Update: The Amazon Niche Store has been superseded by the Free WordPress Store for Amazon Associates.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.
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.