Shop Express [review]

Today I’m doing a review of a new software called Shop Express.

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So what is Shop Express? Well its an affiliate store builder. With it you can build affiliate stores that display Amazon products (and with the OTO also Ebay or AliExpress products). When a site visitor clicks on one of the products in the store they are redirected to Amazon (or Ebay / AliExpress) to make the purchase and you get an affiliate commission from the sale. You can see the demo store that was shown to potential affiliates by clicking here.

This has not a new concept by far. There have been many different store builder that where release over the years. In fact I have personally reviewed several of them. However there are some really unique things about this one. Most of which center around one majorΒ  fact. This is not a WordPress plugin or theme. As far as I can remember every other store builder I have come across was centered around WordPress.

Now why is that important? Well because it being a stand alone site / store builder has some very positive and a few negative consequences. It makes the set up a bit of extra work that requires basic tech skill but it also means that the system is not constrained by the limits of WordPress so it can be more functional in its design and its features. Ill cover both the good and the bad aspects of this not being a WordPress based software.

First the bad:

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Developers (including myself) often use WordPress as a platform for plugins that are very different from the simple blogging system that WordPress was initially created to be. Why is that? Well there are two main reasons. First of all it ensures that the software they are creating will be run in a standardized environment. Second of all it makes the software easy to install for the end user. All they need to do is upload the zip file for the plugin inside of WordPress, press ‘activate’ and the software is installed on the end users site. Super easy.

However ShopExpress is not a a WordPress plugin. It is a stand alone web based system. This means two things:

First your going to have to ensure that your hosting meets the minimum requirements for the software. Fortunately most of these requirements are very basic and just about any *nix hosting is going to be sufficient. You need PHP 5.3 or greater (if you have a older version you really need to yell at your hosting company). You need MySQL (if you have PHP you have MySQL), you need cURL (again fairly standard). In fact the only thing you might not have is a greater than 2mb max upload setting. Most decent hosting packages (even shared ones) are going to have this though, however if you have a very low end hosting plan it is possible that your max upload might be less than 2mb (though unlikely).

Ok so given that the requirements are fairly basic just about everyone with a website should be able to meet them. Easy enough. However there is the other thing. The ease of instillation. Since Shop Express is a stand alone web based software your going to need to install it yourself, manually.

What does that mean?

Well first off your going to need to know how to use FTP so you can FTP the site files to your hosting. Also keep in mind that this is a entire website builder. What this means is that the only thing you can use the domain for that you install ShopExpress on is for ShopExpress (though you could use a sub domain if you really wanted to). Using FTP is not super hard, there are several free FTP software you can download such as FileZilla and FireFTP. Also its something that everyone with a website really should learn how to do anyway. But I want to be clear that if you don’t know how to do FTP you are going to need to learn in order to use ShopExpress.

The second thing is that you are going to need to create a database. Hence your going to need to know how to log into your sites cPanel area, create a database, and create a user account for that database. Again this is not as difficult as it may seem and also it is something that everyone with a website should learn anyway. However I want to be clear that if you don’t know how to do this, you are going to have to be willing to learn in order to use ShopExpress.

Finally your going to need to know how to set up a CRON job in your site, fortunately they give you the exact command to run and a video tutorial right inside of the software’s admin panel.

So what about the good side of this not being a WordPress plugin?

While the setup aspect of this being a stand alone software may seem like it is a real pain there is also some advantages of this being a stand alone software.

First of all your site is going to run faster because its not running on top of another system. As I said WordPress was designed for blogging. Sure you can change the way WordPress works with plugins but that still means you have to load all the WordPress code / functionality every time in addition to the code / functionality that your plugin uses. This is not the most efficient and it can make your site run slow. Since ShopExpress is a stand alone software that does not require an entirely separate software to load first it is naturally going to run faster.

Second of all there wont be any conflicts. A big issue with WordPress plugins is that they get written by different developers who know nothing about each other yet are expected to work together in harmony. As anyone with a WordPress site knows, this is often not the case. Plugin conflicts can and will happen. However since ShopExpress is not a plugin this is not an issue.

The final advantage is something that you might not notice as a end user, however it is something I can attest to as a developer. Writing WordPress plugins kind of sucks. The functionality of the software you write is often limited by the fact that it has to run ‘on top’ of WordPress. ShopExpress is easy to use and feature rich largely because it is a stand alone software.

But what about the software itself? Is it any good?

If you want to see a demo of what an actual store created with ShopExpress looks like you can click here to check out the demo site that the vendors put up for potential affiliates to test.

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When testing the admin area I found it well executed, easy to navigate and very functional. It would take a long time to go over all of the features of ShopExpress however there are two that really stand out that I feel are worth mentioning.

The first is the systems ability to automatically search for and add new products to your store. It does this completely hands off and that is actually the reason you need the CRON job set up. With this feature you can guarantee that your site continually gets updated with new products and new content. This way you can grow and expand your store without needing to do any additional work yourself. Personally I really like this feature. I think its going to be a huge value. It’s also a ‘functional’ feature. Adding new products is something you would likely want to do anyway. But by automating this you save the time of having to do it manually. If you go the route of having many nice stores this is going to be invaluable. Imagine having to update 10-15 stores every few days manually. That would really suck.

The second feature is the ability to have the software automatically make a post to Facebook (and other networks with the OTO upgrade) for the new products that get added to your store. This way you have a back links and a source of free traffic automatically as well as the ability to grow your store on autopilot.

Something I normally dont do is talk about the OTO’s:

.. and while I did not test them for this review I do know a lot of people like to at least know what they are before hand so I will at least tell you what they are. I cut the following graphic which explains the OTO’s from the ShopExpress affiliate page.

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So what do I think of ShopExpress over all?

Well I want to be clear. Very clear. Regardless of what the sales page video is going to tell you I don’t believe for one second that you are going to make a ton of money from one single affiliate site.Β  Also I asked them for a link to the Amazon site that they built to get this income proof from and they refused to provide it.

However even though your not going to get rich from a single site, you can make some money from a Amazon affiliate site. Amazon, Ebay and AliExpress all have large affiliate networks and I 100% for sure believe that the action takers on these networks do make money. The key seems to be to have multiple nice sites though that each make a bit of money which can add up to a decent amount. Fortunately there is an option to get an unlimited site license to this on the front end.Β  Further given that this system can actually grow each site with new products, posts and content automatically as well as post to social networks for you the sites you set up can really be ‘set and forget’. Though of course you do need to do the initial work of setting it up.

Because of this I’m going to say: If you willing to actually use this system, to set it up, and preferably create multiple niche sites with it, each centered around a specific type of product catering to a different type of potential buyer, you can make some good money that is largely passive once you set up all the sites. If you don’t take action with this and let the software sit on your hard drive than you will be wasting your money buying it. This is a well written and very functional software, however in the end the results you get with it are largely going to depend on the amount of motivation you have to actually use it.

 

approved

 

 

 

 

 

Bonus: So you want a bonus eh? Something nice and shiny to sit on your computer and collect dust, or better yet to distract you from setting up your stores and taking action on your ShopExpress purchase? Sorry not going to happen. While my #1 goal with this blog is to help people make informed purchase decisions a very close second goal is to help people as much as I can to make money online. Some bonus is not going to help you if you decide to grab ShopExpress, what is going to help you is taking action and setting up your stores.

 

 

A quick note about the reviews I do on this site. The product vendors give me access to their products for free in order for me to do my review. However I make no promises to them regarding the results of my tests or what I will write in my review. Should you click a link that takes you to a sales page for a paid product for sale this link will be an affiliate link and I will be paid a percentage of the sales price should you decide to invest in it.
Want to learn the REAL way to start a profitable online 100% for free? Watch the video below!

  1. James Reilly, 22 September, 2016

    lol I LOVE Your BONUS – Now Take Action

  2. Brett Rutecky, 22 September, 2016

    πŸ™‚

  3. Rob, 22 September, 2016

    Hi Brett,

    Thanks for the awesome review. Can I build a list using your mailit plugin on the sites built with shop express? I assumed I cannot because shop express is not wordpress, but wanted to check with you once. Please let me know,thanks!

  4. Brett Rutecky, 22 September, 2016

    Not sure how that would work given that this is an affiliate store, you dont get peoples emails.

  5. Michael Rytter, 22 September, 2016

    There actually IS a way to make really good money with even just one of these types of sites….. we fluked onto it 5 years ago when we purchased a small desktop machine online for our wood biz.

    SELL.HIGH.TICKET.ITEMS.

    We were so impressed with the machine, the painless purchase and the delivery right to our door, as well as the aftermarket support, that we threw an affiliate link up on one of our sites for the same machine…..and immediately sold 4 of these little $4000 machines.

    Even at 5% commission, we made $200 a pop, thus my feeling that high ticket items are the only way to make decent money as an affiliate for physical products. Unlike digital products in the IM or Clickbank space where the commission percentages are much higher, with low ticket physical items, you just need to sell too damn many to make it even worth your while…..

  6. Brett Rutecky, 22 September, 2016

    Great feedback Michael. To clarify though when I say ‘good money’ I mean $10K+, so you would have to sell 50 of those $4000 machines a month.

  7. Michael Rytter, 22 September, 2016

    Ha ha…ok….I give you the point! πŸ™‚

  8. Brett Rutecky, 22 September, 2016

    No man .. I was not arguing with you, you give a very valid point of view, that selling a higher ticket product to a hungry niche can bring in some good commissions. I really appreciate you sharing that tactic πŸ™‚

  9. Brad, 22 September, 2016

    Hey Brett,

    Great review! Thanks for all the setup details and hosting specs.
    This system seems like a lot of fun and I have a ton of ideas for niche stores.

    A couple quick questions… Does the software allow you to add products that meet specific criteria such as Prime only products, or only products from a specific brand? I’m worried that the automated product selection tool will just pull in anything with a broad generic keyword.

    Thanks again Brett,
    Brad

  10. Brett Rutecky, 22 September, 2016

    Im fairly sure that is is a keyword search only. I did not see any very specifics (though it is possible I missed it). Ill ask the vendor to come in and answer this question for you.

  11. Tony, 22 September, 2016

    Straightforward and to the point. Appreciated. πŸ™‚

  12. Tom Long, 22 September, 2016

    Thanks Brett…a clear, pragmatic, useful review. One could say you’re a lighthouse in the fog of copy. Really, one could! πŸ˜‰

  13. Brett Rutecky, 22 September, 2016

    Thanks for the kind words πŸ™‚

  14. Dan, 22 September, 2016

    Do they support different amazon stores? Like germany as well? Or is this only for the US store? Thank you

  15. Brett Rutecky, 22 September, 2016

    Yes it supports other stores.

  16. Yioti, 23 September, 2016

    Hello Brett and thank you for another great review. I wanted though to ask you mainly your opinion, what about the products that imported onto your site from any source amazon/ebay/ali and the prices are different from the actual item? I mean it could say in your site for example the price is $9.99 and when you click to buy it and go to amazon/ebay it could say $19.99. You can actually check this in their own demo site that the majority of the products has different price tag from the actual price. So is not accurate. Isn’t this somehow a bad thing for your store and your potential customers? Is like that you tell them lies just to push the button to purchase because is very good price and then they discover that the price is more expensive. Anyhow you get the point. I am sorry for my bad English but are not my primary language.

    Thank you in advance, Yioti

  17. Brett Rutecky, 23 September, 2016

    You dont set the prices. The price that is shown on your site is the one that is on the network your promoting.

  18. Yioti, 23 September, 2016

    Thanks for your answer Brett. Actually is not. If you have the time just to check the demo site, you should see by yourself that most of the prices in the demo site are different from the primary promoting network. Maybe for example the price could change on Amazon but in your affiliate site it stays the same as when you publish the product. And for that i need your valuable opinion. Thanks

  19. Brett Rutecky, 23 September, 2016

    Oh I see, there are a few products where the price is slightly different. I think you are correct it is from Amazon updating their pricing. Honestly I dont think this is going to make much of a difference though. The most important thing is that if anyone clicks a link on your site, they become cookied to your affiliate ID so if they buy you get a commission.

  20. Yioti, 23 September, 2016

    Great. thank you so much for your advice and time to answer me.

  21. Wayne, 30 October, 2016

    This is what happens when products shown on the affiliate sites are pulled from a data base instead of from the Amazon API. and Amazon has been known to ban affiliates who show outdated prices. Not sure why ShopExpress didn’t just put a ‘Buy Now’ or ‘More Info’ button and omit the price. Using a data base instead of the AZN API makes for lots of outdated info.

  22. Henry, 23 September, 2016

    How is this any different from Ecomify?

  23. Brett Rutecky, 23 September, 2016

    Questings like this are presumptouse because they assume I know about the product you want me to compare it to. I don’t.

