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View Full Version : Promotional Products Dealer- Looking to create website



JacobBergeron
09-18-2011, 07:26 PM
Hey Everyone,

I am a dealer for a promotional products company and I am looking to create a website to make it possible to have the ability to make sales completely online in addition to in person and phone sales. I am not looking for a fancy website or anything to high tech, I am simply looking to have a site that has the basics and allows me to display my online catalogs. I know off the most common hosting sites such as godaddy or webs. But I am wondering if anyone has any insight on which website creator and hosting service would best fit my needs. I appreciate anyone who takes the time to respond to my question. And I look forward to speaking with you all often as I am new to this forum.

Jacob

billbenson
09-18-2011, 08:49 PM
Generally website creators make sites that will be difficult to place well in online searches. If you are driving traffic to your site via other means it could be ok, but if you want to get traffic / orders via searches on Google etc you should look at other options.

JacobBergeron
09-18-2011, 08:57 PM
I am more or less looking for a site that I can refer potential customers to via business cards, email marketing, fliers, etc. I am not so much looking to have the top search result on google or other search engines.

billbenson
09-18-2011, 11:16 PM
You are in an unusual situation as most people want business via web searches as well and site generators don't do that well. I'd recommend Godaddy just because they are honest. Others including large companies like one and one and network solutions have a history of screwing their customers, even if they aren't still doing it. I've never heard anything negative about godaddy other than the constant upsell on their site.

Russ in Vancouver
09-19-2011, 01:22 AM
There are several free O/S shopping carts out there, zencart to name one.

I transfered 30 domain names away from 1&1 last year and they still tried to bill me for it again this year even after I had closed the account online and by the phone because I was so upset with how defective they are as a registrar and website provider. STAY AWAY FROM 1&1....even if the services are free, they will still manage to waste enough of your time to make it a bad choice to choose them in the first place.

I use godaddy and justhost.

JacobBergeron
09-19-2011, 09:01 AM
Thank you Bill and Russ for your comments. My current focus is to have a solid website in which I can refer potential customers to. However in the future it would also be nice to make sales or at least generate traffic from search engine results. Is there a site creator or hosting company that would provide a balance of both. To me it seems like a daunting task to establish a site that appears high in searches at the present moment, and I am not looking to spend a lot of money on developing it. Is there a somewhat cookie cutter hosting site that has potential in rankings?

Thanks so Much
Jacob

KristineS
09-19-2011, 01:51 PM
You might want to check out the Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI). They have a variety of programs for promo product vendors. Their ESP Web (http://www.asicentral.com/asp/open/ProductsAndServices/espweb.aspx) might be what you're looking for.

billbenson
09-19-2011, 03:15 PM
Thank you Bill and Russ for your comments. My current focus is to have a solid website in which I can refer potential customers to. However in the future it would also be nice to make sales or at least generate traffic from search engine results. Is there a site creator or hosting company that would provide a balance of both. To me it seems like a daunting task to establish a site that appears high in searches at the present moment, and I am not looking to spend a lot of money on developing it. Is there a somewhat cookie cutter hosting site that has potential in rankings?

In that case I wouldn't use a site creator. Most site creators don't allow you to back up your site in a way that you could use in on another website. If you want to be found in Search Engine searches you will have to have it on your own domain and host. As Russ mentioned above, register your domain at godaddy. I wouldn't host with godaddy. I'm not familiar with justhost.

ZenCart is probably a good option as Russ also mentioned. Its pretty easy to use and there is a lot of information on the web if you have questions. I've used it in the past and can answer a lot of your questions if you do use it.

If you go with a site builder and your site grows, you will really regret it down the line.

cbscreative
09-19-2011, 03:18 PM
I'll second what Kristine said about ASI, which was my first thought too when I saw your thread. I have some hands on experience with ASI, and they have all the tools you will need already built in to the system. Without the budget for a custom design, this is your best option.

Your site visitors will even have the ability to search the ASI database for ideas and products. That applies if you are a dealer and not a vendor. If you're a vendor, then the system works in your favor by making all your products accessible to all the dealer web sites. It's good for both dealers and vendors and you don't have to reinvent the wheel.

Side note: If you were to have a custom site built, you can still connect it to the ASI database. One of the first web sites I ever built was a custom site for a dealer coded to access the database.

JacobBergeron
09-19-2011, 06:20 PM
Thanks everyone for all your advise and suggestions. I appreciate it

cbscreative
09-23-2011, 01:13 PM
TC, aside from pushing the envelope with your post when you're a new member, the email you had posted easily results in an onslaught of spam when email harvesting bots sweep through. I recommend you set up a signature file that will show at the bottom of your posts. You're free to use your web address in the sig which has some SEO benefit and provides an easy way for anyone interested to visit your site.

JacobBergeron
09-24-2011, 10:35 AM
I thank you for your offer. However that conversation would be better suited if sent my private message. I currently have not signed on to anything regarding a website however it is on the immediate horizon.

Jacob

BushPromotions
10-20-2011, 03:56 PM
I have a franchised site that is a cookie cutter of all the other franchisees. Yeah- no personality of me on there. So I built my own $300 a year through SBI. It's ideal if you have little to no html skills because there are lots of tutorials. In fact if you want I can send you one or you can download one from my site for free. For a full search of promo products I also have the Logo Mall through ASI and it is linked through the site. If you call ASI talk to Christina Mendola. If you want to see how I did mine look at custom-imprinted-promotions.com I'm no pro at it but for an old goat I didn't do too bad and it suits my purpose.

civilwarfish
01-02-2012, 01:50 AM
Distributor Central.

It offers everything you can possibly want for a Promotional Product distributor, including full websites and online shopping via ecommerce store. Check them out...you dont need ASI although the ASI number is nice for credentialing yourself...I retained the membership level basic only, I had been at the logomall level at ASI for their store but there is simply no need. Their search is as good as ESPweb and the store as good as Logomall.

DistributorCentral - The Promotional Products Industry Software Leader - Home (http://www.distributorcentral.com)

You will be happy beyond all thoughts you may have had. It is funded by the suppliers and it works.

henryz
01-03-2012, 12:56 PM
Promo marketing also has a similar web site you might be interested, I'm new to the business as well , but I wanted to have my own site, I'm using big commerce I don't know much about wed design but I'm getting the hang of it.

technowonder
02-01-2012, 05:48 PM
If you want an easy way to build your own website at no cost or low cost you could try the really easy to use Weebly website builder weebly dot com (I assume I can't post links as I'm a newbie on here). They have lots of great web templates built in so it makes it easy to find one just right for your look or you can pay for a more premium template if one of their built in ones don't fit your look.

Zach_AnyPromo
05-08-2018, 01:06 PM
I know this is a dead thread, but it ranks pretty well in Google and since 2011, the promotional products landscape has changed.

Since pretty much anyone can go to a site like ours and buy promotional products as cheaply as possible, the biggest opportunity for small business folks is value added. You don't want to be fighting for margin against companies that straight-up get better deals from suppliers and can afford lower margins because of their scale. That's not something that can last for 10-20 more years.

I've learned from conventions that the most successful small distributors are consultant / event marketing / wedding planning types who sell everything else but the product (specifically the design or ideas for the product itself). This is changing two things from the old model:

1) It's practical to just get started right away ordering from online distributors. You don't really need an ASI/PPAI license until you're handling a really large order and difference in commission offsets the fees. As a small business, you might even end up getting your products cheaper from a distributor than a supplier at lower quantities (especially with a discount code). Plus, as an insurance, you'll get better customer service in terms of returns and misprints since bigger distributors need to meet the demands of the B2C world.

2) You can make a good website like the OP wanted with Wordpress or Shopify. Wordpress is a better option than Shopify for consulting because you want to negotiate price on a basis of value. Shopify is ok if you're primarily selling your design services.

There are some services for smaller distributors who want to sell online (henryz mentioned a popular one and we're thinking of developing such a program). However, I think the market share for those kinds of businesses will be getting smaller and smaller as people get more tech savvy and just Google for the best price.