Income Shops Review – Part 1

I have been interested in the IncomeShops product for some time and I’m an affiliate for their program, but our relationship really took shape with one short email. The email asked a single little question “would you like a free store front?”

Well of course I was intrigued. I mean an Income Shops store given to me free. Tell me more!

All I needed to do was write a review of their product. Shucks by golly, I can do that – in fact I can write two in-depth reviews.
You may have guessed that this is the first and then subsequently I’ll publish review #2. Who said I wasn’t good with numbers.

Seriously though, the reason I’m writing two reviews is because the IncomeShops product is so value packed that I didn’t feel I could do it justice in a single brief review. Both will include the pros and cons as I see them and screenshots to help you get to know Income Shops.

The follow-up review will examine:

  • The store layout and how to change it – each store should fit what your buyer is looking for
  • How to add products – AKA: your virtual inventory
  • How and where to add advertising and promotions – the value add for affiliate marketers
  • How to get help – a comprehensive listing of Q&A with support from real live people

This review will provide:

  • Who is Income Shops – correctly shown as one word
  • A quick overview of the product
  • The learning center – a true bonus that most competitors don’t offer
  • A look into the admin area – AKA: the meat and bones of IncomeShops

So let’s get started!

Who is IncomeShops?

Income Shops calls the United Kingdom home but United States users need not be concerned because it caters to all equally and they also have a headquarters in New York. Income Shops offers a number of affiliate built stores that you can build and add products on your own or they will create and populate for you.

In addition to the store fronts, they also offer design and content writing services, social media account construction, and press release creation. Naturally all services come with a fee – you can check out the store front fees here.

A Quick Overview

This is the home page for IncomeShops. As you can see you start with a website, load your store with products, set up the look of your store to fit your niche, and then attract visitors/buyers. The desired outcome – of course affiliate income

income shops overview

This is the store created for me which I’m in the process of converting to a Toy Store.

toys toy kids toys 1

toys toy kids toys 2

IncomeShops populated the store with a huge variety of books in various genres which might have produced well. But I have a dormant niche site I haven’t worked on in some time so I will be converting my free IncomeShops store to that website.

I am also doing this so that I can show you how to go about making your store your own if you choose not to have the IncomeShops team create yours for you. I must say this offer is tempting because their ready-made stores are fabulous and probably bring in revenue, but they are pricey.

The Learning Center

This is the Learning Center Dashboard –

incomeshops learning center

It is very easy to navigate and each module includes training on every component of Income Shops. These are some of the topics:

  • An introduction to your new store
  • A checklist for setting up your store systematically
  • Selecting the affiliate partners you will use for content and assigning your affiliate ID codes (This module includes affiliate resources for both the US and UK users).
  • Creating categories for your products – this is a critical step for organizing your store effectively and adding new relevant products
  • Setting up Social Media – I’m using the big three and especially Pinterest with my store because we know that images are super promoters
  • Suggestions for getting that all important traffic to your store – after all, no traffic = no sales
  • How and where to add your content and media news to your store – we know adding your own content is huge but you can even add relevant news articles! I will be focusing on new trending toys and toy recall news.
  • Traffic Master Video – a real bonus here as Seattle based entrepreneur Neil Patel interviews some of the top affiliate marketers and bloggers

The Admin Area

I could do an entire review on the admin area alone because there is so much here to cover, but then that would fall into the area of a tutorial and not a review. This is quick look at the IncomeShops Dashboard –

income shops admin area 1

I know the screenshot doesn’t do it justice so let me explain what you have here.

Along the left is your navigation to all the important building blocks and configuration areas of your store. Here’s a brief breakdown –

  • Site Wide Settings: this is where you set up the domain name, the website name, and the title of your store. BTW your title is what is seen in your browser and can be different from your domain. This is also where you setup your buy button info and the analytics codes for visitor tracking information
  • API Settings: where you set up your affiliate IDs and associated info
  • Box Management: super easy area for designing the layout of your store items such as the products, social media, blog posts or product reviews, ad boxes, and news media
  • Categories: your niche topics for which products and posts will align
  • Content: yep, you guessed it – where you write your articles and product reviews
  • Site Navigation: you have three placement areas which are basically your menu items for categories and additional affiliate banners

There are additional areas for creating blog posts, inserting products, design layout and such which we’ll take a more in-depth look at in my review part #2.

So in a nutshell –

The Pros so far –

  • Extremely easy to navigate
  • Super tutorial videos that answered all my questions (so far)
  • I can add my own affiliate information so that I make money
  • Great SEO optimization with suggestions

The Cons so far –

  • If you wish to stock and configure your store yourself, it is not out-of-the-box ready to roll. There is a slight learning curve, but then again you can pay them to do all that for you.

Would I purchase Income Shops? . . . . . . . .

Yes! The monthly fee is reasonable and it could pay for itself if I promote my site well to get visitors/buyers. Most importantly you must focus on a niche that is marketable. If I didn’t already have the Toys Toys Kids Toys site, I would possibly target a hot niche such as camera lenses for digital cameras.

 

 

So what do you think of Income Shops so far?

Click here for the Income Shops Review #2


To your hard-earned success!
Marilyn T

Comments

  1. Interesting concept. I need to take a further look at setting up an online store. Thanks for the info – I’ll be back to check into it more deeply.

  2. I’d like a GUY button – do they come as standard?

    Now this piqued my interest simply because you said UK… Never heard on IncomeShops Marilyn – so I am off to have a bit of a mooch around. Thanks for the review, looking forward to part 2.

    • Hi Jan,
      Okay, where did you find the GUY button Although happily married I’d be interested in where the typo might be. : )
      Yep, it’s really a UK based product as the training videos have what we call a quaint British accent.

  3. What are the benefits to setting up a store with IncomeShops versus just placing WooCommerce on your domain and selling affiliate products from it?

    With WooCommerce, you can make the GUY button go directly to an affiliate website and/or shopping cart.

    Why use this? I’d love to know. Thanks!

    • Revision:

      With WooCommerce, you can make the BUY button go directly to an affiliate website and/or shopping cart.

    • Okay Bonnie, you’ve really put me on the spot haven’t you.

      I’m not as familiar with WooCommerce as I’ve not built a site around it, but from what I can tell there is much more to setup as far as payment, inventory stock, distribution logistics, and a huge one managing order status. Personally I want nothing to do with order status and order fulfillment concerns. Maybe I shouldn’t ask as I may be shooting myself in the foot and have no need for review #2, but it looks like the add on plugins would dip into my bank account. Plus then I’d expect I’d need to deal with the aggravation of plugin incompatibility issues with my other plugins.

    • Hi Bonnie – Good question. There is a big difference between IncomeShops as a whole and WooCommerce. Our software is 100% built form the ground up to be able to easily promote products from LinkShare, Tradedoubler, PepperJam, AffiliateWindow and Amazon. Its not a WordPress plug but rather a fully featured CMS and affiliate store builder with built in SEO features and a Blog too.

      You can change the look and feel of the store and move things around as you would like and even change the CSS if you had the skills. We also provide full training on how to get traffic to the IncomeShop and provide live chat support.

      Our main market at the moment could be more described as ‘newbies’, people who wouldn’t even know what wordpress was or how to install it so a simple solution like hours thats built for the job and comes with training is perfect for them.

      Plus we update our software constantly so you don’t have to keep updating your software version or re-downloading plugins 🙂

  4. I like the look of the storefront. I suppose it would take a lot of work to get traffic to a site like that?

    Great part 1 of a review 🙂

    • Hello Victoria,
      It may for a site like this one, but I would imagine a site that more closely matches a particular niche should not have a problem.
      I intent to target particular toys and brands to drive traffic.

      Thanks for commenting!

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