Competitive Blogging – Shopping.com now DoorOne in Europe

September 27, 2006

Update: Ina Steiner of AuctionBytes has more details.

Scot Wingo ‘scooped’ me (the funny thing is though, I think we’re part of a very small subset of bloggers who don’t care about being ‘scooped’).

He found DoorOne.com – which just seems to be a re-branding of Shopping.com’s European ops.

Scott’s guess is that Shopping.com didn’t acquire the related European domains…and is now forced to launch a different, but at least consistent face throughout Europe.


Shopping.com’s New Look

September 27, 2006

The new look that I spotted back on September 11 is now fully rolled out.

To me, the big point is that there are no comparison listings above the fold. It’s all about graphical advertising/sponsorships. Does this mean that companies like ShopWiki, TheFind, Windows Live Product Search Beta, Google Base, and Pronto (all companies focusing on comprehensiveness as opposed to just monetizing every single click) have it right?


Holiday Shopping at Google Base

September 25, 2006

Google’s been making a lot of moves to prepare for the holiday shopping season: removing Froogle from the homepage, ramping up Checkout, adding simple reporting to Google Base, adding attribute refinements to Google Base, and now it seems the company will be driving shoppers to Google Base (or put correctly, whenever a search is done for a product this holiday season, Google will show shoppers a second search box which will take them to Google Base results). This news came out of the recent PESA meeting in SF.

Danny at SearchEngineWatch just posted a nice roundup of the shift in emphasis from Froogle to Google Base.

So now’s the time to get your Google Base feed in order. If you’re looking for more information about submitting to Google Base, check out the links below. Also, if you’re a small or medium sized business without a ton of technical resources or a ton of cash, and want a simple way to get on Google Base with a solid feed, email me (‘brian at singlefeed dot com’) for an invite to SingleFeed Beta. Remember, it’s not just about submitting your products to Google Base, it’s submitting the right feed to Google Base. Data feed optimization really does make a difference. Besides SingleFeed, make sure to consider Channel Advisor, Channel Intelligence, Performics, Marchex, Mercent, RedZoneGlobal, etc.

Related:
Google Checkout Now Appearing on Froogle Results – September 12, 2006
Google Base Optimization – Why Those Attributes Matter – September 4, 2006
Google Base Reporting – August 15, 2006
Froogle No Longer on Google Homepage – August 10, 2006
Google Checkout Update – August 6, 2006
Froogle Changes – July 31, 2006


Chutes and Ladders – ShopWiki, Scripps Interactive

September 22, 2006

ShopWiki hires CMO…
-Shoshana Zilberberg-Winter
And so it begins. ShopWiki is going to expand marketing efforts, work on the user experience (thank you!), and start branding. Shoshana comes to ShopWiki from Audible. Before that, she was VP of Marketing and co-founder of Sixdregrees. Before that, she picked up lots of branding experience working for Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners. ShopWiki and Shoshana have a nice challenge ahead of them. I’m not sure if a branding campaign is what ShopWiki needs right now, but I’ll be happy to be proved wrong. First step is to improve the UX…a lot of potential there as ShopWiki isn’t forced to optimize for click revenue right now.

Scripps names Director of Content & Marketing for Interactive Unit…
-Adam Symson, 31
After the quickly put together, but nonetheless successful cross promotion of Shopzilla throughout the Scripps Network last year, it makes a ton of sense that Scripps is naming an executive to “assist the company’s interactive businesses in their implementation of branding strategies as well as act as a liaison between the interactive media division and other Scripps media properties to help with coordinated branding efforts.” What a cool job with tons (and tons) of potential. Symson was formerly the Director of News Strategy and Operations for the Scripps Television Station Group. Hopefully Shopzilla will finally take advantage of that Snoopy connection.

Related:
Official Scripps Symson press release – September 21, 2006
Official ShopWiki Shoshana press release – September 19, 2006
Chutes and Ladders – August 12, 2006


New Social Shopping Sites

September 20, 2006

With less than 5% of retail transactions taking place online, there’s room for growth in online shopping. And I think some radically different concepts are called for. Social shopping could be one of those concepts…especially a social shopping site run by women. Is social shopping a business or just a feature? We’ll see. I’ve talked about Wists, Kaboodle, and StyleHive. Here are three recent entrants to the market.

ThisNext – “Every product on ThisNext is picked by the ThisNext community (That means you!). You can organize your picks into product playlists we call shopcasts. Our goal is to help people discover great and deeply gratifying products.” I will take a closer look soon…funny story, I interviewed with Gordon Gould (ThisNext’s CEO) way way back in the Silicon Alley boom days.

Crowdstorm – “A new way to help you find what to buy by measuring the buzz around products.” Christopher Scollo details who Crowdstorm is for here, here, and here.

Zebo – “The platform that gets shoppers together to access the best-selling products at the best price. We bring products from various sellers under one roof! From apparel to wine cellars, bird houses to lace back jumpsuits , ZEBO has it all! You can browse through pictures, specifications and prices of each product from a galaxy of the finest brands on offer.” Zebo is built off of Zedo’s ad technology. Supposedly has 4m users. Thanks to Robert Leathern for the tip.


Where’s Brian? SingleFeed Beta.

September 20, 2006

SingleFeed has launched! SingleFeed is an online self-service data feed management, submission, and optimization company. No matter what level of experience you have with data feeds, we can save you time and money working with the shopping comparison engines. Learn to love your feed. SingleFeed.

Whenever I go off the grid for a week, I get a healthy handfull of emails asking if I’m still alive or telling me that I need to post more often. Sorry for the lack of posts and yes, I’m still alive.

I’m spending a lot of time preparing for the launch of SingleFeed. While I’ve been involved with a number of start ups, this is the first where I’m in charge. There’s a lot of work to be done (that’s an understatement) and there always will be (another understatement). I have new found respect for all entrepreneurs (like my Grandfather, Father, and Brother). If you have any interest in entrepreneurialism or start-ups, Frank Addante’s blog is a must read.

Unfortunately, SingleFeed had some server issues that kicked our ass over the last week. Because my team is a stickler for quality of service, privacy, and security, we decided to beef up our servers and switch dedicated hosting providers. Took longer than expected. To all you very cool beta testers, I’m sorry. You’ll get a full update tomorrow. This past week of pain will only make SingleFeed a stronger company in the long run.

This is an amazing learning expereince, and I’m psyched that SingleFeed is starting to really come together. While I respect the guys at Channel Advisor, Channel Intelligence, Performics, Mercent, Marchex, RedZoneGlobal, Vendio, and the many many other data feed management/eBay seller/multi-channel management companies out there, there’s still a ton of opportunity to help small and medium sized merchants get up and running quickly and easily on multiple shopping comparison engines and deliver extremely high quality feeds to the shopping engines.

eBay Store sellers alone represent an incredible opportunity. Definitely check out Ina Steiner’s recent AuctionBytes survey. A little commentary from buySAFE here. Interesting that Scot Wingo hasn’t really delved into this topic…probably happy with his cozy relationship with Google.

Expect a public beta release of SingleFeed before my NY Mets sweep the National League Division Series!


Different Products to Different Engines?

September 12, 2006

Merchants…could you tell me if you send a different product set to each shopping engine you work with?

Thanks. Since no one likes to comment: you can reach me at ‘brian at comparisonengines dot com’.


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