Then, if you purchase it, you find out that it's pretty crappy. You find that it is one of two things:
- You have to build the website from scratch, input the products/services, set the pricing, descriptions, pictures, and everything else. It will take at least one full month of complete hard work to set up suppliers and get the website fully built. And after it is built, then you have to start advertising your website in order to drive traffic to it.
- You are given a cookie-cutter website. This is a website where you don't have to set up anything. Everything is already put together for you, but the problem lies in the fact that your website looks exactly like everyone else's who purchased that same problem. There is absolutely no difference between yours and your competition, so your advertising and marketing efforts will fail in differentiating you from your competition.
I don't want to say that those two options are not for anyone. They work well for certain people, but they are too limited for me. I would want something which employs aspects from both--putting the best of both worlds together.
The A-la-Carte Website is what I came up with.
This would be a website which will offer people a cookie-cutter website with options. They will not necessarily have the same product choices as everyone else who has purchased the service. There will be options on prices, colors, logo, descriptions, genres of products, and other things.
How this will work (steps for setting up the store):
The client will fill out the registration form. They will need to enter the store name, logo image, favicon image (this is the little image on the tab at top - or if you are using an older version of Internet Explorer, it's the image in the top-left of the page), store colors, personal information (name, address, phone, email, credit card information, etc. All for sending payments and receiving monthly fees), and choose which genres of products they wish to sell (these will be checkboxes which they can choose which ones they want to sell. They will be able to get the first genre for free, but if they want to sell more than one genre, they will be charged a monthly fee of $9.99 per additional genre).
That will allow them to have a personalized and distinct website from the competition. We will take care of the products (we will always try to have the best and most up-to-date products on your site), layout, shopping cart, and payment processor so you don't have to make additional payments just to use something you need.
What happens now (after they set up the store):
Once the store is set up, the prices, pictures, and descriptions for all of the products will be put up. You can go into the back office to change the pricing (it will be set for a reasonable price, but you can change it to as high as you want. There will be a minimum which you will not be able to go less than) and some of the descriptions (the description will already be there. There will be some information which cannot be changed, such as shipping, specifics, and size information, but you can change the generic description which focuses on selling the product)
And now for the marketing:
The marketing for your website will be similar to marketing a regular website. The only thing that we will add to the marketing is the ability to offer an affiliate program for your website. There will be a monthly charge for using this service, but you will be able to get other people to market your website for you (and we will automate the payment and make it so you will not have to do anything).
With the affiliate program, you will set up the amount you want to offer when something is sold. This will be done as a percentage of the sale (10% will be the default, which means that they will get a 10% commission based on the total purchase), and will be paid out monthly to the affiliates. Although this will eat into your total profits, it will drive in additional traffic. The affiliate program can be opened and closed to new members at any time.
There will be stats and all sorts of information (it will be integrated with Google Analytics, so you will get TONS of information - most of which you will never use), and we will take care of the shipping, payment processing, and all other things. This will be a system which will allow clients to have the flexibility they desire to make a website they can call their own, while making it as simple as possible so they don't have to bog themselves down figuring out how to do everything.
They will finally get a business which will operate as an efficient business should - where you focus on what you are good at, and hire specialists to do the rest. We'll be the specialists. You make the money.