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  1. 1. 3813810-64008-446532-137160Market AnalysisBy: Laura Allahiari-74369754454-451485683196541741656832497 <br />Table of Contents<br />Company Description<br />Core Competency and Competitive Advantage…………………………..3-4<br />Competitive<br />Competitor Analysis……………………………………………………………………4-5<br />Current Status of Prospective Competitors…………………………………..5<br />Competitive Barriers…………………………………………………………………….6<br />Main Points of Difference…………………………………………………………7-8<br />Customer Description<br />Customer Analysis…………………………………………………………………..8-9<br />Segments……………………………………………………………………………………9<br />Appendices……………………………………………………………………….10-16<br /> Market Analysis<br />Company Description<br />LIke.com is a visual and price comparison search engine that “launched in 2006 from the remains of Riya.”(1.12) Recently the company has been acquired by Google for a projected 100 million dollars to “improve image search capabilities.” (1.11) The company’s product lines consist of clothing apparel, accessories, and home décor. LIke.com uses an internet based marketing strategy that integrates retargeting and pay-per-click programs. A retargeting strategy stores cookies from viewer’s computers and saves them in a database. When viewers browse the web, the database with the stored cookies uses ad heavy sites to direct ads for previously searched items. “The company raised around $50 million in three rounds of funding,” (1.12) after being bought by Google. LIke.com has “launched new properties such as Covet.com, a personalized online shopper, and we've acquired sites such as Weardrobe.com, a user-generated fashion magazine on the web.”(1.16)<br />Core Competency and Competitive Advantage<br /> LIke.com was the first to bring “visual search to shopping and the first to build an automated cross-matching system for clothing” (1.6) according to the CEO, Munjal Shah. Their core competencies from being the first company in this new emerging e-commerce marketplace is due to their brand specific product lines, unique differences to local markets, high quality items, and a more structured and easily accessible webpage. Like.com’s products are the biggest competitive advantage compared to their competitors because they are partnered with well-known designers whose products are usually inaccessible via retail stores. The company generated an e-marketing strategy that incorporates consumer driven product needs that can be met with the tools of visual search engines that are brand specific. The products advertised through like.com’s visual search engine are unique to the market because its competitors are not partnered with the amount of top-designers like.com is affiliated with. This limited competition provides like.com a huge advantage to take the bulk of the market share and remain a leading competitor in the marketplace.<br /> In addition, like.com has also devised a strong and consistent technical system that provides ease to current and prospective consumers visiting the site. Navigating from one page to the next is simplistic and when a consumer identifies a product they wish to purchase, the retailer/designers landing page is quickly accessible, clear, and takes them to the checkout location. These characteristics of a webpage layout are essential because it can increase customer satisfaction which then has the potential of increasing customer sales and flow through good word-of-mouth. Like.com uses an integrated marketing strategy that consists of retargeting, pay-per-click programs, and ad heavy advertising. This strategy is another competitive advantage for the company because it creates a unique marketing technique that stores consumers purchasing behaviors in a database that can be analyzed to forecast future potential marketing strategies and target segments. According to International Marketing through McGraw-Hill Irwin, “information is considered to be the key component in developing successful marketing strategies and avoiding major marketing blunders.” The usage of retargeting creates an abundance of valuable information that can help maintain an effective strategy and avoid any potential uncertainly risks associated with the target audience.<br /> <br />Competitive<br />Competitor Analysis <br />The visual search engine market has hundreds of competing companies that share similar characteristics. For like.com, thefind.com and become.com are seen as the most comparable companies that are competing against them.Queenofcheap.com can also be viewed as a minor competitor, however, due to its minimal competitive advantage in the marketplace a competitive analysis will not be made for the company. Both, like.com and thefind.com were listed as being two of the “top 100 alternative search engines.”