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Online Shopping with a Cause

Guest Peace

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I've created a website called http://www.shopoutmalls.com It is an online shopping mall of some of the best online stores and services combining brick and mortar and online exclusive companies. While all that is fine and dandy, I have only two goals, 1: Make a profit, naturaly. 2: Of that profit Donate 35% to a worthy cause. Currently my causes are 1) Operation Support Our Troops 2) Doctors Without Borders 3) The Nature Conservancy.


My average commission is 11.52% but it can go as high as 35% and as low as $0.10. I split 35% of my commission evenly among the Causes and the average donation based on a $100 sale will be $1.35 to each cause.



While the site is currently online, I am still adding to my categories and some are either empty or have only 1 store. You must temporary disable extensions like AD BLOCK to view the site properly as I use advertisement banners as my store banners.


I'd like to know what everyone thinks of my online business.

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Guest MAJ.Kaossilator=US=

Online retail is ambitious. You're going head-to-head with some rather large companies who are, of course, dumping $M's into their online marketing and business deployment since that is what online retail is all about.


I like how well you've thought out the Goals part of the business model, as well as how to accommodate your personal interests and stay invested in the project.


However, I have to ask the toughest questions you can ask when formulating a business model.. What makes this business unique in the face of online "crawlers" that make just about any product available without needing a profit margin directly passed on to the consumer? I'm thinking about Amazon, Buy, and Overstock as the heaviest hitters. How does this stand apart? What is the draw to using this site versus ones more well established?


None of that is meant as either attacking the idea or yourself, but if you've zeroed in on a flaw in the industry or some service that isn't currently provided, then that's definitely of interest. The E-Commerce sector is enormous, and only getting bigger. There's a lot of money in it, you just need to make sure you have a way to tap a unique spot in that market rather than fall into the trap of replicating what's already being done.

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Guest RET.CW4.ThievingSix=US=
You also need to be careful with your second goal. I wouldn't consider starting to donate any money until you've stabilised your business. You'll need your entire profit margin to widen your market and as a means to protect yourself from a downturn. You shouldn't ever have to dip in to you own finances once the initial start up is over. Once you have a balance of say $15k(made from profits), then you can consider the second goal of donating 35% of quarterly sales to your causes, because you have some means of support.
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Well you both have expressed very well addressed opinions and I can answer them both at once and I wish to thank you for the comments.


My uniqueness is that I am openly donating a portion of the sites profit margin as an incentive to purchase with me instead of another source. While it is true one should focus all of their profit margin on widening their market until they reach a safe balance of $15k as ThievingSix pointed out. I have arranged other sources within my business network to accomplish that.


Currently I have a branding expert http://jasonbowser.com

My cousin http://projectpr.com/about_us great with public relations

And various other friends and family in my network.


Also my overhead at the very moment is $7.18 a month. I have vehicle magnets for display, SEO optimization 100/100 score! I just need to work on meta tags to get higher ranking on the search engines. I read an article saying meta tags aren't much help yet every keyword I've contemplated for my website and searched with google, bing, yahoo, ask, the first in the list is not a big company and has matching meta tags thanks to my html source extension. I just need to finish my layout and add the meta tags to all my pages and run another SEO of site map, blacklist, links, and what not and I should be in the top 10. If I'm not I got 2 great members on my team to help with it but so far I've done most everything on the web design end my own.


Thank you again for the comments!

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