Is it possible to use a “product feed” with this plugin?
I love the way the plugin works…it is by far the best I’ve used so far, but I have lots of products to add to this particular store and it is going to literally take me forever to get them all loaded.
Also, I use Commission Junction for a large number of the products that will be loaded into this site. CJ provides several links for each product in an advertiser’s list of “creatives”. Some of those links have EVERYTHING except the price built into them. If I use a “consolidated” link, (where the image, description, AND any banner text is all included in one html link) will I still be able to offer a search on those products? Or, do I have to load each product as an individual item and put each and every item in a “reply box”?
The link to the site is http://accessories.ldjautobody.com. There really isn’t a shop set up there yet as I am still debating on how I can load these products more quickly. I’ll put the menu link to the marketplace up so you can view what the store will look like.
Thanks for any light you could shed on this.
Thanks for using Simple Affiliate Shop – I’m delighted you like it.
The “product upload” answer is probably ‘not yet’ but I have a suggestion for a solution I could do sooner that I would like your feedback on.
I’m not sure about a “product feed” from CA or the other providers at this stage but I know it is a feature that some plugins offer – My concern is about the amount of work to keep that working for the many different feeds that are available. (It would probably have to be in a future paid version of the plugin as I doubt I would have time to maintain that for free)
I would be able to include an upload function though and it is something I have been working on.
Would that meet your needs part way if you could upload images, prices, links etc from a file?
I’m sorry but I was not sure what you mean by links with creatives – is that the link that includes images etc? Can you send me an example? The links Simple Affiliate Shop uses are a simple href link. I was also unsure what you meant by putting things into a ‘reply box’ so if you can explain that a bit more I will see what I can suggest.
Thanks for getting back to me…and, I hope you had a wonderful Father’s Day!
OK…let me see if I can make things a little more clear here. Sorry, but this will probably be a longer email than I want it to be simply for clarification, but here goes…
Commission Junction, who I get most of my links from, offers two options to post links. One is Java Script and the other is HTML. (By the way, I have been using HTML. Do you have any input on which is the better one to use? I would think that the Java Script would take too long to load and cause the site to run more slowly…but, I’m not the expert here!:)) Then, from the list of links, you can choose to show either a “text link”, a “banner”, or a full blown “image, description, and buy button all in the same link”. So, you can see this is where my trouble begins.
I am going to try to show you a couple of the links here:
The following code is for “Porsche Style Body Kits” from Andy’s Auto Sport. Now…this is a link which takes you to a section of Andy’s Auto Sport Catalog that allows you to pick out the individual items you need and also gives you the ability to use their search function for their site.
The first line is what they list as the “image url” and looks like this:
http://www.advertiserserver.com/advertiserimage.gif(You will notice that there is NO “affiliate ID” in that URL…so listing the image separately and someone clicking on it will NOT get me a sale or a commission on a sale…not good! 🙂
This is the full ‘HTML’ link that includes my ID…I am going to change the ID as I’m a little uncomfortable listing it here…so the ID is not correct, but everything else is:
<a href="http://www.tkqlhce.com/click-000000-00000000" target="_blank" onmouseover="window.status='http://www.andysautosport.com';return true;" onmouseout="window.status=' ';return true;"> <img src="http://www.lduhtrp.net/image-0000000-00000000" width="300" height="150" alt="" border="0"/></a>
As you can see, the second option shows an image that DOES contain our ID and therefore would insure our commission IF the image alone was clicked. However, it is also “built in” to the full link and therefore shows differently than using the image and description links separately.
Now that you can see the links, you can see how it would cause a problem to “disturb” the way that the Merchant wants you to show the link vs. adding the information separately into the “info boxes” on your plugin form. Although I can get the images and links to show up properly, I’m not sure if splitting up that full link will interrupt the flow of info or not. Not only that, but there are about 1000 or better “auto body kits” available…and not just from one supplier!
So, therein lies my problem. There is only ONE plugin that I found that allows me to set up everything as a complete “store” and updates itself and I simply can’t afford to pay their subscription prices right now…they are monthly rates and we would need to use their “enterprise” rate…way too expensive for our company! (At least for the time being! :))
In reference to your question regarding what I meant by “links with creatives”, I was simply referring to the above links that included ALL of the info in “one link”. When I referred to “reply boxes”, I was referring to the “info boxes” on your form…sorry, it was late when I wrote the original request. 🙁
Anyway, any information you could give me regarding this problem would be greatly appreciated. The link I just gave you is for only “one” suppier, but most of them are pretty similar. SOME do offer the image links with our ID already inserted, but almost all of these suppliers offer “one” link with all the information neatly tucked inside. That is how “Commission Junction” supplies their links and banners…so I’m not even sure it is the Merchant’s themselves or CJ that creates the actual link HTML. Because they are so similar, I am thinking that it is CJ that supplies the actual links as they are the ones who must track them…
Now, there IS an option, with some Merchants, that offer a “feed” of their products. That “feed” is updated automatically and includes ALL of the items in a particular category. Honestly, we don’t use ALL of the items that ANY of our Merchants offer (our purpose for advertising these links is to let our customers…at the body shop…buy their own parts and either ship them to us or bring them to the shop to have them installed. It gives them a chance to save some money on us marking up the price and we do offer “labor only” rates on most of our services). That being said, I would prefer to pick out the items that we offer on our site, but if the “feed” option were available, I could probably use it to bring the items into the store and then just delete what we didn’t want there. Either way…I am still looking at some serious work to set everything up. I am not opposed to entering each item as a “one time” thing. It would take some time…but…I’m a pretty “patient gal”! 🙂 But, when I do that, I’d like to know I’m doing it right…the first time!🙂
Now, of course, there ARE other items that we sell through our affiliate program that will work very nicely with your plugin, and I don’t feel a need to discuss those. I just didn’t want you to think that we are having a problem with everything! The items in question are “category” items that ARE very important to our business though, and getting them up and into a “store” of some kind is very important. These particular items make up about 50% or better of the items that we sell, so finding a solution to the problem is key to getting our site launched.