(1.21) A competitive analysis of each company was developed to assess their current marketing strategies in the marketplace and any points of difference they may have over like.com.<br />Thefind.com is a discovery shopping search engine targeting lifestyle products such as apparel, accessories, home and garden, fitness, kids and family, and health and beauty. According to CEO Siva Kumar, “It helps shoppers find every product from all the stores, along with all the coupons, reviews, store information, local addresses, and more, that you would need when you actually shop. We save you time and money when you want to buy something online, or even if it's at a local store.”(1.22) Thefind.com is a privately owned business that is and has been funded by ventured capital for five years now. They, like like.com’s retargeting strategy, use a crawler to crawl current and prospective consumer’s websites to obtain information and data. Kumar’s motives for beginning the company began when he continually viewed his wife’s frustration while shopping online. He saw a problem and wanted to find a solution. Thefind.com’s core competency when compared to like.com is their substantial increase of unique traffic inflows to their site and their major boost in yearly change.<br />Become.com is a product price comparison service and discovery shopping search engine with a mission to help shoppers make ideal buying decisions. The company targets popular products such as electronics, home, garden, computers, cameras, clothing, health, beauty and more. Starting in 2004, their mission was to create a site that was in the middle of general search engine sites and price comparison sites that would make shopping online for new products and services easier. Become.com also has a product research engine that consumers (shoppers) can use to find exactly where they are looking for. Like thefind.com, become.com’s core competency over like.com is their substantial unique traffic. The company also has a powerful increase in their monthly change that beats that of both like.com and thefind.com.<br />Through market research, a future competitor for like.com that could emerge is Pixsta or Empora.com. The main reason why this similar visual search engine is not a competitor in the marketplace currently is due to its location. Empora.com is focused in the UK and although they use visual search in the exact same manner as like.com, they cannot be competitors in the same geographic market. In addition, their competitive advantage over like.com is minimal due to their major decrease in monthly and yearly change in consumer trafficking to the website. (1.24, 1.25) Pixsta’s core competency however is based on its software’s ability to reach “beyond the current text-based approach to search by automatically extracting visual content from images. We can organize large image collections into hyperlinked networks of visual similarity, so that users can browse the network to find images that come close to what they want, and also spark off new searches."(1.26)<br /> Current Status of Prospective Competitors<br />Like.com’s competitors have a larger target audience due to their expanding product lines. Where like.com is a visual search engine specifically for clothing apparel and home décor, thefind and become have a wider selection of products that have been previously identified. Thelike.com is in the lead of unique visitors coming in at 9,096,035 a good 8,226,549 more visitors than like.com and become.com comes in second with 3,857,096 unique visitors.(1.14) Based on a monthly analysis, become.com has a 3.74% positive projection in the amount of traffic the site is obtaining compared to like.com’s -36.89%. The exact figures of profitability are not disclosed to the public; however, the more traffic to the site increases the opportunity for an increase in sales and revenue. Thefind.com shows an overall yearly increase in unique visitor traffic at 61.56% compared to like.com’s -22.30%. Indicated in the table below are additional strengths and weaknesses that distinguish core competencies and competitive advantages for each company. <br />1252427-154761689100-146050-60325-515620Core Strength First to bring virtual search to shoppingMake every product, store, sale, coupon and discount, instantaneously available to shoppersAsia Expansion PlanGoing international by entering Japan(1.28)Secondary StrengthgCPC programs which are used to analyze data more effectively (1.17)Helps shoppers find lowest prices, best