Thursday, July 31, 2008
If you happened to stumble upon the Cartfly Chronicals, please note that we have a new home! We encourage you to check out our New and Improved Blog and pass the word along to all of your merchant friends and family!
Come see hand picked Cartfly Featured Stores every Tuesday and our exclusive Cartfly Store Tips on Thursdays.
Cartfly...Your Place To Sell Out!
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Widgets, the embeddable chunks of code on web pages that can feature anything from videos to RSS feeds, have proven to be a great way to reach lots of users. But how do they make money?
Advertising in a widget is an obvious way to try. Another is by using the widget as a sort of store window — to sell directly through it.
Cartfly is the latest to push the envelope on ways to do this. It joins a large group of other start-ups in the sector, including Shopit, BlinkCart, Flogd and Nimbit, as well as larger companies offering widgets such as Amazon and Paypal.
Cartfly is trying to make it easier than ever for people to manage their Cartfly widgets directly from within their social networking page accounts, using Adobe Flex.
Arizona-based Cartfly, like its competitors, lets you create a widget on its site, include information about items that you’d like to sell, then add the widget on your social networking profile or web site. But it also allows components of its service to be built directly within larger companies — not just as stand-alone widgets. The Adobe Flex framework lets Cartfly integrate its user widget administration section directly within social network Perfspot’s user interface, for example. Cartfly still manges aspects of the widget transaction on its own servers, however. More on the deal here.
Cartfly keeps three percent of revenue from sales and so has around 4000 “stores” — widgets — with users making an average of $40 dollars per store, cofounder Joshua Manley tells me. The average age of the user is between 18 and 35.
The company plans to roll out a Facebook application in the next few weeks, then look at integrating with Open Social.
(Separately, a note about Gigya, another widget company that focuses on more on advertising. It launched a service yesterday which lets content publishers, such as bloggers or Myspace users, easily install a widget that only features ads on their own web sites, then keep some of the revenue generated by the ad. Larger widget companies — such Slide, RockYou, Clearspring — offer various forms of advertising.)
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
This morning's edition of the Houston Chronicle profiled Dani Campbell from the hit show "A Shot of Love" with Tila Tequila and her recent success using Cartfly. She is one of two finalists with the season finale airing tonight at 9pm on MTV.
"Amidst all this chaos, 29-year-old Dani Campbell (pronounced Danny) became a fan favorite as well as one of Ms. Tequila's final picks for her natural, down-to-earth personality. Going into tonight's finale, it's down to her and the remaining male contestant, Bobby Banhart. In spite of whether the firefighter from Florida earns that top spot on Tila's more than 2 million-strong Myspace.com friends list or not, she's keeping her head on, ahem, straight.
She's already had success with her first item, a "Team Dani" T-shirt, which she sold using Cartfly.com, an application that lets users embed a storefront window on their blogs, personal pages and social-networking sites. When the line launches, she hopes to continue pushing online sales."
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
Widgets That Wow
These nifty tools add oomph to your website. The best part? They won't break your budget.
Static web pages are a thing of the past. Now you can spice up your site with all sorts of handy widgets to capture your customers' interest and help you stand out from the crowd. Think of widgets as bite-size web applications that can be placed in websites, whether it's your business's homepage, blog or web community profile. Online store widgets are a clever way to extend your e-tailing reach beyond your main website. Widgets can also be a quick way to add social networking features to your online business. Here's a roundup of some handy web widgets to get your internet business started on the right foot:
Cartfly: Cartfly is similar to Shopit. You can customize your portable store to fit your business's look and style. Accounts are free to set up but include a 3 percent transaction fee. The emphasis is on a simple interface with a fast setup that will help you get your store out and about on the web in no time.
One of our top sellers Dani Campbell is currently a finalist on MTV's hit show "A Shot of Love" with Tila Tequila. Check out her store, she's been selling these shirts like crazy! If you want to support her sales be sure to copy and paste her share code into your blog or social network profile...
We'd like to announce our newest resource available to Cartfly sellers, a full Merchant Services Package! Instead of just using PayPal, you can apply for a full merchant account attached to your personal Cartfly Store and also power any existing e-commerce site you might have.
In the hopes of keeping the application process simple, you will find an easy to fill out form by logging into your CF account. Here are some of the benefits attached to your new merchant account:
No Monthly Minimum Processing
Secure Online Payments
24/7 Merchant Support
Free Online Merchant Reporting
Guaranteed Low Rates
Receive payments in your account within 48hrs.
Virtual Terminal for manual entries
Off Line Voice Authorizations
As music increasingly becomes free, legally or not, bands are taking a two-pronged tack on the Web: selling products that can't be copied, and selling easily-copied music through simple user interfaces so fans don't defect to P2P networks if they find checkout and playback frustrating. Though tecent data suggest that digital sales are far from recouping CD losses (WID Nov 21 p2), for many smaller bands every little bit helps, and the Web has proven a low-hassle revenue stream. But a recently collapsed deal offers a cautionary tale.
Smaller bands' most stable revenue stream is tour- related sales. Cartfly.com is helping artists sell concert tickets and merchandise, such as t-shirts and hats, apart from the box office gate and the back table at the club. Customers use the do-it-yourself online store platform to create a sales destination, posting the code to their social networking pages and inviting fans to spread the code to their own Web pages and even to community forums.
About 40 percent of Cartfly customers are musicians, its original target demographic, President Bob Schober told us. The company, founded in summer 2005, released its flagship product this year. "Bands have never really made a lot off their record sales, unless you're Madonna," Schober said. "This gives them the opportunity to hit their demographic readily," apart from touring. More than 25,000 bands and artists have created stores. The average purchaser spends $25-$30, more than the company initially expected, Schober said: "They're not just buying smaller items." Several bands use Cartfly in conjunction with Snocap, among the better known do-it-yourself download store providers, Schober said. It also has a deal with PerfSpot, a social network focused on nightlife and music.
Schober spent a year "paying attention to everything e- commerce," to avoid competitors' user-interface missteps, he said. Bands wanting to sell items on a conventional social network would have to post each item one at a time and link it to a payment source like PayPal. Cartfly was designed to vest administrative control with the band. Additions, deletions and modifications automatically spread to every site hosting the store code, he said. The company's next hurdle is to reward fans for posting bands' codes, Schober said. Another project in "widgetland" is letting average users create their own mix-and-match stores, selling merchandise offered by a variety of bands, he said.
But the do-it-yourself space has its perils. CDBaby.com, one of the earliest music e-tailers, began talking with Snocap in 2004 about adding CD Baby's artist catalog to Snocap's P2P fingerprinting service. In 2006 Snocap changed its business model, amid contract negotiations, to powering artist stores across the Internet.