Income Shops Review – Part 2

Hello there, did you enjoy the Income Shops Review – Part 1? If you missed it simply click here before reading Part 2, just be sure to come back.

To recap, IncomeShops is a complete storefront on your own website that you populate with virtual affiliate inventory, enhance with blog posts and product reviews, and is SEO optimized.

In this review I’m going to take a look at the meatier parts of IncomeShops – the part where you really make your store your own. And like in part 1, I’ll include the pros and cons as I see them and screenshots to help you get a hands-on look at Income Shops.

This 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

So let’s get started!

Store Layout

There are a couple of ways to change the look and layout of your store. By selecting the Design tab on the left hand side of the Dashboard you can change the layout from 3-columns to 2-columns. The 2-column allows for a larger store area. You can always experiment with this to see which layout seems to work best for your visitor.

You also change the fonts, theme style, and colors here. My store is part of the “Plus” plan so I can select from four themes, other packages offer more theme choices.

The Box Management tab is where the real layout action is and definitely begs for a screenshot –

incomeshops box management

The boxes on the left and right are the sidebars and the center top, middle, and bottom are the header, body, and footer areas respectfully. Each of the boxes can be moved up or down within their columns and edited or deleted. This is great so that you can name your boxes to fit your niche better and align them for increased sales.

For example I renamed mine as “Awesome Toy Categories”, “Recent Toy Reviews, and “Toys For Just Plain Fun” instead of simply categories and featured products. After all a toy store should be far from boring. : )

You can add affiliate banners to the header and footer areas and new blocks to each section for adding a unique box for your privacy, disclaimers, and other required information.

This is a screenshot of the footer area with one banner added –

incomeshops footer ad

The body section default includes boxes for links, products, content, and banners. You can add boxes for a number of features such as additional banners and products, news and blog content, HTML coding, RSS feeds, and promo coupons. This is terrific because it means your store can be ever-changing and stay ever-fresh!

Adding Products

Before adding products you need to set up your categories through the Categories tab. This will enable you to associate your products, product reviews, and blog posts to the appropriate category or subcategory. The number of products and categories you can setup depends on your plan, the Plus plan allows for 2000 products and 100 categories, which is plenty for me.

Setting up your categories and products is a 5-step process. First are the details where you align SEO features such as category name, keywords, meta data, and description. IncomeShops adds suggested keywords based on Google Suggest as well.

In step 2, you add your unique content for the category and then in step 3 you download your products. Selecting product items can take a bit of time and should be well thought out so that products in your store are truly want you want and not simply random selections.

Now let’s add those products – 

In step 3 you choose an affiliate network based on the personal information already configured. For example I chose Amazon US which opens a dropdown for the Amazon category.

Step 4 is where you pull in the associated products within Amazon. Some of the Amazon categories are quite vague so be as specific as possible. Then simply select the products that best fit the focus of your store.

This is a partial list of the Ride On toys I selected –

In step 3 you choose an affiliate network based on the personal information already configured. For example I chose Amazon US which opens a dropdown for the Amazon category. Step 4 is where you pull in the associated products within Amazon. Some of the Amazon categories are quite vague so be as specific as possible. Then simply select the products that best fit the focus of your store.  This is a partial list of the Ride On toys I selected –

You then advance to step 5 which is the Summary and click finish. Your store will now be populated with ready to purchase products –

toys toys kids toys incomeshops store

So in a nutshell –

The Pros –

  • Multiple affiliate sources available, not simply Amazon
  • Super tutorial videos that go beyond learning their product – includes Google and SEO optimization, using social media, and getting traffic
  • Fully featured CMS that is super easy to configure and customize
  • Abundant areas for adding affiliate banners and advertising to increase commission opportunities

The Cons –

  • A few bugs that slowed down the construction process, but support was prompt, friendly, and efficient
  • Works best in the Firefox and Google Chrome browser and not so well in Internet Explorer, but those are my preferred browsers anyway.

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

Yes! Yes! I really like the professional appearance which can be adapted easily to fit the topic of your store. There are multiple areas for adding unique content, category specific products, a pretty cool news link feature, and the ease of use make it a winner.

I have seen and tried similar storefronts but they were all lacking something and they weren’t as robust as IncomeShops. Sure you can purchase WordPress store themes and plugins, but why waste time and money on all that. Yes, WooCommerce is free but it is a plugin not a content management system.

My recommendation is to run with an IncomeShops plan because it is a complete affiliate store builder that comes with built-in SEO features, customizable layouts, and even an area for your blog. Simple select your targeted niche, add appropriate products from your favorite affiliates, and start making money.

 

GET STARTED NOW

So what do you think of Income Shops now?

Here again is part 1 if you missed it –
Income Shops Review – Part 1

Please share!

To your hard-earned success!

Marilyn T

Comments

  1. The product looks like a quick way to build a ‘shopfront’ for a number of merchants and that’s fine. However, there seems to be a) no way of changing the basic layout – which is all product and b) nowhere to put ‘content’ which would enable a site to climb Google/Bing etc.

    I already run a number of affiliate sites and thought this might be a simple and quick way to get some new ones on the market in areas where we are currently having to do too much work on current sites (because they are old!) but I’m not convinced this goes far enough. A shop website on its own gets zero exposure in search engines whereas sites we put content into occupy at least one of the top 5 places for the search terms. I’d really like to hear, not from the people who run IncomeShops but from some genuine customers, what they do for traffic and what sort of return they are making. Otherwise, it’s cute software but valueless.