  24. Grant, 23 September, 2016

    Hi Brett,

    Thanks for the review, just trying to get it clear in my head, would you install this on a domain and your niche sites would be sub domains?

    Thanks again

  25. Brett Rutecky, 23 September, 2016

    On your domain is going to be best.

  26. Grant, 24 September, 2016

    Hi Brett,

    Thanks, purchased through your link as a small token of my appreciation for what you do, also my hard drive is full of dusty stuff already. Looking forward to a weekend with Google and Filezilla

    Cheers

    Grant

  27. Brett Rutecky, 24 September, 2016

    Thanks πŸ™‚

  28. Brett Rutecky, 22 October, 2016

    30 sites at $12 each would cost your $360. If you dont have $360 to invest in a business than your not in a position to start a business. If you dont want to do it, than your not serous about starting a business and should just get a job.

  29. Jim, 26 September, 2016

    Hi Brett,

    This has got to be the most professional, honest review I’ve read up so far.
    Thank you!

  30. Jenny, 27 September, 2016

    I don’t know how you got the software to work Brett – I couldn’t get any of my domains to the completion stage. When I selected Design – theme or products – amazon – it would throw the page in to a 500 error.

    Blue host can’t help and say it’s the software. I’m sorry to say that I didn’t buy the software from you – I just found your review while looking for other people who may be experiencing the same thing. If you have any suggestions I would appreciate hearing them.

  31. Brett Rutecky, 27 September, 2016

    Sounds like a plugin conflict. You should try it on a site with nothing else on it.

  32. Paula Almeida, 29 September, 2016

    Hello Brett. Great review.
    What kind of training do you get with this product?
    Thanks

  33. Brett Rutecky, 01 October, 2016

    Not sure what kind of training you are expecting.

  34. ZH, 29 September, 2016

    Hi,

    What about the traffic, in their video they’re talking about traffic on autopilot. Does this mean that they’re driving their traffic to your niche site or that this software automatically posts on your facebook account which will drive traffic to your site?

    If you’re a newbie with 0 facebook or twitter followers you won’t be making money anytime soon. You can have the best software in the world but without traffic it’s of no use.

  35. Brett Rutecky, 01 October, 2016

    If your looking to make money over night you might try the lotto. If your looking to build a real business you need to accept that it takes time.

  36. Micah, 03 October, 2016

    Hi Brett.

    Is there any way to add a footer navigation links in the software?

  37. Brett Rutecky, 04 October, 2016

    If you have it, you can shoot them a support request as they will be the best ones to assist you.

  38. bertal, 07 October, 2016

    hi brett,

    just i have a question about shopexprsess.

    what is the difference between the ” unlimited stores” option and the ” license developer” ?

    so, i ask if i can purchase directly the ” license developer” to instal my stores and my clients stores too ?

    thank you

  39. Brett Rutecky, 07 October, 2016

    Generally a developer license means you can use a software on sites that you dont personally own.

  40. misa, 08 October, 2016

    Not working on shared hosting, can not install.

  41. Brett Rutecky, 09 October, 2016

    A more productive thing to do, besides posting to this blog, would be to send the vendors a support request πŸ™‚

  42. Wulf, 11 October, 2016

    Does the course give instructions in how to drive traffic to your web site?

  43. Brett Rutecky, 11 October, 2016

    This is a software not a training.

  44. Anthony Deeter, 11 October, 2016

    Have you thought about doing the installation work for people on this program, for a fee of course.
    I just don’t have the knowledge, time or patience for FTP, CRON etc.

  45. Brett Rutecky, 11 October, 2016

    Well first of all this is not my product, Im just an affiliate, also I would have to charge a few hundred dollars just to cover the value of my time πŸ™‚

  46. Wayne, 18 October, 2016

    If the demo you showed is what they offer, you can forget being indexed on Google for very long. They’re killing these thin affiliate sites big time. I’ve had a number of similar sites that had over 100,000 pages indexed and making good money til they de-indexed the entire sites. They seem to be on a mission..

  47. peaches, 21 October, 2016

    Hi Brett,
    Great review as always.
    One thing I would like to point out for anyone thinking of buying this software or any other that uses Amazon to have products on their site; unless you already have a full site up and running with great unique content, Amazon will not grant you Affiliate status. I have tried 3 times to be given an Affiliate status and each time Amazon has stated they are not willing to allow there to be mini-Amazon sites.
    Have you come across any issues like this just recently?

  48. Brett Rutecky, 22 October, 2016

    Nope I know several people with Amazon stores.

  49. Edward Byrne, 27 October, 2016

    Hey Peaches, do you know this for a fact. Have you bee turned down by Amazon?

  50. Edward Byrne, 27 October, 2016

    I bought Shop Express with the 2 upsells and installed it very easily using File Manager in Cpanel. It all works as described.

    I bought it principally on the promise of “viral traffic done for you”. I discovered what that means is ” we post new product updates to your own social media. Si unless you have a few thousand real fans on your page or 10 000 Twitter followers – viral traffic done for you is really – do your own viral traffic.

    14 “themes” are only 14 different color schemes, all pastel shades and virtually indistinguishable from each other.

    Communication with support brings brief and fairly useless replies from non native English speakers.

    Having read “peaches’ comment above I fear I will not get Amazon Aff. status if Amazon do check up where I’ll be trying to sell their products.

    It is a nice product in some ways but there’s little you can do to get any SEO going so Google is not going to help you either.

    Prepare to start spending lots of money on FB ads!

  51. Brett Rutecky, 27 October, 2016

    1) You should not base your decisions and opinions on the random comment of a unknown person.
    2) If you have to spend money on FB ads, so what? It does take money to run a business, and you are wanting to run a serous business right?

  52. Edward Byrne, 28 October, 2016

    Hey Brett – I’m a member of your Circle, so hopefully not completely unknown to you -:)

    Just an honest opinion based on my experience. I have no axe to grind.

  53. Brett Rutecky, 28 October, 2016

    All good brother, as you probably know I have no problems expressing my opinion .. lol , and as such I have no problems with other people doing the same thing πŸ™‚

  54. Edward Byrne, 28 October, 2016

    πŸ™‚

  55. Nick, 30 October, 2016

    I wanted to get shop express going on Bluehost. Is this possible cuz I’m having issues installing the package but even in their training video you can install in through host gator sooo…. help?

  56. Brett Rutecky, 30 October, 2016

    Nick, the best people to contact for support on Shop Express would be Shop Express’s support. While I did review the software I do not own it, I did not develop it, I dont do the support for it, and as a reviewer I am not an expert in its inner workings.

  57. james, 09 August, 2017

    hi everyone..

    I am new to this site and I really like this software and reviews are very good.I want to use this software and want to create my affiliate store with this software.

    can anyone please guide me what hosting plan I need and all other things before buying this software?

    Thank you

  58. Brett Rutecky, 09 August, 2017

    Any basic hosting will be fine for someone just getting started. As you get more traffic / success you will want to upgrade at some point, but thats nothing to worry about at the moment.

  59. Ana, 26 September, 2017

    Hi Brett

    It’s been a week from time I purchase ShopExpress. Having problem, every time I login it is stating on dashboard …Can’t reach the page or page is not secure. Its could be scam.

  60. Brett Rutecky, 26 September, 2017

    Well this is not my product so I cant give direct assistance. I assume you contacted the vendors support right? In the mean time try a different browser.

  61. Gordon Youd, 18 November, 2017

    Thanks Brett for an honest review.
    One question do i need a new domain for each new shop/store I create?

  62. Brett Rutecky, 19 November, 2017

    Ideally yes.

  63. Jesse, 10 March, 2018

    Hi Brett,

    I was going to purchase through link with the coupon code. But when I checked out, there’s no box to input the coupon code in. Do you know if your coupon code is valid? Or does it show up when I give them my paypal info? Thank you.

  64. Brett Rutecky, 10 March, 2018

    Probably not, this review is nearly 2 years old and the coupon code was limited time πŸ™‚

  65. Louis Williams, 13 May, 2018

    Live Raw And Uncut!

  66. Afam Ijekeye, 08 December, 2018

    Hi Brent,

    I am new to shop Express and in my research, I came across your unalloyed review. Thanks for that. My question is as regards setting up your bank/payment in shop express. Does it accept only paypal for settlement of commissions? For would be Amazon Affiliates where paypal does not pay/work, what are the alternate commission settlement platform that Shop Express supports?

  67. Brett Rutecky, 09 December, 2018

    You will have to contact the vendors for an answer.

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