Question about a "web mall" and how it will effect SEO

basically the old website, which as many many different types of products, is being changed into a “web mall” type website. The products, based on industry, will be broken down into about 10 different “categories” that will actually be leading to different domain names that still contain the name of the company.

REASON: the main selling product is very small and if the customer purchases over a certain amount of them, the shipping is free. if they purchase a large item on the same order the shipping would not calculate to be profitable. So, im thinking the larger items and the other items that do not sell as often will be on a completely separate domain with a separate checkout.

Question #1:

IS THERE A WAY TO AVOID THIS? I would like to have all of my items on the same domain, but I want to offer the FREE SHIPPING on ONE type of item only…when the customer buys a certain amount of that product.

Question #2:

Will this effect google’s perception of my store? Since the main domain will have cross-links to the other “sub-domains”, if you wanna call it that, im thinking this wont be negative SEO

Question #3:

Do you think the customer would be fed up? Confused? I know if they want to buy the small items to get the free shipping, they might also want a bigger item too… but its not profitable to ship the large items for free… in fact its the opposite :frowning:

SO… they would in theory, they would have to place a separate order on the other “sub domain” website for the large items and have to proceed with a separate shipping, order, checkout, all that…

Im looking for any suggestions and adivse if this is a good idea/bad idea…


(Thread moved to eCommerce section)

The problem sounds to me like your back-end logic needs a bit of work. I can see no reason at all why you would need to separate out the large and small items for the customer interface. Any half-way decent system should be able to cope with variable postage prices with one of the possible values being zero. It should be able to cope with the idea that if the customer buys A, with free postage, and B, with postage at $5, the total postage will be $5. As should the customers themselves. As long as you make it clear for each product what the deal is for postage, I don’t see why there’s an issue.

If someone orders large and small items together, and it’s cheaper for you to post them separately, post them separately. It may be a good idea to add a note in the purchase process to say that items may be dispatched separately where it’s more efficient or cost effective to do so, just to avoid customers being confused when only half the order turns up, but that’s no big deal at all.

Thank you! I would like to do that I think… I’m using magento so I’m thinking that should be do-able. But If I cant get it to work, the main domain (which currently has all of the items) will be converted into a “web mall” of sorts/portal/whatever you want to call it to link to all of the other domains… I can’t get a confirmation from google or any of their forums if there would be a penalty… The domain lands on the first page for a lot of keywords and I don’t want to start from scratch. It would be nice to achieve the web mall type feature and not loose my credibility with google… should they be sub-domains? or does it matter to them?