Merchant Advantage Increasing Sales Through E Commerce Marketing A Solution
PURPOSE OF DOCUMENT
This document was created to provide an introduction to eCommerce and mobile commerce (“mCommerce”) and show the ongoing
need by thousands of on-line businesses (“eCommerce Sites”) for the MerchantAdvantage Software Platform as both markets
continue to grow globally.
Brief Introduction on eCommerce Merchants:
No matter the size or sophistication of an eCommerce Site, the business issue is the same: How
do you generate more traffic/eyes on your Web site, resulting in sales?
Businesses start the process by creating a Web site. Some businesses spend tens of thousands
of dollars creating the ‘perfect’ Web site through third-party technologies – or building it
themselves - while other businesses spend very little money. Regardless of the path chosen to
establish an eCommerce Site, everyone realizes that after building their Web site, that unlike ‘brick
and mortar’ establishments, not a single customer/client walks or drives by your Web site, decides
to walk through the doors, and make a purchase. The ONLY way a potential customer arrives at
your web site is:
A. If they physically type in the domain name/URL (example: www.mysite.com), OR
B. Click on a link somewhere on the Internet that redirects then to your eCommerce Site.
Therefore, to drive customers/clients/eyeballs to their product offerings all eCommerce Sites first
focus on the two most widely accepted marketing methods in online marketing/advertising called
SEO and SEM.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
Refers to improving a web sites’ natural/organic ranking in the search engine results pages on numerous search engines as Bing,
Google, and Yahoo! . This means that when someone goes to a respective search engine to find information they go to the search
navigation area and type, as an example, “Nikon Camera”. When the listings appear for this search eCommerce Sites want their site
to appear in the list of links. This is often a cost effective method of generating traffic to an eCommerce Site, but does require work.
Often, to ensure that your eCommerce Site is in the top 10 or 20 listings for a given search most people hire a professional Web site
development third-party resource who will “optimize” the eCommerce Site for SEO purposes. This process usually takes the better
part of a year to achieve decent listing results in any search engine.
SEM (Search Engine Marketing)
Refers mainly to paid text related advertisements, that appear on a normal search engine results page either above or to the right
of the aforementioned SEO listed eCommerce Sites, as a result of businesses buying associated “key words” that closely match
the original search term of the potential customer. These “key-words” are purchased from the said search engine (Bing, Google
or Yahoo!) as pay-per-click (“PPC”) advertising and appear as text advertisements linked to an eCommerce Site on the page
associated with that search term. This translates monetarily to the eCommerce Site paying the search engine a PPC fee every time
a customer clicks on your displayed advertisement.
Brief Introduction on eCommerce Merchants - Continued:
Every eCommerce merchant starts out with an SEO and SEM = Comparison Shopping Engines and Marketplaces; the most
strategy to build their brand presence and drive traffic/eyeballs notable of which include: Amazon; eBay; PriceGrabber.com;
to their eCommerce Site. But what other methods of online Shop.com; Shopping.com; Shopzilla.com; and Yahoo! Shopping.
advertising exist to increase brand exposure and generate more What most people don’t know is that eCommerce Sites can
traffic/eyeballs even more? generate over 20% of their Web site traffic/eyeballs and
Simultaneously, the focus in any industry and business strategy customers utilizing these Online Shopping Malls - it is the best
is to figure out the best methods to increase one’s Return on Ad kept secret in the industry and growing, as witnessed by Sears,
Spend (“ROAS”). In other words, where do I get ‘...the biggest Target, and Walmart introducing their own online shopping malls
bang for my advertising dollar.” which are open to thousands of eCommerce Sites to sell their
A complimentary online marketing strategy to increase ROAS products – to compete with the traditional giants of Amazon and
has emerged in the form of the world of Online Shopping Malls eBay.
Comparison Shopping Engines (CSEs)
Websites whose main goal is to allow customers to compare prices on searched-for-products sold by various online eCommerce
Sites. Most comparison shopping engines are merely listing agents and do NOT offer the merchandise directly to the customer.
