Shopping Search Tactics

Mar 1, 2005 - 3:27 pm 0 by
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Learn how content from you ecommerce or merchant site can and should be included in shopping search engines. Laura Thieme is first to present she is going to look at the space of shopping search engines relating to detailing tracking and ROI. So how do you track shopping search ROI? She gives some examples on various retailers who are tracking in Bizrate. She asks when you should pull your products out of the shopping engines. Is the ROI effective to the point for which it justifies you needing to track further or can you make decisions based on the information you have. What do you do if you have poor ROI? Watch sales to expense ratios. Note increasing prices in some categories. Take surveys which are critical in shopping search. Consider adding store logo or phone number. Next, take a good look at your interface, rankings, and pricing. These could be contributing to poor sales performance. Also ask your sales rep for records on improving conversion rates.

Poor data feeds can cause a problem, such as missing pictures and information. Also, very good tip, do not force you visitors to register on your website. This will most likely stop the buying process for the user, unless they are determined to buy the particular product. You also need to be competitively priced and research the field. Also missing pictures are not good. People are sometimes visual learners, give this to them.

Next was Brian Mark from he is going to give an overview of what worked for him and what didn�t. The reason they decided to use the shopping search engines was because they didn�t have very good SEO on the site and also not many links. He says that many of the sites like Bizrate will give you links for your listings. He recommends trying to target �value� shoppers. He also realized that in his category there was a large amount of competitors in the serps.

The 4 steps they decided to implement. Throw caution to the wind, scale back the data, and track, track, track. Find a way to develop technology to properly target the exact way to present to the shoppers. He presents a large amount of engines that he uses to promote his site, such as Froogle, Bizrate, NexTag, Amazon, etc..

What they did for throwing caution to the wind. They listed every possible product they could on every shopping engine. Some of the problems was that it was expensive, too many products. The scaled back, and found the best ROI engines used to determine products to feed. They limted the feeds to most every shopping site. Bizrate performed the best for them. They had a high ROI, but fewer sales. The scaling back needed fixing. Each site is unique and has a particular possibility which should be looked at in detail. He next created a spreadsheet to track the ROI for each of the engines. This provided very useful to them. They tracked for 2 weeks with all products in every feed. Started to turn oof products at 2 weeks that had seen substantial traffic but no sales. He ends that you need to trim as needed, and be careful about it. Analyze the landing page, how the phone sales are being performed. After 3 months they evaluated ROI. They found for every dollar they spent in the beginning it returned $1.10 back. Performed more tweaking and ended with for every dollar spent with the shopping search engines they got back $2.50.

Craig Snyder from Marchex is going to present some data on the shopping search engine space. He says that each year shopping online is growing 25-30% each year. He shows a graph on the rise of retail e-commerce sales. Over the last 203 years the dollar spending has doubled. It�s realized to consume that this business is still in it�s infancy. He also shows data that shows during and after the dotcom bust the propensity for people to buy online was consistent and increased. He also says that people are happier buying online, satisfaction is very high. They can ship packages faster because the overhead is lower. He also says that their may be a shake out like what happened with Altavista and Excite eliminated some players from the industry. What shifts have they seen? For example a year ago people said you would never buy diamonds online or cars. That is all untrue. What started out as an electronic market for men online has turned to encompass a wide variety of people. If you are dealing with feeds for the search engines, those feeds have other implications with the search engine. Be sure to look for non-standard oppourtunities in the space. Something else to consider is that when you are bidding on a shopping search engine its not the same as standard PPC engines. To recap key points they have seen aggressive growth in the industry, completeness and placement are key, and shopping complexity is large so you need to be informed.

MonsterCommerce is here with Stephanie Leffler, CEO presenting some good information from the many sites they have reviewed. She begins with a conversion rates. You will need to know what you conversion rate is and how you can improve conversions rate.

9 Tactics to Boost Sales 1. Page title tags are the first impression people will get from your website. Shipping rates and specials are important to put in the title. 2. Site search. One area we may not consider, but increases in sales from site searches has dramatically risen. See if they are buyer friendly. If you see problems or something you don�t like, fit it! These do require some technical know how to implement so get help. Also, be sure to log each of the search queries. 3. Buy vs. Add to Cart. The text on �add to cart� button is very important. Add to Cart works best. Studies indicate that Add to Cart is way more effective than �Buy Now�. 4. Testimonials. Add testimonials near add to cart and checkout buttons. Constantly collect testimonials. Offer incentive to get testimonials. 5. Shipping Specials. Offer free shipping if you model allows it. Free shipping is king. She says that shipping with conditions seems to perform a bit better than just plain free shipping (source: Bizrate). 6. Stock information. Anything you can do to create a sense of urgency is important. Let me know the how many is left. 7. Company Polices. Create clearly worded policy pages. The absence of clearly marked company information, return, and privacy polices. 8. The Fold. People do not scroll! Buttons should be above the fold. CoreMetrics saws that if the final submit button is above the fold, and will prevent abandoning the shopping carts. 9. Product Descriptions. Traditional sales is not dead. Retool product descriptions to describe benefits, rather than relying on the manufactuters description. Example: Johnson�s Baby Shampoo, 5 oz. Bad description that doesn�t say much.

Don�t go home and do all these things at once. Implement them slowly. I am very impressed with her presentation. I am sure she could fill a whole presentation on just several of those points.


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