deals, or hard-to-find items ROI Tracker Integration & Bidding System(1.17)Next StrengthUnique and Brand Specific Product linesOver 320 million products from more than 500,000 stores and online merchants Coupons Over 25 million products from 5,000 merchants Biggest WeaknessNo entry store locations Product Overload- too many products to search throughInformation Overload(1.27)<br />Competitive Barriers <br /> <br />The major competitive barriers that affect like.com are bounded by the usage of technology and the amount of consumers reached through this medium of communication. Today’s society has drastically shifted to an internet-based economy, which uses the internet to access numerous sources of information. However; not everyone has been integrated to this system of ecommerce or has access to use this channel of distribution and communication. The barrier that affects like.com’s competitive outreach is their dependency on whether or not the target audiences can be reached via the internet, since there are no in-store locations. This barrier can also limit the company’s progression and profitability because if the target audiences are unreachable through this medium of communication, their overall marketing strategy and mission are ineffective. The access to the distribution channels to current and prospective consumers is limited to one major source of communication and those target audiences that have limited or no access to the internet are unfortunately unreachable. This dependency of internet access also has a major impact on like.com’s scope. Scope can be identified as the “space for movement or activity; opportunity for operation.” (1.29). As discussed above, the space for movement and activity is limited to one source of distribution. <br />An in-depth case study completed by Nir Kshetir discusses the different economical, cognitive, and sociopolitical barriers associated with ecommerce and competitive business models. “Research has suggested that a slow Internet diffusion in developing countries has led to a low IT business value measured by performance and productivity [23,24]. Barriers associated with the lack of economies of scale in small developing countries are widely recognized.” (1.31) The above statement applies restrictions to the possibility of expanding like.com internationally due to the slow internet speeds in developing countries. Another economic barrier is the unavailability of credit card usage, which more than often is the main source of payment via the internet. Several other countries use a cash-based system as means for purchasing products and services and due to like.com being a sole ecommerce company, the ability for these developing countries to be part of the scope is unrealistic. Some cognitive barriers include consumer’s lack of awareness and knowledge of technology and if doing any business internationally, language barriers can also be seen as a disadvantage. For those countries and consumers who have access to the internet and use ecommerce as a means to shop for products/services, sociopolitical barriers will still have an impact on their purchasing behavior. A major sociopolitical barrier discussed in the case study was the “inadequate legal protection for Internet purchases.”(1.31) The combination of economical, cognitive, and sociopolitical barriers can impact like.com’s ability to enter the international market and their ability for profitability.<br /> <br />Main Points of Difference<br />Like.com has distinct points of difference when compared to its competitors including brand specific product lines, unique differences to local markets, high quality and higher costs, and a more structured and easily accessible webpage. Compared to thefind.com, become.com, and queenofcheap.com, like.com’s most obvious point of difference that sets them apart is the quality and costs of their product lines. The company serves as a visual search engine for top well-known designers from all over the world, most of which do not sell their product lines in local retail stores. The product line includes brand names that have reputable brand image and equity due to their high quality, usage by celebrities, and long lasting reputations. Their pricing strategies, top-of-the-line brands, and ease of the webpage creates a unique difference to local markets because they are making products consumers want but are difficult to come across available via the internet. Consumers who use like.com’s webpage know what type of product-lines and designers they are affiliated with and the price tags attached to each item. This is important because it can be a sale’s forecasting indicator