Sellaround: Ministores Gone Viral
Online stores are a dime a dozen. Everywhere you go are sites with a shopping cart waiting for people to add items to them make purchases. These stores almost all have the same format. First is a list of items. Then each item has a separate profile page. These can then be added to your cart and paid for.
There’s no shortage of options to setting up an online store. They include paid services, free software packages, and then the forgettable option of having someone build it for you from scratch. Unless there’s a reason to do otherwise using a prefab service is the way to go. Now there’s a new way to sell items online. Sellaround provides a ministore dubbed, “a social selling widget.” This store comes in the form of a small widget and will sell just one item. What makes it unique is that it can be shared, embedded, and linked. It can even added as a Facebook app.
Setting up Sellaround is approximately 4.7 times easier than other online stores. You register for an account, which is free, then create a widget. The options for the widget include:
- Pictures. Up to four images can be added, which cycle through on a slide show within the widget.
- Indicate whether there’s limited availability or not. If it’s set to ‘on’ you can designate how many items are in your stock. This can be updated later as new stock arrives.
- Tax, if applicable.
- Shipping information. Here you indicate if you need to collect shipping information from the client. If it’s required you can indicate the delivery cost per country or region. So you can set a high price for countries you don’t prefer, and a lower one for those with particularly attractive women. Or, you can set them according to going transport costs. Whatever works.
Once the widget is set up you can click on the share tab, which brings up the following options.
- Share on Facebook, Twitter, or Google Buzz.
- Add the widget to you Facebook profile with Sellaround’s Facebook app.
- Embed the widget. It gives you both HTML or Flash options.
- Link to your microsite. This is your online store that contains all your business information and all your widgets. It’s a public online place for buyers to see basic information about your company and the products you sell.
- Link to the widget itself. This is a page that has just the widget on it. This link is the same as the one that’s sent out when you share via Facebook, Twitter, or Google Buzz
- QR code. For those who don’t know, this is a new age bar code that smart phone users can scan. This code leads directly to your widget.
One of the most compelling features of the Sellaround widget is the share button. All the sharing options available in the configuration panel are accessible directly from the widget as well. Just like sharing a Youtube video, ministores can be embedded in any website. Particularly interesting items are bound to be shared by many. This creates the opportunity to achieve the ever elusive viral marketing. Perhaps it’s the truest form of viral marketing since the store is literally being propagated throughout the web.
Store owners undoubtedly would like to see the results of their sales. The online dashboard has an Analyze page for exactly this purpose. Here the number of times a widget was viewed and product was purchased can be viewed. It’s sortable by date range and has a handy graph. Each widget has its own separate display.
Sellaround’s fee is 8% of the sale price. It uses Paypal to channel the funds which also takes a percentage. This is typically 3% give or take. The ease of use is well worth any overhead fees. The ability to place a secure embeddable ministore anywhere on the web sets it well apart from the flea market of online stores.
Sellaround is an innovative solution to the most common transaction online- purchasing new items. The ease of configuring and sharing the widget makes it simple for anyone to use. The sharing options make it possible for people to share the widget and send items on a viral tour of the internet. The ability to track how many people viewed the widget and how many people purchased makes it easy to gauge the success of one’s products. I’m sure it won’t be long before entire sites spring up revolving around the Sellaround widget.