Email Bounces

August 31, 2006

Yes, I’m having trouble receiving email. If you got a bouncedback from me, could you forward the bounced email to ‘brian at brismi dot com’?

Thanks.
-b


Sprenzy Launches

August 31, 2006

Sprenzy quietly launched last week. Sprenzy works off of Shopping.com’s API. The company was co-founded by Chuck Lai, who was formerly in charge of MySimon’s product development (MySimon is a Shopping.com partner, so Chuck is fairly familiar with Shopping.com’s capabilities). Launching a site using Shopping.com’s API is not a big deal, happens every day, but there are a couple features on Sprenzy that are important to take note of because they significantly improve the user experience.

-Preventing unnecessary page loads/refreshes. Sounds little, but using AJAX/dhtml provides a much more pleasant user experience than clicking on a link and having to wait for a reload and search a whole page for the next link to click on. Sprenzy elegantly helped me along my shopping experience. Here’s an example. I clicked on Personal Audio under Electronics and the green module came up:

Sprenzy Ajax

-My Lists – while the functionality at Windows Live Shopping (you can just drag the product to the list), SortPrice (shop, drag, and drop) are a little better, Sprenzy’s My Lists ranks up there with Yahoo! Tech’s Save for Later function. These lists make the current list offerings from most shopping comparison engines look completely antiquated in comparison. Clicking the +My List button next to any product on Sprenzy automatically puts the product on a visible list on the upper right hand side of the page as opposed to the common alternative which hides the list behind some account page. Doesn’t it make sense that your wish list or window shopping list is right there in front of you?

Sprenzy My List

-Scharffen Berger Chocolate. Did Chuck know I have a slight chocolate addiction? Ok, the feature here isn’t chocolate, but it’s a pretty good shopping blog featured on the homepage (yesterday’s post happened to be about chocolate). Good to know that people are setting their inner blogger free! Lots of original content on Sprenzy’s shopping blog which will get picked up by the search engines…and surprisingly is pretty interesting to read.

There are a number of other features to take note of, but those made my top 3 list. Check out Sprenzy’s corporate blog for more information…a corporate blog…you know, for announcements (like the merchant center is down (Shopping.com) or we rolled back to a previous index (Shopzilla)) or cool new features. What a concept!


Danny Sullivan Leaving Search Engine Watch and Search Engine Strategies

August 29, 2006

More at Danny’s site.


Kaboodle Collage

August 29, 2006

Kaboodle released a number of new features today. I’ll get to the Shopping.com partnership this weekend, but I quickly wanted to let you know about Kaboodle’s new collage view. What a great way to view and share a set of products:

Related Posts:
Stylehive Raises $2.62m – July 25, 2006
From Download Squad: Dealplumber: a community-driven bargain site – July 20, 2006
From SiliconBeat: The locust swarm of bookmark sites – July 7, 2006
Kaboodling with eBay – June 10, 2006
Social Shopping – Increasing Clicks and Conversion – November 13, 2005


Yahoo! Adds 2 Shopping Shortcuts – Important for Yahoo! Product Submit Optimization

August 28, 2006

Yahoo! Coupon Shortcut

Last week Yahoo! released 2 new shortcuts. The first (example above), for coupons was picked up by Adam Viener of Revenews and I mentioned it in a Search Engine Watch blog post. In that post, I said that the comments on Revenews seem to suggest that Coupon Cabin is providing the coupon codes, but Chris Saito of Yahoo! Shopping told me they “aggregate coupons/rebates from multiple sources but haven’t released specific partners.”

Yahoo Cheap Shortcut

Chris also alerted me to a new ‘cheap’ shortcut (example above) for products which have been marked down in Yahoo! Shopping/Yahoo! Product Submit. Here are some examples: cheap digital camera, cheap mp3 player, cheap furniture.

As a consumer, I love both of these new shortcuts. The coupon shortcut saves me a ton of time clicking around multiple sponsored and organic links for valid coupon codes. The cheap shortcut gives me quick access to the sales rack at Yahoo! Shopping.

As a merchant advertising on the shopping comparison engines, including Yahoo! Shopping/Yahoo! Product Submit, I love that my sales have the potential for greater exposure through Yahoo!. If you’re a merchant, make sure you’re taking advantage of this new feature by filling out the ‘sale-price’ field on Yahoo! Product Submit.

According to comScore (found through Safa Rashtchy’s August 28th research note), “Yahoo! is the prior destination for six of the top ten e-commerce sites which reflects Yahoo!’s strong reach and prevalent usage.” These shortcuts are great moves by Yahoo! to control a bit more of the ecommerce pie.


A Little More Back to School Shopping

August 28, 2006

Bob Tedeschi’s E-Commerce Report this morning focuses on back to school shopping. He highlights Sears’ SimplyCollegeYears.com, Walmart.com (funny that there’s no mention of theSchool Your Way wreck), BestBuy (the Blue Shirt video tips are short, fun and smart), and Yahoo! Shopping (which I picked as having the best back to school mercandising effort of the shopping comparison engines).

Bob’s main point was that everyone chose this year to focus on the college student’s back to school experience. Makes sense considering this snippet from his article:

“According to the National Retail Federation, college students were expected to spend $36.6 billion on furniture, supplies and books this year, a 6.3 percent increase over last year, and more than twice the amount that parents of K-through-12 students would spend on back-to-school shopping. College freshmen will spend $1,152 on average, the trade group said, and 29 percent of all college students will do their shopping online this year.”

Two things that Bob and I talked about which didn’t make it into the article:
-A lot of sites (not just Y! Shopping) are offering ‘profiles’ of students and items which might match the taste of those profiles. Target.com is a great example of this with their ‘What Species Are You?’ campaign (Laundrius Rookius, Noodelus Rex, Hyperus Organizationus, etc.). The company has also integrated this theme into their TV advertising.
-No one hooked up with MySpace or Facebook for a large back to school promotion. Surprising, no?

Related Posts:
Think Different – July 31, 2006
Back to School Merchandising – August 6, 2006


OTAs? GDSs? Google Checkout

August 22, 2006

Ok, looks like I thoroughly confused some travel industry newbies yesterday warning that Google Checkout could become the GDS of ecommerce.

In case you’re interested in learning more about the current power struggle in the travel industry (and what happened when airlines gave in to the GDSs), check out this guest post by Mike Fridgen of Farecast over at VerticalSearch.net.


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