of traffic to the website in correlation to sales. The competing companies also have a wider range of products that include: technology hardware, home & garden, electronics, and sporting goods and this can account for the substantial difference in unique visitors. (1.12, 1.13) When a company increases the various products they sell, they open up new target audiences because different products target different consumers. (1.14)<br />Another major distinct point of difference is the size of brand names. Thefind.com has a little over 100 affiliated retailers and distribution companies that sell similar clothing apparel products including retail stores like walmart.com, kohl’s, and bass pro shops. Like.com has over 600 different brands from well-known designers. The difference is that the thefind.com’s visual search engine targets retailers and local businesses, where like.com’s visual search engine helps consumers find unique/specific designers.<br />Good/Service Comparison-5569113719-6149213718-4155613719**Price Comparison(low, moderate, high)HighModerate- HighLow - ModeratePerceived Quality(low, moderate, high)HighLowModerateMarketing/salesAdvantagesGoogleContract outside companies like Threxy(1.18)Twitter & phone apps.Uses other companies for data updates and effective target marketing(1.19)Becomebot CrawlerEase of Navigation of Webpage(easy, moderate, difficult)EasyModerateEasyBrand Names(top designer vs. retailer)Top designersTop designers through RetailersTop designers through retailersProduct-LinesClothing Apparel, Home DecorAny ProductHome & Garden, Electronics, Computers, Cameras, Clothing,  Jewelry, Health & BeautyUnique Visitors869,4869,096,0353,857,096<br />** Prices are not exact due to the differences in products**<br />Customer Description<br />Customer Analysis <br /> LIke.com uses their visual search engine to target consumers who prefer to shop for clothing apparel and home décor via the internet and consumers who are interested in comparing prices on related brand names. The apparel has a product line for all seasons during the year, with 683 well-known brand names such as: Armani Exchange, BeBe, Calvin Klein, Crocs, Chanel, and Gucci. LIke.com uses click through, which directs the consumers to the retailer’s page to complete their purchase and checkout via online shopping carts. The price, brand, and colored-image of the product are all indicated for each item on the site, which allows the consumers to know specifications about the product they are interested in purchasing before being directed to the retailers webpage. The home décor products found on the site include everything from Yankee candles to utensils used for cooking purposes and the purchasing strategy is the same as the clothing apparel.<br /> LIke.com has a multi- consumer relationship structure. Most online shopping sites focus on a transactional relationship with consumers because the seller and buyer usually have no direct communication and little if any follow-up is done once the sale is completed. Although LIke.com shares characteristics of transactional relationships, the company also shares characteristics of relationship marketing. As previously discussed in the analysis, LIke.com developed a retargeting strategy that stores consumer’s cookies in a database. This database tracks prospective and current consumers shopping habits, purchasing power, and searches through keywords. This advanced data helps marketers identify how to target audiences more effectively and what products each specific consumer purchases, which ultimately builds brand loyalty and increases customer satisfaction. In addition, LIke.com has recently launched multiple sites such as: Covet.com; that has a “personalized online shopper,” (1.6) Coutiurious.com; a visual styling studio, and a site for algorithms. These resources give adequate attention to consumer’s needs and wants. This is important in consumer relationships because it builds loyalty, trust, and confidence.<br />Segments<br />Marketing Research done through Quantcast identified the current customer segments that exist for LIke.com as being females from the age of 18-49 that are in households with children. The average income of LIke.com viewer’s ranges from $30,000 and above, with an even distribution of college and no college experience. Additional marketing research done through Alexa supported Quantcast’s results by stating “Relative to the overall population of internet users, Like.com appeals more to women; its audience also tends to consist of childless, moderately educated Caucasians earning over $30,000 who browse from work. About 53% of visits to the site consist of only one page view (i.e., are bounces).”