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Miami Hurricanes Merchandise and GiftsFollowing my brief exploration with Amazon and Google Adwords, as told in my Making Money With Amazon post, I’ve stumbled into an interesting piece of php script for Amazon Associates. Yes, although I’ve stopped promoting Amazon through Adwords, I’m still promoting Amazon. This time by creating an Amazon Associate Store of my own. What am I promoting? Well, for starters, I’ve got my Miami Hurricanes Merchandise and Gifts Store up and running over here in as a subdomain.

This particular script I’ve stumbled upon is called Associate-O-Matic.

Take a look at some of the features provided with the script:

  1. Simple Setup – Installs in just minutes; You just need a domain name and a web host with PHP
  2. Generous License – No limitation on the number of times you install it or how many stores you setup
  3. Supports Multiple Amazon Locales – Create stores with items from the US, UK, CA, DE and FR locales
  4. Web-Based Admin Control Panel – Customize your store as little or as much as you want with 250+ settings
  5. Home Page Customization – Choose from seven different home page customization formats
  6. Hundreds of Categories & Subcategories – Just about any product or category you find on Amazon can be sold in your own store
  7. Customize the Look & Feel – Control the colors, fonts, images and layout of your store from top to bottom
  8. Powerful Search Features – Visitors can quickly find products and categories that interest them
  9. In-Depth Product Information – Photos, swatches and item attributes help your customers know exactly what they’re buying
  10. Built-In Shopping Cart – Keep visitors on your site until checkout at Amazon (Full Version)
  11. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Settings – Optimize your store pages for improved search engine ranking
  12. Customer & Editorial Product Reviews – Helps your shoppers make an informed buying decision
  13. Built on Amazon Web Services – Real-time access to product and pricing information
  14. Miscellaneous Features – Everything else not categorized above

Associate-O-Matic (AOM for short) is a powerful, fully-featured store building application specifically tailored to Amazon Associates.

Now it’s simple to add a niche store to your website or blog or to create a standalone web store.

Who says its hard to set up an online store? Who says you need a product to start an online store? With O-Matic, setting up is a breeze. Just copy the files over into your domain or subdomain. Once the files are on your web site, just browse over to the admin page and configure as you wish. The most important thing to remember is to insert your Amazon Associate ID into the configuration. Otherwise, you will not get anything from purchases. If you don’t have an Amazon Associate ID, then head on over to the Amazon Associate site and register yourself as an associate. Of course, you can use my associate ID too. Hahaha.

O-Matic runs on two types of licenses. FREE, and Paid. The FREE costs you nothing to implement. There is a catch though. The FREE version will at times (10% of the time) use O-Matic’s Associate Id’s for purchases. Thus, the FREE version could end up costing you more than a paid version (in terms of amazon commissions) if your store is very successful.

The paid version, on the other hand, costs USD99 for the first year and USD20/year for subsequent years. Pretty cheap if you can really work on your site to be successful. The license also allows you to install the software into unlimited number of domains. Basically, with one license, you can have multiple stores – as many as you like, as long as the associate id you use actually belongs to you. Do they track the associate id? I don’t know. I’m on the Lite or FREE version right now.

O-Matic Homepage Options

Customizing the store front is also a snap. All that’s required is a few tweaks in the configuration page. No programming is even required. A number of home page configuration option is available. Just choose one to your liking.

Of course, besides costs, there are a few other differences between the two license options. While the paid version provides you with all the features available, the FREE version is somewhat limited in functionality. There is no shopping cart included in the FREE version. Thus, users will be taken to the Amazon web site when they click on the purchase button.

This, in a way is troublesome for your users. They will be going in and out of your site and Amazon through out their shopping journey. Usability of your site suffers a lot. It may confuse your users and they may decide to abandon their shopping trip altogether. For a really seamless shopping experience, I’d recommend getting your hands on the paid version. You may lose a large number of sales if your users are a very particular lot.

A few more features are disabled in the FREE version as well. Check out the comparison chart provided by the developers at the O-Matic web site.

It took me at most one hour to learn the system and get a grip on the essentials. Once I understand the essentials setting up the store for my particular niche is just but a few keystrokes away. Take a look at my Hurricane Store, that took me about half an hour tops to configure. Yes, the store looks very basic right now. I’m still learning the bits on customizing the store front right now. The store will certainly look a whole lot better in the near future.

I guess a guide on Associate-O-Matic Essentials is required. Hmmmm.. will certainly be looking at producing that document in the near future. Be on the lookout for it in here soon.

If you happen to be a Miami Hurricane fan, and looking for a Miami Hurricane Gift for your loved ones, head on over to the Miami Hurricane Merchandise And Gifts Store. Check out the stuff in there and pick out one for your loved ones. Hurricane Shopping is now just a net connection away.

More stores are coming your way in the near future…