Business

Demo: Froomerce gives affiliates love through Facebook storefronts

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Froomerce, a startup that lets you take full advantage of marketing products through a Facebook storefront, launched at the DEMO conference today.

Froomerce is fairly simple to set up. The company has created a dashboard from which people can create a theme for their storefront, upload a logo, and choose a product topic as well as products to sell on their storefront. The products come from numerous affiliate networks Froomerce has partnered with. An affiliate network allows anyone to sell a product that isn’t theirs. For example, you can become an affiliate of Amazon and sell Kindles for a commission. When customers click a product in your Froomerce page to buy it, they are directed back to Amazon, with your affiliate code connected.

On the backend, Froomerce also provides widgets to help you place a storefront on your blog or social network, as well as widgets to place tag clouds on your page. Froomerce also provides an API so that developers can create new applications on top of its existing ones.

The product is not well suited to small retailers who don’t already have an online presence. Froomerce does not provide its own check out process, for example. Instead, it aims to help those with an e-commerce website to reach Facebook and mobile users as well as upsell.

“We went after the existing player that wanted to experiment with the new channels like Facebook,” Ali Naqi Shaheen, cheif executive of Froomerce parent company Coeus Solutions GmbH, told VentureBeat.

Existing online retailers often “want to know what their conversion rate is before we invest in something,” he said. Shaheen explained that Froomerce already has many affiliate networks signed up, so it can often provide a retailer with a numerical reason to engage and create a storefront.

Still Froomerce’s number one target isn’t retailers but publishers. Online publishers, such as the very blog you are reading, sell content directly from their site in addition to advertising. Many times in order to sell this content, you must manually discuss terms, prices, and expectations. Publications using Froomerce, however, can seek out a product they wish to promote, write a review and add a Froomerce link to the post. The publication then makes money off of the sales on that product.

Froomerce has partnered with affiliate program aggregators such as Linkshare, Commission Junction and others. Those using Froomerce are automatically approved to sell items from these networks and do not have to be approved by the individual affiliate networks. There are few cases where this isn’t true, such as eBay, which only allows you to sell through Froomerce if you’ve been pre-approved by them.

Froomerce is not alone, however. Companies such as Popshops allow those selling through affiliate networks to create online storefronts. Skimlinks allows you to link to products sold through affiliate networks as well.

Froomerce is owned by German parent company Coeus Solutions GmbH, headquartered in Berlin. Currently, Froomerce has been self funded and has raised $50,000.

Froomerce is one of 80 companies chosen by VentureBeat to launch at the DEMO Fall 2011 event taking place this week in Silicon Valley. After our selection, the companies pay a fee to present. Our coverage of them remains objective.


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