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Commerce: Adding Multiple Revenue Streams

The Net not only evolves quickly, it also quickly evolves those that are on it. Take Yahoo! for example. Only a few short years ago, it was a simple web directory. Then it added email, games, investment information, white pages, and other services, and became a portal. In its latest incantation, Yahoo! has added online store hosting and has evolved into an e-commerce site.

Even e-commerce sites have evolved. Amazon.com once sold only books. Now they're selling movies, CDs, electronics, toys, games, and a variety of other products, chasing the commerce dream. And what dream are they chasing? It's called multiple revenue streams.

Multiple revenue streams goes beyond simple product sales. Adding streams to your site will leverage your site traffic and generate additional income. Here are some multiple revenue stream possibilities:

  • Product or service sales income. This is the main revenue stream of your web store. It's what you built your e-business around and should be your prime focus. It's the bread-and-butter of your business and should be your top priority.

  • Advertising income. After you've built up traffic to your site, you can consider turning some of that traffic into revenue. Advertisers are always looking for ways to get their product or service message out to potential customers. They know that placing ads on web sites that cater to shoppers who might buy their product is a wise way to spend their advertising dollars. Banner advertising can generate $5 to $75 CPM (cost per thousand impressions). That means you could earn from $.005 cents to $.075 cents each time an advertiser's banner ad is shown to your site visitor. It might not sound like much at first, but if you have thousands of site visitors viewing an ad, the dollars add up fast.

  • Referral income: Another income source is to refer your shoppers to another company's web site. These are the affiliate programs discussed earlier. You might consider referring your shoppers to a non-competitive merchant in exchange for a paid click-through or a percentage of the sale. Income can vary from 5 cents to $1 per click-through or from 5–20% of sales.

Develop several of these income streams simultaneously, and you can grow your site revenue beyond your product or service offers.

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