I just love economical ways to market my jewelry and supplies, so when I heard about the FREE ShopIt shopping cart I just had to check it out. ShopIt offers a fairly clean looking storefront with lots of backend features. And did I mention it is FREE?
I fought with this application, but finally managed to get my new ShopIt store looking somewhat presentable and the ShopIt widget is now installed on my FaceBook profile and my MySpace page: http://www.myspace.com/gahooletree
The coolest thing about the ShopIt venue is the ability to literally illuminate your profiles on Facebook and MySpace with your product gallery by installing the ShopIt widget in those places. So now contacts who look me up will literally be bombarded with pics and info about my jewelry! This is quite exciting because my former colleagues searching me out online have no idea that I create jewelry now.
At first I couldn't customize the ShopIt widget (which wouldn't even show up in my browser). But because this darn ShopIt application is still in beta mode I thought it was just a small bug until I finally figured out that I needed to update to Explorer 7 or Firefox. Voila! things are working fine now...
Of course you can always add an item manually - that's fairly straight forward and easy to do with ShopIt. But I wanted to figure out the batch uploads. It took me about an hour to develop a system for a mass product upload to ShopIt. There are likely many faster and more efficient methods but here's what I did.
Using the free google base formatter on http://www.letsets.com I did a batch download for my SassyDLite shop. Copy and paste that into excel. Create the mandatory headers (outlined in the ShopIt guide to batch uploads) and delete the pics. Fill in missing fields (quantity = 1 and Condition = N for new). Then i stole the pic urls from my etsy shop and pasted those urls into the spreadsheet in the ImageURL column. The pics are housed on one of etsy's many servers. Save this spreadsheet as a CSV file (comma saved value) and you're ready to upload.
Another reasonable storefront alternative is Artfire. I'll be joining that new community soon too. And the rates if you join right now are only $7/month for life with no listing fees, no transaction fees, no commissions, no other costs. Just $7 per month and this facility offers lots of features that sellers (like my team mates at eSMArts) will adore like unlimited product categories.
More on Artfire next time...