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One of the cool things about is that it creates a nice hub for your customers, community, fans, and followers.  And one aspect of a hub is often e-commerce (some common providers include Shopify and Bigcommerce).




Here are some ideas for integrating your third-party e-commerce content into your community:


Custom Menu Item

Make a direct link to your e-commerce store using a custom menu item (or submenu). First copy the URL to your store, then in the control panel, click Community Menu. Click Add Menu Item, and fill in title and URL as desired (this is where you would add submenu items as well).


Custom Page

If you really want to pull your e-commerce content within your site, set up a custom page.  Put whatever HTML code you wish on the custom page, and decide whether you want to wrap the navigation around it or leave it standalone.  


Embed E-commerce Items into a Custom Widget

If you'd like to highlight specific items you have for sale, consider creating a custom widget.  Many e-commerce systems will offer pre-made widget code for you to copy and paste.


These same ideas would work well for pulling in content from your customized merchandise store (like CafePress or Zazzle).  Don't forget to match your theme and your e-commerce theming for a consistent branding experience.


Are you selling merchandise on your site?  How are you handling integration issues?




Image: images_of_money via Flickr creative commons license.


I'd love to hear your thoughts here in the comments, or connect with me on Twitter.


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