Friday, May 20, 2011

Fill Reader's Baskets with Amazon Associates

Amazon Associates logo
Amazon Associates program allows bloggers and website owners to place products or ads on their site for a percentage of each sale from that link.  While it's a good way for publishers to list individual items they have for sale or recommend, there is no way to provide a package of various Amazon products.

Amazon's marketplace provides an enormous array of products which can be selected to match the site or a particular article. From books and music to technology and tools, Amazon has it all. Users click on the link and are taken to the product page for the item using a specially coded link that let's Amazon know who sent the person there (and who to pay if they buy).

I've been impressed by their recent upgrade to their widgets where I can edit the code in what they call "Widget Source." What I haven't seen is a mechanism that allows visitors to my site to buy a package of products. Whether it's 10 mp3's for a road trip, materials for a craft project or ingredients for a spaghetti sauce, there are times where people should be able to add all of the products to their cart in one click.

Below, I've created an Amazon widget which has some of the basics for a spaghetti sauce. Clicking on any of the individual items will take you to the Amazon product page and if you buy it, I get a small percentage (same with the books on the right hand side of the page). However, if you want another from the list, you have to return to my site to click the next link, and so on until you've added all six.

A better option would be to allow the customer to place multiple items in their cart in a single click, even see a subtotal of the items prior to adding to their cart.

I've mocked up an example of how this could function. On the left are check boxes which would allow someone to choose only those items which they want, and a subtotal would be displayed at the bottom of the page. There is also a button to add to cart. Clicking that would add all items to an cart, and take the person to the cart rather than a particular product page. There they could remove additional items or continue shopping.

Amazon widget mock up

Providing am means to refer customers to multiple items rather than one at a time could prove lucrative for both publishers and Amazon. It improves the flow to the purchase, and allow publishers to be able to create custom packages for their readers. This could be valuable for cooking, craft, project, sewing or other sites which feature instructional articles which require multiple items to complete.

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