Tips from Chicago Search Engine Strategies - Part 2

You may also like these articles :

Tanya Martin

The next session that I enjoyed was Shopping Search Tatics at Search Engine Strategies. Chris Bowler, Media Director and Search Practice Lead at Itraffic.com, Laura Thieme, President and Founder of Bizresearch and Craig Snyder EVP of Marchex were the speakers. Detlev Johnson, President of Technology, SuccessWorks Search Marketing Solutions, moderated the Forum.

I have chosen to go over Mr. Bowler’s part of the session. This was by far one of the best speakers I had heard all day. Probably because it wasn’t as much theory, it was based on a client case. He gave detailed enough facts that you could understand and grasp the shopping engines potential.

Chris Bowler went over a client case “Barrie Pace”. A little about Barrie Pace:

* Barrie Pace offers women’s designer and exclusive career, business-casual, and special occasion fashions

* Sold $23 Million in apparel online in FY2004

Barrie Pace uses customer email, search engines, online advertising/direct marketing and shopping engines to obtain sales.

Mr. Bowler then went over why you should use shopping engines. This is because you are placing the products in front of shoppers that are already transacting. He also provided this chart on shopping engines:

http://www.tanyamartin.com/shopping-engines-traffic.jpg

Source: Nielsen Netratings, October 2004

So far a pretty convincing case to why you should use shopping engines to promote your products.

Mr. Bowler then discussed the shopping engines that Barrie Pace partnered with. These were Amazon, Altura/Catalog City, Froogle, AOL Shopping and Shopping.com.

Next he went over some tips for the shopping engine newbie, these were:

1. Determine your financials

2. Crawl, Walk, Run!

3. Shopping Programs do not run themselves

4. Adjusting your feed is critical (a feed is a data file with your product details, product name, prices, product images all in one file, usually line by line .txt file)

5. Store Feedback is invaluable

Determining your financials questions you should ask yourself and analyze:

What’s your overall budget for shopping?

For Click-over Shopping Engines (pay per click engines):

* What’s an allowable bid price:

By brand?

By product?

For Transactional Shopping Engines (engines that you pay per sale or percentage):

* What’s an allowable commission?

Including returns?

Without returns?

How will returns be handled?

During the Crawl, Walk, Run part of the presentation, Mr. Bowler suggested you start with something easy to setup. Shopping.com he said were the easiest to setup, price and manage. Mr. Bowler stated if you can produce a feed quickly that setup could occur in a few weeks.

Mr. Bowler also suggested that Amazon was one of the hardest to setup. They require 29 forms to be filled out before you can begin. He also said it took 2-3 months to setup with Amazon.

Shopping engines do not run themselves Mr. Bowler now went over this giving more details, like if you choose 4-5 shopping engines to partner with it will take 1-2 hours of staff time a day. This is ongoing. Staff in charge of the shopping engines will have to daily go over the following:

* Monitor feed upload and product display

* Pull-down Store reviews / feedback

* Resolve customer problems

* Track Sales, Fulfillment, Returns

These shopping engines will all need to be monitored and adjustments will need to be made. He gave an example of some items using the same images. When you build a shopping site you can have several choices for size, color, etc. In shopping engines they list the sizes, colors, etc separately. So you have the same image for several items.

Mr. Bowler also provided a snapshot of feedback on Amazon. He stated feedback is invaluable and someone should be reviewing feedback often.

Mr. Bowler ended by giving some tips for succeeding:

1. Track results at the product level

2. Take advantage of operational and customer service emails

3. Shopping sites will buy your brand keywords in search – beware!

4. Advertising – more visibility

5. Partner with the newer engines

Notes: The following is a list of shopping engines that were mentioned during this session:

* Yahoo Shopping

* Shopping.com

* Amazon.com

* MSN Shopping

* Froogle

* MySimon

* Nextag

* Dealtime

* PriceGrabber.com

* AOL Shopping

* Altura

* InStore

Also mentioned were:

Bizrate.com and Resellerratings.com

About The Author

Tanya Martin, Director of Internet Marketing at Over The Mark, LLC - http://www.overthemark.com has been involved in Internet Marketing for 7 years and who publishes a daily seo blog at http://www.overthemark.com/seoblog/ and has a Online Forum at http://www.dmof.com

tanya@overthemark.com

Author Info:

Back