    • Hello Albert,

      I totally agree that a site that is simply a store front will do poorly with the search engines, it’s all about having content that people are searching for. I mention lightly in my review #1 that Income Shops does have a tab in the admin area titled “Content”. This is where you can write blog posts or product reviews and works like most posts using categories and tags. You can also place snippets of content in the sidebar using text boxes although I doubt this would help with the search engines.

      Tools like this are great for quickly populating your site with product content, so that you can then move onto pulling in traffic by publishing regular content to the blog and creating a steady social media campaign. Much the same as standard niche sites. Income Shops simply speeds up the process of adding inventory to a welcoming storefront framework. I saw an increase in traffic when I was doing so but I’ve not been working with my site too much of late.

  2. Hi

    I’m very interested in this but i want to know about returns in income if i’m paying 39.99 a month will i just make this back or will i have the potential with the training to make this plus a fair bit more, i know it’s not a get rich quick scheme but would like to know what kind of profits people are making before i plunge in, it doesn’t sound like a lot 39.99 but it is if you don’t have it…

    • Anthony,
      That is a very smart concern but not one that I can answer from experience as I’m still developing my store. But I would think that a profitable ROI is very possible if the focus of your store has a buyers market and the products provide you with a reasonable commission.

      As I mentioned, I already had a dormant website so I decided to use it for constructing my store. If I didn’t have this site I would have chosen a more focused niche. That being said I do believe I can make this work and I’ll report back some time down the line.

      I think you need three things –
      Focused niche with buyers (example: digital camera lenses)
      Great content (answers questions or provides in-depth product reviews)
      Traffic – promoted solidly through social media

      I hope this helps –

  3. Thoroughly enjoyed both articles and I’m serious thinking about getting involved with an IncomeShop. Sounds like it would be effective if I got into the right niche. Thanks for your thorough review.

  4. Hi Marlyn,

    I’m just now seeing this. Seems pretty cool. I’m going to go take a look at part 1. Thanks for sharing this site.

  5. I’ve got this on my list of things to add to one of my newer sites as soon as I’ve got the time. I’m writing quite a few reviews, and it would be great to be able to direct them to my own little ‘shoppe’ 🙂

    Thanks!

    Michael

  6. Another fab review Marilyn.

    I’m still hmmming on this one. It doesn’t fit with my business right now, but I did think it may be a good for for project I am partnering with. My main concern is affiliate acceptance – I wouldn’t be planning on going down the Amazon route.

    It’s been a while since I did the whole affiliate thing but there used to be a wait on approval with larger shops and no guarantee of acceptance if you had no defined marketing plan. I guess it would be a case of apply before setting up shop and keeping fingers crossed.

    I do like the apparent ease of adding many products. I’m a tad concerned that “SEO” isn’t included in the basic plan – what on earth does that mean? Hopefully you can still add code and change titles etc? Thinking along those lines, are the shops rich pin compatible?

    Questions, questions – I’ve thrown this one in the pot for discussion with partners at our next meeting.

    • Hi Jan,

      I’m so glad you’re looking into IncomeShops! I can see why you’re looking at the basic plan even though it’s a bit limited. Let me try to answer a couple of your questions –
      1. You need not go with Amazon UK as there are others that they recommend in their tutorials. I added Linkshare and ShareASale here in the states but they mention Tradedoubler, PepperJam, and Affiliate Window available only to UK users.
      2. With the Basic plan you’re limited to 10 retailers and with the Plus plan you’re limited to 20 retailers you can use. That may not be a problem if the retailers have plenty of products in your niche.
      3. I haven’t gone through the SEO module too much but they sum up the ranking of your meta data on the Homepage, Blog Posts, and two levels of Categories. I would think you could still add the info, you just wouldn’t have the summation.

      I hope that helps some.

      • Thanks Marilyn – aye, paying out for a shop with no products in is my concern. It’s been a few years, I did have accounts with Tradedoubler and Affiliate Window at one point – which is why I remember the wait time on retailers accepting. It could take a month or two depending on the retailer – and then there’s no guarentee they will accept.

        Do you know if the shops come with schema or oEmbed so you can apply for rich pins? Didn’t see that in the faq.

        • Hi Jen,
          Sorry to hear you had such a long wait time, that is definitely frustrating.
          I’ll submit your question to support to see what they have to say and get back to you.

          Cheers!

        • Hi Jan,

          I received the response from the IncomeShops helpdesk to your inquiry, I hope it helps –

          ~ Hi Marilyn,

          No our system does not include either of these. Our databases are structured and in tables but does not use schema which from what I understand is just a method of doing this.
          I must say I am not 100% sure what oEmbed does but it appears to be a way of sharing content from YouTube to your site, blog etc. Again this is not a feature that we use but we do make it easy to embed content from such resources into the site including the Twitter and Facebook boxes which you may have come across already.

          Hope this helps.
          Many Thanks ~

    • Hi Jan

      You have can add Meta Tags and content on all our plans, even Basic, it’s just that on the higher plans you get an SEO dashboard that shows you all the pages that need work still. With regards to approval times of retailers they are typically a lot quicker these days and with Affiliate window you can see the retailers average approval time before you apply.

      Many of the retailers also know about IncomeShops and approve our sites straight away 🙂

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