolutely free).  Once you’ve signed up or if you’re already signed up, create a new tracking ID to use with your Amazon Niche Store.  Then download, install, and activate the plugin.

Download the Plugin

Once installed and activated, write up a post or page where you wish to display an Amazon Niche Store.  Use the following shortcode (put it all on one line):

[amazon trackingid="YourTrackingID" keywords="Product Keywords" rows="RowCount" columns="ColumnCount" pagination="yes" logo="white" customcss="someuniqueidentifier"]

trackingid and keywords are required parameters. Use spaces between the keywords. columns and rows are optional, and the store plugin will default to 2 columns x 5 rows (10 items in total). The product display on a single page is limited to 30 products (and 50 products in total, if pagination is used).

The pagination, logo, and customcss parameters are also optional. The pagination parameter will allow the display of multiple pages of products when set to yes. You can see this demonstrated on my Amazon Niche Store demo page. You can set the logo parameter to white, black, or none to customize the display of the Amazon logo.

The customcss parameter allows you to customize the look and feel of your store.  By default, the product display mimics that of Amazon.com.  The product display uses custom css classes, and the customcss parameter you specify will be added to the custom class names.  For example, if you set customcss=”mycustomcss”, you can specify the CSS for the following classes:

  • amazon-store-mycustomcss : This is the style for div that encloses the entire store
  • amazon-store-mycustomcss-title : This is the style for the title
  • amazon-store-mycustomcss-manufacturer : This is the style for the manufacturer
  • amazon-store-mycustomcss-price : This is the style for the price
  • amazon-store-mycustomcss-view-details : This is the style for the view details link
  • amazon-store-mycustomcss-footer : This is the style for the footer displayed at the bottom of the store

The display of a store as a widget makes use of this feature, and the customcss parameter is set to sidebar.  So you will need to specify the CSS for amazon-store-sidebar, amazon-store-sidebar-title, amazon-store-sidebar-manufacturer, amazon-store-sidebar-price, amazon-store-sidebar-view-details, and amazon-store-sidebar-footer to customize the look and feel of the widget. The default css customizations for the widget are very similar to those for a regular store, but they have been tweaked a bit so that they will probably look a bit better for sidebar displays.

You can also set customcss=”none”.  This will prevent the customized CSS from being displayed inline on the web page.  If you’re displaying multiple stores on the same page, I would recommend you set customcss=”none” on all but one of the stores, to prevent repetitive CSS declarations.

If you set customcss=”none” you can specify the css for amazon-store, amazon-store-title, amazon-store-manufacturer, amazon-store-price, amazon-store-view-details, amazon-store-footer yourself.  You can also not specify them at all, in which case the store will take on the style of your blog.

Much of the plugin code for this plugin is based on the code I used for my Free eBay Store. The server-side code was a bit different since Amazon has their own API for retrieving product information. However, I did manage to find a great PHP library for Amazon called Tarzan.

Tarzan definitely helped to reduce the amount of time it took to develop the plugin. My favorite feature of Tarzan is the ability to make parallel requests to Amazon. If you are interested in developing your own Amazon applications in PHP, I highly recommend taking a look at the Tarzan library.

Good luck with your own Amazon Niche Store and happy affiliating! If you have any suggestions for the plugin or encounter any bugs, please feel free to comment on this post.

About GeekLad

Geeklad is a technology enthusiast and programming hobbyist. Occasionally he will put together useful little bits of code (be it JavaScript or PHP) and share them with the world. He also enjoys creating and sharing howtos, describing how to do the things people want to do with their computers.
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  • http://twitter.com/pauly99 Paul Tomlinson

    Anything similar to those of us that do not use WordPress?

  • http://twitter.com/MakeCashFast Mkcoy

    How to remove the link back and make it 100%? Do you have that? A donation maybe? Thanks!

  • http://nakal.net naughty dresses

    Got this error below. So, i have to find another hosting?

    Forbidden

    You don't have permission to access /tools/amazon/amazon.php on this server.

    Additionally, a 403 Forbidden error was encountered while trying to use an ErrorDocument to handle the request.
    Apache mod_fcgid/2.3.5 mod_auth_passthrough/2.1 mod_bwlimited/1.4 FrontPage/5.0.2.2635 Server at geeklad.com Port 80

  • http://geeklad.com GeekLad

    No the problem is on my end. I'm afraid my script was causing issues w/ my

    host, so they have disabled the script. I'm afraid the plugin may be dead,

    until I can come up with an alternative solution. :(

  • Ray

    Any update? I have your plugin on many sites, and I just love it!

  • http://geeklad.com GeekLad

    No, I'm afraid the plugin may be dead indefinitely… I don't know that I

    will have the time to fix it any time soon.

  • Nick

    It's a shame, I recently found this plugin and is exactly what I have been looking for.

    Regardless, it looks like you helped a ton of people with it during its time, so feel proud! As much as I do hope you can find a fix someday, we always have more important things to be doing! Good luck, sir!

  • http://geeklad.com GeekLad

    Yeah, I'm going to try spending some time over the holidays to repair it.

  • Samantha232010

    Now that you have identified your niche and the product you are going to promote you now need to identify what your target buyers look like. releaseequity Take golfers for example. If your focus is electric trolleys then the chances are that your target buyer will be over 45 and a member of a golf club. If your niche is golfing waterproofs then you you need to identify who your target is and when they are likely to buy.

  • http://twitter.com/smooke Syahmul Aziz

    Then, means our hosting does not allow it? means can't get it work right?

  • http://twitter.com/smooke Syahmul Aziz

    Then, means our hosting does not allow it? means can't get it work right?

  • Pingback: Amazon Affiliate Plugins für WordPress Teil 1 | Blogging Inside – Erfolgreich Bloggen und Geld verdienen

  • http://geeklad.com GeekLad

    I’ve finally completed a brand new plugin to replace the old Amazon Niche Store plugin. Be sure to check out the Free WordPress Store for Amazon Associates.