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New Features Coming Soon for aStore

Astore-Beta-Logo-AnnouncemeAmazon have emailed participants in the aStore beta test (my review here) with a sneak peak of what will be included in the next version of aStores. Here’s the list:

  • Build and maintain multiple aStores using a single Associate ID
  • Specify products to feature on Category and Sub-Category pages
  • Create multiple instances of individual categories and sub-categories (e.g. Beatles Music and Rolling Stones Music)
  • Feature up to 54 products on the front page of your store rather than the current limit of nine
  • Write longer custom product descriptions
  • Better control the layout and design for use in frames by providing the capability to remove the store header and category navigation

Looks like some nice improvements but what would those of you testing aStore like to see included?

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. I’ve definitely seen an increase in sales since running the shop, but I’d really like to be able to map domains, which would naturally sit well with the opportunity to run multiple stores.

  2. Miha says:

    What about using it on my own domain?

  3. Lara says:

    You know, it’s funny you ask that because I’m in the middle right now of redoing my store for another domain than the one I started it with. I was desperately wanting to be able to have different stores for different sites, and it appears as though I’ll soon be able to – that’s fantastic!

    I do think that the layout/design controls need major improvements. I really wish they would just give us the code without anything other than layout so that I can manage the styling myself. Give me divs and classes, you know? Let me pick everything out myself.

    Other than what you’ve listed here, I really can’t ask for much more except maybe what Craig said about reporting and domain management.

    Miha – you can use it on your own domain… that’s what it’s for.

  4. Lindalee says:

    I just started with the store a couple weeks ago, and have it listed as a link on my blog roll, as I don’t have the tech skills for anything else right now. I like how it looks. My blog is very focussed on Willie Nelson/Music, so it was easy to pick the books, etc, I wanted to show up. I like the other selections they have posted, too, based on my qualifiers.

    I’m glad that they are upping the number of items on the page from 9, athough, I like the size they are now, so I want to see how it looks.

  5. john t unger says:

    Funny, I was just writing a review of aStores today and everything on the list above was something I planned to suggest for the future. There are only a few things I would change that aren’t already on this list:

    1. Currently, you can enter keywords to restrict products shown on Category and Sub-Category pages… but it only finds products matching all the keywords. I like the idea of being able to select specific products in the new version, but it would also be useful to enter multiple keywords (separated by commas maybe) and have Amazon’s catalog return results based on any of the keywords rather all. For instance, say you want to feature products by several manufacturers in the Hardware category: if you enter DeWalt and Bosch, the search turns up nothing right now rather than displaying all the items by Bosch and DeWalt because none of the listings in the catalog contain both terms.

    2. I would like to see Amazon make it possible to create multiple pages for a store, rather than just allowing a larger featured items list. Nine items is definitely too few, and 54 is probably too many for one page. When you view a category page in the current version of aStores, the bottom of the page has numbered links that allow you to see as many pages as the Amazon catalog can generate. It would be nice if the Featured Items part of the store worked this way too. After all, a great deal of the strength of Amazon’s model is allowing shoppers to filter results based on the recommendations of others… The biggest reason to shop on an aStore rather than on Amazon itself is to take advantage of selections edited by someone you trust.

    3. It would be nice to be able to choose which order items display in. Currently that is not an option and I don’t see it on Darren’s list. A simple drag and drop AJAX interface would be ideal, but additionally, it would be nice to be able select items and modify the sorting order based on variables like price, availability, genre, author, etc.

    Darren, did they say *when* to expect the changes? I didn’t get the email, possibly because I only got around to building my aStore this morning.

  6. John,

    My copy of the letter says the aStore upgrades are “currently slated for a late November release.” It looks like will be able to put an aStore on all my sites — just in time for the holidays. Barely.

  7. Henry Goh says:

    I am still having difficulty to sell my first product even I’ve started astore 1 month ago!

  8. sinhob says:

    I’m finding that no-one has purchased from my a-store either! I don’t really understand why as I would purchase from it myself if I could!!
    However I have managed to integrate it into my website – or rather my hubby did. Have a look on the following link:

    http://www.scarytiger.com/hosting/breastfeedingmums/Amazon_store.htm

  9. Holch says:

    Sinhob, I think your problem is that no one really is able to find the shop on your site. At least it took me quite long and I knew it must be there – somewhere.

  10. sinhob says:

    Thanks Holch, for checking it out. I have a menu bar running down the left hand side of every page and one of the links says “AMAZON @ BREASTFEEDINGMUMS”. This take you straight to the a-store.
    Until yesterday I also had text on the homepage saying:

    NEW Please support BreastFeedingMums.com by making all your breastfeeding and baby purchases through our new store, AMAZON @ BREASTFEEDINGMUMS.

    However, I took it off the homepage as I was worried that it was distracting the robots and taking them away from my site! Is this silly?
    Also, I had a bit of criticism from some forums that there was too much advertising going on so I removed a lot of it. However, I left the Amazon message above on every page of the site bar the homepage.

    I guess I just need more visitors to visit my site!

    Anyhow, I know some people are visiting it but they are still not buying and it’s very frustrating as I’m desperately hoping to make a little bit of revenue from it!

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