In reference to your question regarding an “upload function”, I am thinking that would be great. IF the function is what I am thinking… When you refer to “upload”, are you speaking of simply uploading an image? And then we would fill in a description? I’m not sure what you are talking about “uploading”. So, if that feature was to “upload an image” and we would then insert a description of our own or from the Merchant, it would still work because we could use the image link that includes our Affiliate ID and still get credit for the sale. So, if that’ what you’re referencing…then yes, it would be great.
If you need ANYTHING further…please let me know. I would really like to get this site launched and…right now…the store is a huge part of that. So I will make sure that I look for any and all correspondence from you that will help facilitate this and I promise to get back to you right away. I really appreciate your help and I will make sure that our company gets a donation to your plugin “post haste”! LOL Like I said, the plugin in the best one out there if we can get over this hump…I’m hoping that I’m just confused about how to load these items and that you will tell me I can do it with the plugin as is! That would be wonderful! LOL So…please…feel free to tell me that I was a “little light” on brain function when I tried to upload these links! 🙂
I look forward to your answers!
Thanks for the detailed reply! The plugin uses only the href part of the link when you put it into the link box – I can see what you mean that this will not let you put in any of the other image information.
I am thinking that I could wrap the image that is in the plugin with the same link as the button href (‘http://www.tkqlhce.com/click-000000-00000000’ in your example above) and this would get you part way there by ensuring your link is attached to the image and making the image clickable – I will add this to the next version of the plugin and just answered how to fix this now in another thread (see here ).
Regarding the upload function – what that means is that you would have a spreadsheet or other file that has all the product information including a link to the image. Then you could use the admin screen to upload that file and the plugin would read each line and then create the product for you and get the image from the location listed in your file.
If you can send me a copy or sample of the ‘feed’ from the merchant then I might be able to suggest something more – and at least I can see it and consider making it more automatic.
Let me know if this clears up the import and image link question for the moment. The import function will take a little while to write and I have some other client work on at the moment but I will do it as soon as I can.
Cheers for now,
Brian, I have added a couple more products to the shop and I’ve found that using the Java script actually works better for getting everything into the right places. But, I am still having problems with the “buy now” button. It ends up with a 404 redirect for “page not found”, so something is not transferring over in that respect with the script.
If you take a look at the site at http://accessories.ldjautobody.com, and click on “auto body kits” you can see that the product image is showing up properly, we DO get a description where it belongs and the price is coming out where it should. I have been adding the Image url and the price as separate line items. When I enter the Java script for the link, (I am using the java script from Commission Junction). One of the biggest problems I will have is that IF you don’t include EVERYTHING in the link, you will not be credited with a sale, so I need to be very sure that the script is not changed when it loads. This is already a problem as the java script is broken as soon as I enter it.
Any ideas as to how we can make this work? I really want to use your plugin, but I just don’t see how we can meet our deadlines if we can’t resolve these issues. Please get back to me and let me know if there’s any chance of working with this a little to see if we can get it working.
Thanks in advance for your help.
Denise Blackman Ldjautobody
Brian, I also left this replay in the “batch importation?” topic in the forum. I saw that you were discussing the same problem and I replied to it, but I realized that the topic was marked as “resolved”, so most likely, no one saw it. Here’s a copy of the reply I sent to that topic…it covers the file structure that I can “order” from Commission Junction as a service from them for their data feeds for different merchants:
Hi Brian. I noticed that you were discussing the same topic that you and I discussed recently. I just wanted to let you know that I found a very interesting section of Commission Junction’s web services that may be of help with getting some information for products to put into a store using a batch import. Check out this section of the API Developer’s section that I found…I have quoted it here:
After reviewing the associated API documentation, you may implement the desired services to support your business. Each service requires you to provide a number of request parameters in order to receive the desired information (response fields) back from the service. You may develop in any number of programming environments that enable you to make REST requests and provide the required parameters (see Request Parameters section of each individual Web service topic). Your web application or page must be able to process the appropriate response fields indicated for each particular service (see Response Fields section within a service topic).
If I am correct in reading this, we can ask Commission Junction to provide us with a file that would contain the information requested in the order requested. If that is the case, could you use this to help with batch import? I’d be willing to request the required information from them and send it to you so we could move forward with this possibility.
Please let me know if you have the time to take a look at it and let me know exactly what info we need and the order it needs to be in and I’ll send a request as soon as I get the info from you.
Thanks for any input on this. I really need to get this store up and running and I’d like to use your plugin if possible. I really like the way it is set up and I’m sure that I’m not the only one that would be very interested in having this done! Please let me know.
The link to our site is again: http://accessories.ldjautobody.com in case you need to see it.
Thanks in advance for your help,
Denise Blackman LdjAutoBody
Please let me know what you think of this. It may offer some help in resolving the “data feed” issue. Let me know.
Denise Blackman Ldjautobody
Hi DIY and Denise,
Sorry to have been a little AWOL recently – major client going live and very demanding. I am on leave for the rest of the week and hoping to hide away and get you some batch upload code running – I have been working on this for the client so should be able to leverage this over to PG Simple Affiliate Shop.
This is a repeat of the message in the ‘resolved’ thread so let’s continue on here.
Brian (People’s Geek)
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