Attendees at Shop.org Feeling Optimistic

September 22, 2009

All things considered, how do you feel about the upcoming holiday season?
In a text poll of the audience (retailers, vendors, and everyone in between) at the keynote, 62% are optimistic, 28% are pessimistic, and 10% are neutral.


Lots of Opportunities to meet SingleFeed at Shop.org!

September 18, 2009

SingleFeed will be at Shop.org so there will be lots of opportunities to talk data feeds!
1. Make sure to attend the 40+ Specific Things You can do session on Tuesday @ 3:15pm. It’ll be an awesome session with a TON of specific tactics for improving your sales. I’ll be speaking specifically about Google Product Search.
2. I’ll be hosting a round table on Wed @ 4pm about driving conversion on Google Product Search. I know, last session on the last day, but an intimate crowd usually means a great opportunity to dig into specific issues.
3. Ryan Douglas, Simon Mutlu, and myself have lots of meetings already scheduled, but we’d love to meet with any retailers to review your feeds, answer any questions about data feeds, show you SingleFeed’s awesome new reporting system (coming next month!), or just catch up. Just email me at brian@singlefeed.com or call/txt my cell: 310-699-2456. I’ll be there Sunday afternoon – Wed night.

Look forward to seeing everyone!
-brian


Free Flight to Shop.org Annual Summit for 1 Lucky US Based Merchant

September 9, 2009

Budgets have been slashed left and right. All merchants are trying to save money. Every dollar saved can make a difference.

I therefore wanted to offer 1 US based merchant a free round trip flight on JetBlue to Shop.org’s upcoming Annual Summit in Vegas. Shop.org is a great conference which offers a valuable opportunity for merchants to learn, grow, and network.

So, if you’re interested in a free flight, check out JetBlue.com to make sure they service your area, then send me an email at brian@singlefeed.com with your departure city and why you want to attend Shop.org.

Thanks!
-b


How to Succeed Online this Holiday Shopping Season

September 9, 2009

If you want some quick, actionable tactics for succeeding online this holiday shopping season, attend my Webinar, sponsored by Marin Software and hosted by Search Marketing Now.

The Webinar will cover a couple areas for internet marketing optimization: PPC Campaign, Comparison Shopping, Email Marketing, Analytics/Reporting, Conversion Rate, etc.

The Webinar is next Tuesday, September 15, 2009 @ 10AM PDT.  Register today!


M&A Activity in the Internet Marketing Industry

September 3, 2009

Will have more about these acquisitions soon, but at least wanted to make sure everyone was aware:

-Channel Intelligence acquires Vcommerce

-GSI Commerce acquires PepperJam


Guest Commentary – Colin Murphy Talks Walmart Marketplace

September 2, 2009

Colin Murphy is the Head of Account Management and Product Development at SingleFeed. Prior to joining SingleFeed, he worked for the comparison shopping website Become.com, where he developed and managed relationships with the company’s largest partners. At Become.com Colin was also responsible for defining product features and functionality aimed at improving user experience and increasing revenue generation.

On Monday, Walmart announced the launch of their “Walmart Marketplace” and we asked for everyone’s thoughts in our Yahoo Group. I had several and so I thought I would share:

There are certainly worse strategies for an e-commerce company to adopt than following in the footsteps of Amazon. Bezos’ crew seems to have figured out the magic e-commerce recipe. As such, the marketplace could be a profitable venture for Walmart. Buy.com went this route several years ago and now prominently displays offers from competing retailers via both their “Marketplace Buying Choices” and their “Also available from these other merchants” sections… with the former functioning like a typical CPA marketplace where Buy.com owns the checkout process and the latter functioning like a typical PPC, click-thru to the retailer model (I believe these results are syndicated from one or several of the CSEs). In any event, Buy.com’s implementation is not unlike Amazon’s “Selling on” and “Product Ads” programs… in fact, the implementation is almost identical. All of that said, if Amazon and Buy.com are doing it, it must be increasing their RPV. So, we know these programs can be successful and, given that they implement it thoughtfully, Walmart may find similar success.

However, there is a bigger question in my mind: is this good for the consumer? One could argue that if these types of 3rd party seller programs are profitable for Buy/Amazon/Walmart, they must be providing value to consumers, as well. After all, consumers have to make purchases through these channels in order for them to be successful for Buy/Amazon/Walmart and that means that consumers are finding what they want. On the other hand, my gut reaction when I hear that “Walmart is launching a marketplace” is: Is that really neccessary? Do online consumers actually need more options (especially when they are already at Walmart)? Or is Walmart just trying to make a few extra bucks off CPC/CPA charges from consumers who don’t know what they’re clicking on? I can’t help but think that this blurring of boundaries and content ownership is still just an exploitation of the average online consumer’s tech prowess. Here’s my guess as to what the purchasing process currently looks like for many online shoppers:

1) Start at Google and search for “product XYZ”
2) Click an AdWords result that takes them to a CSE/Buy.com/Amazon
3) Click away from CSE/Buy.com/Amazon on another PPC result syndicated from elsewhere (or even another AdSense result!)
4) This routes them to a different retailer or maybe even another marketplace
5) Maybe they then go direct to another site, back to Amazon or back to Google… rinse & repeat.
6) Eventually they end up at some retailer making a purchase

It’s an arbitrage game and everyone’s skimming a couple cents off of each click-through as the consumer hops around from place to place without any real brand loyalty or conscience idea of where they want to purchase a product (Granted, there are some brands and product segments that are not affected by this: if you are looking for a dell laptop, chances are you’re going straight to Dell.com). This may be a slightly pessimistic view of the e-commerece / online marketing space but, if it’s true, I have hope that it will change as consumers become more confident online and better understand how the system works. They will develop loyalty to certain retailers and certain marketplaces/shopping engines and go directly to the sites and the content that they want to see. If they aren’t already set on a specific offer from a retailer, the process should look like this:

1) Visit their comprehensive marketplace or shopping engine of choice where they can compare product offerings and drill down on interesting offers
2) Visit a retailer and make a purchase.

This is a much more efficient process and we know that the web drives us towards efficiencies. Once a consumer arrives at a retailer there shouldn’t be much additional value in offering them other outlets (ie: Walmart Marketplace). But maybe that’s just how I shop online. Finally, in my opinion Amazon is much better equipped to become (remain, rather) one of these primary destination marketplaces… as are some of the comparison shopping engines… but I don’t think its a winning, long-term strategy for retailers like Walmart.

I welcome all of your thoughts and comments.


Walmart opening up to 3rd Party Sellers

September 2, 2009

Just in time for the holiday shopping season, Walmart.com is opening up its doors to select third party sellers.  AuctionBytes, Internet Retailer, and WSJ have the scoop. Amazon’s third party sellers program is a huge success and there’s no reason to think that Walmart Marketplace can’t duplicate Amazon’s success.  This is an exciting opportunity for merchants.  CSN Stores, eBags, and Pro Team seem to be the first three Marketplace merchants, with more coming soon.

Besides Amazon and now Walmart.com, Buy.com (Buy.com Marketplace) and NewEgg (NewEggMall.com) also have third party sellers programs.

So what does the Walmart.com Marketplace experience look like? Here are some screenshots (click  to see the full size image).

Product page featuring a product from CSN Stores

You can click to find out more information

The cart lets you know the product is sold by a third party

Big notice once you continue – If you click Agree, you won’t see this message again

The fine print

Before you purchase


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 295 other followers

%d bloggers like this: