Publishers need detailed product data
The most successful publishers don’t use the product description fields
Data is power
CJ has 1700 advertisers
Publishers need detailed product data
Guess I should explain what I’m doing here…
I managed my first affiliate program back in 1999 for VarstiyBooks.com. During the bust, with my SEO and PPC knowledge in tow, I became a super-affiliate for a number of merchants. For a brief time in 2005, I unsuccessfully managed the Logoworks affiliate program.
I love affiliate marketing, because, as Michael Sanchez, CEO of ClubMom just explained, it’s all about performance marketing. Now anyone can back out a CPA or rev share number from a cost per click (CPC) campaign so you could argue that what the majority of the shopping engines are doing, charging merchants on a CPC basis, is fine. However, you quickly run into issues with merchants absolutely hating the shopping search engines because of low conversion rates. Merchants start whittling down their product list or more likely, merchants just give up on the channel (somewhat easy decision when Google Adwords is a much easier marketing channel to manage and can drive more volume).
Well, in this environment, it makes sense that you have Shopping.com testing out a revenue share system. It makes sense that Jellyfish is positioning itself as a cost per action (check out Wingo’s post and associated comments regarding Jellyfish and Shopzilla) network.
I’m definitely not saying that the shopping engines are going to change their revenue model overnight (and they can’t with big corporate parents depending on healthy revenue and profit), but there’s gotta be a lot of pressure. You have the CPA/RevShare model on one side and more comprehensive free shopping search on the other (ShopWiki, TheFind, etc.). Sure, Shopzilla is laughing all the way to the bank right now, but I’m confident their model will evolve considerably over the next 24 months.
So why am I here? Well, Shawn and Missy invited me (thanks!), but more to the point, the CPA/RevShare model is a powerful force in ecommerce and marketers love it. I was sitting next to a large multi-channel (stores, online, catalogs) marketing company in the keynote and spoke to him a little about his online marketing programs. Shopping comparison engines definitely is not the most beloved program he’s running. When your customers are not happy with your product – and there’s definitely a lot of tough love towards the shopping engines – there’s a great opportunity for someone else to innovate.
Affiliate Summit…random notes from Michael Sanchez’s keynote. This is not verbatim and should just be used as a guide. Contact Michael for exact details.
-Michael started Clubmom in 1999. Andrew Shue (Melrose Place) also involved.
-Raised more than $50m in VC
-Bulk of business for first 5 yrs was a loyalty program – moms would shop, fill out surveys, get points and redeem them. Added 100s of millions of dollars in revenue for our partner companies. Over the last couple years, we’ve shifted online – community/social networking. A couple months ago we launched CafeMom – social network for moms. Growing like weeds.
-Shawn Collins (head of Affiliate Summit) ran the original ClubMom affiliate program. Paid affiliates about $5m throughout the years.
-consumer is completely in control
-want to create and interact with their media
-must have a great product that consumers are excited about
-go fast, try stuff, repeat, iterate
-reach the right person at the right time with the right message
-awareness –> consideration –> qualified lead –> transaction –> loyalty/usage
-pay per lead – LendingTree – one of the reasons it works is that they’re providing a lot of data to the lenders
-sites like Upromise doing really well for marketers/affiliates
-social networks – huge opportunity
-pay for performance is the holy grail, but too many affiliates are not driving quality traffic, sometimes affiliates/marketers are not aligned on true metrics
-social network for moms to connect with friends – old and new, express themselves
-new members are averaging 100-200 pv/member results in $25-$50 in revenue/yr
-consider testing several performance structure and incentives
–check out what Glam.com is doing
-get more data
-Will pay an affiliate $1m by Mother’s Day if they can drive true performance
–looking to test program for 2-3weeks
–might be for qualified leads, page views, provide more data, people who return within 72hrs
Speaking of reviews…
Robin Liss, the force behind CamcorderInfo and DigitalCameraInfo is set to expand her empire to cover more consumer electronics products. Her new site, Reviewed.com will be ‘a new consumer electronics review network that will revolutionize how people understand, shop for, and use the latest technology and consumer electronics.’
I don’t love when companies claim to be developing revolutionary services this day and age – they usually just end up being a mashup of stuff we’ve seen before – but I expect a strong offering from Robin and her crew.
Oh, and she’s looking for a Managing Editor for DigitalCameraInfo.
Congrats to the Wize team on their $4m round. I haven’t really followed these guys, Retrevo, or the hodgepodge of other review sites enough to intelligently comment on if there’s something really interesting and useful emerging in the reviews/research aggregation space, but I guess it’s another area to look into. There’s definitely something lacking with the basic 4 star reveiws of the shopping engines, but I’m not sure if Wize is the alternative/answer.
And then there’s Become. If they’ve already figured out the crawling, how hard would it be to add an aggregated rating system?
Where you’ll find me the next couple months…
Affiliate Summit – January 21 – 23: Delving into the affiliate model.
Shop.org First Look – January 31 – February 2: With CI, CA, Bazaar Voice, Performics, PriceGrabber, Power Reviews, Shopzilla, and Traffic Leader sponsoring and speaking, I’ve gotta be there…although I still need to find a hotel.
SD Forum Search SIG – Moderating Comparison Shopping Panel – Yahoo! Shopping will be there…still selecting the other companies.
Channel Advisor Catalyst – March 19 – 21: Moderating Comparison Shopping Panel…still selecting the panelists with MJ.
Update: Sorry about the disappearing post. Ran into problems with Flickr so went over to Photobucket, but that ended up messing up the WP formatting…went back to Flickr.
Shopzilla is the only shopping comparison engine to truly take advantage of email newsletters. Must be an incredible $$$ maker for Shopzilla.
Impressive that they put this together less than 24hrs after the Golden Globe awards were announced.