I hadn't planned on writing an article today, but after coming across this fantastic site and redesigning all my own stores, I was so impressed, I just had to share it with you. I have discovered best way to build an-online store, selling products my customers want, with look and feel I want, absolutely free.
If you have a web site and want to include a storefront, you have two options.
1. Build your own store with a shopping cart script, using a merchant account, paying for your stock upfront and either fulfilling it yourself or using a drop ship company.
2. Use an outside resource which allows you to customise look and feel of your store, selling their products and earn commission on either sales or referrals.
I have used both of these and to be perfectly honest, first method was a nightmare. Building your own store is what you need to do if your sole business is your store, which mine isn't. Carrying stock, tracking orders and fulfilment are difficult enough but to spend time on this when it is not necessary, is just pointless.
The second option is to use an outside resource who have tried and tested systems already in place to provide your customers with an excellent service. There are various companies on net that will let you customise look and feel of your new store, add products etc. When your customers order, they will handle everything for you and simply pay any commission due as per your sign-up agreement. This is obviously much easier, especially if store is only an added-value service you are offering and not main focus of your business.
I have tried using a few of these other store services which are also very good and useful, but I was never completely happy until I discovered Affinia. Wow! What a product and so easy to use. For example, on my WWW Treasure Hunt site at http://www.wwwtreasurehunt.com, I wanted a store filled with treasure related items. My visitors are interested in treasure hunting so this makes sense. By supplying your customers with what they are already interested in, more likely you are to make a sale. Before I used this service, I had to include usual products which could be found anywhere, on anyone's site and hoped my customers would be interested in buying these other goods such as toys or flowers, but now I have a store filled with products my customers want and need, with look and feel of my site and Affinia do all work for me. If you have a site about flower arranging, you can choose products that will specifically be of interest to your visitors and same goes for any other theme.