The economy stinks, which means a lot of merchants are cutting back. In some cases, this means completely pulling a marketing channel. More often than not, even if the shopping engines are a ROI positive channel, I think that they could quickly end up on chopping block. Even after being around in their current state for 5+ years, the shopping engines still haven’t made it easy for merchants to get up and running and succeed. Google AdWords is the gold standard for ease of use, flexibility, level of traffic, quality of traffic, and technology. So when a merchant looks at the time needed to succeed on the shopping engines and remembers the pain they went through because one of their product listings was featured on a syndication partner and got $3000 worth of ‘curiosity’ clicks in one day, it’s no wonder that a big red line goes through shopping engines.
But wait. Assuming that you have some resources at your disposal, take that pain and frustration and channel it into a positive experience on free, no cost, and low cost shopping engines.
Sortprice is in the low cost category. As opposed to its bigger bretheren, Sortprice does not charge the normal PPC fee, but rather a flat monthly rate (the company also has a free program to get merchants started). If the merchant gets 5 clicks or 1000 clicks, the merchant still only pays the flat monthly rate. Less risk. Less stress. Not a bad thing when everyone is telling everyone else to slash costs. And while the traffic and resulting sales will not make your business, it’s not going to hurt it either. At least worth a test.
And if the flat rate isn’t enough of a selling point, you can use Sortprice as an entry point into Facebook. Sortprice creates a free version of your store on Facebook…maybe you’ve heard of that site…gets a bit of traffic. Anyways, there have been no runaway successes in the ecommerce app space on Facebook, but Sortprice’s application is an easy way for a merchant to dip their toes into the Facebook waters. Merchants basically get a replica of their store on Facebook. Then they can link to it from their profile pages and spread the word.