The New Look of PopShops and a bit more…

PopShops was off-line for much of yesterday (11/19/13) for “maintenance.” Only the subscriber interface was inaccessible – the “shops” themselves were not affected and all affiliate sites and their displays were working as usual. We did register some sales through P/S yesterday, so tracking, evidently, was right on track. 🙂

This morning everything was working again – but NOT as usual. The look and feel of the home page was entirely changed to better reflect the re-branding to Rakuten PopShops. There was also a notice of a new TOS (Terms of Service) displayed upon initial login. The TOS needs to be agreed to within two weeks – or it automatically takes effect. This is a good thing because the TOS seem to reinforce the need for properly built websites; i.e., sites are to have a Privacy Policy and have an FTC “disclaimer” (where necessary/appropriate).

The other new feature is the announcement of a new “PopShops Express” – or InText Ads – similar to SkimLinks or VigLink. Their brief description: “Earn commissions off ordinary existing links on your websites by turning them into paying links.” This is listed as being “Only available for publishers that don’t belong to affiliate networks.”

It appears the new “PopShops Express” is meant as a separate avenue for other than affiliate marketers to monetize blogs and sites. It is similar in nature to Skimlinks or Viglink but with a rollover link available – that also features coupons (which is a feature that can be selected). I tested it with quick demo on one of my personal interest blogs – it works.

There is also an API available so a programmer can make a lot of “choices” in how the Express version works. Like Prosperent or Skimlinks, the Express acts as a sub-affiliate network – so individual merchant approvals are not needed. One current drawback, that I see, is the use of PayPal for payouts – which are weekly, if a $25 minimum threshold is reached.

Sell Business Checks PopShops Demo SiteFor those not familiar with the original version of PopShops we have a sample site created for one of our affiliate programs. The interior pages of have product displays created with code from PopShops. No datafeed programming skills are needed to create this type of display.

More observations to come – as I explore a bit further…