Instead, CSEs ‘re-direct’ potential customers who search on the CSE for products the eCommerce Site is selling. For the combined
“listing of products”, “introduction”, and subsequent “re-directing of traffic/eyeballs” to an eCommerce Site the eCommerce
Site pays the CSE a ‘commission’ or pay-per-click fee. Some of the more popular CSEs include: Google Product Search; Like.
com; NexTag; PriceGrabber.com; Shop.com; Shopping.com; Shopzilla; and Yahoo! Shopping. When a potential customer uses
these sites, one first searches for a product and then product listings from various eCommerce Sites (which includes image, price,
description, etc) are presented to the potential customer. When a customer sees a product listing that interests them they click on it
and are re-directed to that eCommerce Site of interest. Once on the eCommerce Site the customer completes the transaction.
These Website are similar to CSEs but for the fact that at the final stage of purchase the transaction occurs on the Marketplace
without re-directing the customer to the eCommerce Site. Merchants display products on the Marketplace site and, if interested
in the product, the customer purchases it on the Marketplace site with the eCommerce receiving the order from the Marketplace
and fulfilling that order as a drop-shipper to the customer. Examples of these sites include: Amazon; Buy.com; and GoDaddy
The Problem Explained = Opportunity:
The problem/opportunity is that there are 200+ CSEs and complexity of retrieving this necessary information, there
Marketplaces across the Internet. Some are large and well are hundreds of ecommerce and mcommerce shopping cart
known like Amazon, Buy.com, eBay, NexTag, Shopzilla, technologies used by eCommerce Sites to run their Web
etc…while others are niche sites that focus on specific sites and each of these technologies provides the product
products Greenzer.com (eco-friendly and organic products) information/data in a slightly different format. Therefore, step
and eFurnity.com (furniture) or GolfPricer.com (golf related) one of the process for all eCommerce Sites is to figure out how
and GourmetFoodMall.com (gourmet food, specialty food, to get the information out of their shopping cart technology
gourmet gift baskets). There are literally hundreds of “online system and export that data to a third-party.
shopping malls” sites and each one requires a specific and Second – eCommerce Sites need to review and understand the
unique technical process to work with them and send required technology requirements of the specific CSE or Marketplace they
product information in order for the eCommerce Site to display want to work with and list their products. Usually, the bigger the
their products and work effectively with each CSE and/or CSE or Marketplace – such as Amazon or Buy.com - the more
Marketplace. complex the rules are for how the data must be presented in
And, in order to make this all work efficiently, there are two order for it to appear correctly on their online shopping mall. It is
distinct processes that any eCommerce Site must resolve to not unusual to receive a 6-10 page technical document outlining
work with these “online shopping malls.” the requirements to work with individual CSEs and Marketplaces.
First – eCommerce Sites need to retrieve on a daily basis all And…
of the relevant product data out of their existing shopping None of these technical documents are the same, and
cart system- a partial list of information needed includes: All of the documents are complex, especially for the
quantity available; image; marketing description; list price; sale mid-sized eCommerce Site.
price; UPC code; size info; key word information, specialized
information required by some CSEs; etc. To compound the
The problem/opportunity for MerchantAdvantage should now be emerging!
So, how do:
A. Thousands and thousands of eCommerce Sites in the USA B. Schedule product catalog data feeds to and from the
and Europe take their product catalog data, that resides in eCommerce Site and “online shopping mall” on a daily basis,
unique formats within specialized shopping cart technology sometime hourly basis, to ensure that what is listed on the
platforms, and have the ability to feed this product catalog data “online shopping mall” is exactly the same as what appears on
to “online shopping malls”, that have their own unique technical the eCommerce Site?
platforms and methods for accepting and listing product catalog
The Solution: MerchantAdvantage’s Channel Management Tool Set
MerchantAdvantage has created the industry leading marketing tool that empowers and enables any eCommerce Site
– large or small - to:
Upload, send and manipulate their product catalog data, in almost in any format,
Import it into the MerchantAdvantage proprietary Channel Management Tool, and
. Export that information to 200+ different online shopping malls across the Internet.
In addition, the tool has the ability to track every click and purchase that occurred as a result of their online shopping mall marketing
campaigns and retrieve product statistics and graphical reporting down to the product level, in real time.
MerchantAdvantage takes the guesswork out of the technical process to work with any online shopping channel and gives eCommerce
Sites hard statistics and essential marketing feedback information to evaluate the entire business cycle and to make prudent business
decisions with their online advertising and marketing budgets.