My Take : Fresh Store Builder
Overall Rating - 8/10
Most information on “What is Fresh Store Builder?” that I was looking for online is loaded with how good this program is and how you can easily pull in profits setting up your store(s) promoting Amazon products using the app.
I have been an Amazon affiliate for some time now and creating WordPress sites and including plugins to make my websites more buyer-friendly. I choose to be an Amazon affiliate (despite the starting commission being relatively small) for a few reasons, one of which is Amazon’s reputation as one of the largest online retailers today.
I could rattle on about the virtues in being an Amazon affiliate, but that’s not the focus of this post.
OK, back to Fresh Store Builder, I went ahead to buy it (the latest version 7 was released in January 2016). It has a 30-day money back guarantee so my goal was to try it out and test if it really does what it’s made out to be – helping you create websites to promote Amazon products and pulling in profits.
What is Fresh Store Builder?
To begin, Fresh Store Builder (FSB) is a DFY (done-for-you) platform created by Carey Baird to help you create affiliate stores, specifically promoting Amazon products. (That’s right. The store doesn’t cater to the promotion of products from other networks like Shareasale, Clickbank or your own products).
Before you gain access of your store and work on it, you are given password to get into your FSB dashboard. Now this may seem confusing but the FSB dashboard is not your store. It is where you gain access of guides and training on how you set up your store, how you choose a niche, how you create content/pages, how to pull in Amazon products in your chosen niche to promote in your store, among other things.
From your FSB dashboard, you learn how to install the FSB software into your website, using cpanel or FTP (File Transfer Protocol).
Once you install the FSB into your store, you would have quite a few sets of IDs and passwords. The most important one is of course the set to access your affiliate store. As I said earlier, this is different from your FSB dashboard. The url to gain access to your store carries your domain name, while the url to log into your FSB dashboard is : https://myaccount.freshstorebuilder.com/login
I won’t get into too much details here but I just want to point out that the setting up is not complicated but requires you to pay attention to the guides given in the FSB dashboard.
It got quite messy at first for me, as I tried to handle the various sets of IDs and passwords for access to the various platforms (saving them into some document helps though) :
- FSB dashboard
- Cpanel for your website (you need this in order to upload the FSB software) – I prefer to use cpanel rather than FTP because I found it much faster! And you don’t need to download an FTP app like Filezilla.
- Your FSB store
- Your hosting
Why Would You Need Fresh Store Builder?
This is a fair question because you can use other means to promote Amazon products. For instance, you can always create your own website for free and post reviews on the products you are promoting. So you might be asking :
- Why would I want to invest in FSB?
- What does it give that a website (that I create myself) doesn’t?
When you build your own website and promote affiliate products for instance, from Amazon, you then drive your audience to Amazon website where they buy the products (if they so choose). So your audience is not buying from your website.
A store created with FSB provides your audience the experience of browsing an e-commerce store. You can also add content such that your audience can also get reviews on products they are interested in.
1. Not Much Technical Skills Needed
The guide provided within the FSB dashboard is useful in helping you set up your store. As I understand the guide has been improved (from previous versions) based on FSB customers’ feedback.
2. “Populating” Store with Amazon products
You can include Amazon products into your store, together with Amazon’s customer reviews and ratings, using the Amazon API key system. This makes it easier to ‘populate’ your store with various related products in your chosen niche.
3. Product Reviews
Product reviews can be included via the “Add Pages” section. Such reviews are recommended as most of the time, when a potential buyer is interested in a particular product, he would want more information about the product before he eventually buys it.
Analytics for your store are provided so you can track the number of clicks, sales, etc on a product.
Some FSB customers have complained about the lacklustre support that they allegedly receive when trying to find solutions to problems they face. My experience on FSB support, on the other hand, has been the opposite in that I receive answers to my queries within 24 hours of sending my query. The answers I receive from FSB support are short but succinct – something I appreciate very much.
Just to recap that FSB is for marketing of Amazon products only, so even if you want to build multiple websites using the app, you would still be promoting Amazon products. Some marketers get put off by the rate of Amazon commissions alone because of its low rates. But to me, it’s not that bleak if you put into consideration the fact that Amazon has millions of products you can promote. And not to mention customers’ trust factor in buying from Amazon as compared to some other networks.
Another thing I’d like to add is that you can choose to promote products where the commissions are at least $10, because I don’t think you would want to put the effort to promote products that yield a measly $0.50 in commissions.
2. Setting Up
Although there are guides in FSB Members Area, the confusion comes because you would end up with several sets of IDs and passwords – FSB dashboard, the login details to your store, Fresh Hosting details (if you get the Fresh hosting). You might run into some problems if you are totally new to creating website. But I feel that this is compensated by video the easy-to-understnad video training and good support from FSB staff.
I feel the three templates that come with FSB is limited. You CAN get more templates included but that is at an extra cost if you purchase through FSB-related website – Fresh Web Market. Honestly, I wouldn’t recomment getting extra templates (that can set you back of between $12 to $120) because I really don’t see the need.
4. Article Spinner
In the FSB dashbord, I thought I could try to spin an article that would result in a ‘new’ content. But it turns out that the Spinner, like the extra templates, is available at an extra charge.
My Two-cents Worth
Some FSB customers hold the mistaken view that installing the FSB software into their affiliate sites can automatically generate revenue for them. However, it’s not that straightforward. You have to work on driving traffic too as the FSB system is not “set and forget”.
In order for your store to be ‘recognized” by the search engines, you need to have content – for instance, product reviews built around some chosen keywords.
So while FSB facilitates the creation of an e-commerce-like store, it doesn’t guarantee that you can generate sales without putting any effort on content. Only a couple of weeks into this store, I haven’t seen any sales yet and will update on my progress in the future.
Fresh Store Builder is a Scam?
My final word is that FSB is definitely NOT a scam. It’s just an Amazon auto-site builder that helps you pull in related products in your niche to be included into your website.
While it is relatively easy to get into Amazon’s affiliate program, the thing that deters people from being an affiliate is its low commission rate.
It is also worth to note that Amazon would terminate your affiliate account if you don’t make sales in 180 days.
If you have ever encountered any experience with Fresh Store Builder or any other auto-site builders, we would love to hear it from you. Just drop us a line or two in the comments section below!