As a blogger the one thing we can do best is, write. Unfortunately, unlike a journalist that is not enough for a blogger. One has to take care of publishing, marketing and generating revenue as well. Traditionally, bloggers have been dependent on Google Adsense for revenue and when you get pissed off, you try some affiliate program for few days and then come back to Adsense until your next drop in eCPM. What if you could have your own e-commerce store and generate additional revenue without any other hassle involved.
Bijness.in lets you do almost that. Bijness gives you a hosted e-commerce store at yourname.leloot.com. See example store here. The store comes with all the products, payments and shipping system. All you have to do is promote it. For every sales made you get a cut of anything between 1-20%.
The other major feature of this program is that you can integrate the webstore to your Facebook page also. See sample Facebook store.
One way to look at this startup is that this is a e-commerce portal called LeLoot.com that is running an affiliate program. Though given its features the concept is somewhere between an advertiser and affiliate. May be more of a reseller model. As a publisher if you can generate repeat customers from your subdomain then you end up getting more revenue, which isn’t the case in most affiliate programs.
Whatever said, this is an interesting pitch. And what’s even more commendable is that the startup has put in efforts to create a decent analytics system for the publishers which most affiliate or reseller programs fail to do.
From an e-commerce startup point of view the store has to do a lot of enhancements in UI and have to regularly live up to the expectations of the buyers. In a way the blogger is putting his credibility at stake. LeLoot has to build a strong brand for itself to be able to convince readers into buying.
The startup will also have to give more control to publisher in terms of UI customization and product lineup. One important feature of having the webstore on your own domain eg. store.NextBigWhat.com would also be essential for bloggers to feel more comfortable. This is a premium service as of now.
What this startup is exploiting is the clear gap of a strong affiliate ad network in India. None of the networks provide dynamic ad feed based on blog’s content. And individual campaigns are just impossible for publishers to manage. The only popular ad network, DGM, has such bad payment terms (over 6 months approval time) and non-objectionable approval policies that a publisher ends up with more frustration than gain.
What do you think of this model. Would a popular ecommerce site be justified in doing this? Do try this alternate Bijness for your blog or FB page and lets know your views.
[Naman is a startup enthusiast and has worked with couple of Indian startups as Product Manager. He is the founder of FindYogi]