(1.30) The company’s product line is geared towards all demographic audiences included in the above depiction; however, their future segment opportunities can increase their male and younger audiences by developing an addition or revision to their current marketing strategy to make these prospective segments reachable. According to the Terms displayed, “This Site may be accessed from countries other than the United States. However, this Site may contain products or references to products that are not available outside of the United States.” (1.6) This presents another future opportunity for the company to enter the international and global markets more definitely because they maintain an e-marketing mix that enables anyone with the World Wide Web to access the site. This opportunity could greatly increase sales and provide them another competitive advantage of entering this market with limited competitors. (1.1)<br />Appendices<br />Appendix 1.1- Quantcast LIke.com Audience Profile<br />http://quantcast.com/LIke.com<br />US Demographics<br />Updated May 2010 • Delayed - Next: Oct 2010 <br />Income represents total household income.100 index is internet average.<br />Appendix 1.2- Brafton<br />Custom News Marketing<br />http://www.brafton.com<br />Appendix 1.3- TechCrunch<br />http://techcrunch.com/2010/08/20/its-official-google-acquires-like-com/<br />Appendix 1.4- The Forsyth Review<br />The Latest Online Marketing Strategy<br />http://theforsythreview.blogspot.com/2010/05/retargeting-latest-online-marketing.html<br />Appendix 1.5- Like.com<br />Privacy Policy<br />http://www.like.com/privacy.py<br />Appendix 1.6- TechCrunch<br />http://techcrunch.com/2006/11/08/riyas-likecom-is-first-true-visual-image-search/<br />Appendix 1.7- CrunchBase<br />http://www.crunchbase.com/company/like<br />Appendix 1.8- Little About<br />http://www.littleabout.com/Techno/google-buy-like-com/98224/<br />Appendix 1.9- InformationWeek<br />The Business Value of Technology<br />http://www.informationweek.com/news/software/web_services/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=226900091<br />Appendix 1.10- 9T06 Blog<br />Google Snaps Up Visual Search Engine Like.com<br />http://www.9to6.com/2010/10/google-snaps-up-visual-search-engine-like-com/<br />Appendix 1.11-Mashable/Business<br />Google Buys Visual Shopping Search Engine Like.com<br />http://mashable.com/2010/08/20/google-acquires-like-com/<br />Appendix 1.12- Compete Traffic to Site Graph<br />http://www.compete.com/m/graph_to_image/like-com-become-com-thefind-com/uv/1y/big/<br />Appendix 1.13- Compete Traffic to Site Graph<br />Prospective Competitors<br />http://www.compete.com/m/graph_to_image/become-com-queenofcheap-com-thefind-com/uv/1y/big/<br />Appendix 1.14- Compete Monthly Metrics<br />LIke.com vs. thefind.com vs. become.com vs. queenofcheap.com<br />Monthly Normalized Metrics/ September 2010<br />Unique VisitorsMonthly ChangeYearly ChangeLike.comWeb Portals and Search869,486-36.89%-22.30%Top Search Terms(7,349 Terms)Referring Sites: 683Sites Sending More Traffic: 524Sites Sending Less Traffic: 170Referring Categories: 85Top Destination Sites (1,065)Google.com, Yahoo.com, Bing.com, Facebook.com, Zappos.comTop Tags:Search, Buy, Compare, Find, Products<br />Unique VisitorsMonthly ChangeYearly ChangeThefind.comWeb portals and Search9,096,035-0.29%+61.56%Top Search Terms (96,169 Terms)Referring Sites: 5,155Sites Sending More Traffic: 4,656Sites Sending Less Traffic: 531Referring Categories: 158Top Destination Sites (16,340)Google.com, Bing.com, Amazon.com, Yahoo.com, eBay.comTop Tags:Buy, Chic, Compare, Fashion<br />Unique VisitorsMonthly ChangeYearly ChangeBecome.comWeb portals and Search 3,857,096+3.74%-24.16%Top Search Terms (22,677 Terms)Referring Sites: 2,941Sites Sending More Traffic: 2,598Sites Sending Less Traffic: 374Referring Categories: 159Top Destination Sites (4,534)Google.com, Yahoo.com, Bing.com, eBay.com, Ask.comTop Tags:Buy, Compare, Find, Pro<br />Unique VisitorsMonthly ChangeYearly ChangeQueenofcheap.comMiscellaneous1,969+0.56%-59.45%Top Search Terms (4 Terms)Referring Sites: 9Sites Sending More Traffic: 8Sites Sending Less Traffic: 1Referring Categories: 4Top Destination Sites (13)Hairstylezone.com, Diabetic-mart.com, Pricellow.com, Ultimateplrstore.com, Tmz.comTop Tags:None<br />Appendix 1.16- LIke.com<br />http://www.like.com/aboutus.py<br />Appendix 1.17-eTail dTail<br />http://www.etaildtail.com/weblog/experts-guide-to-channel-marketing/<br />Appendix 1.18- Threxy, Inc<br />http://www.threxy.com/clients/thefind/<br />Small projects net big value for companies in need of quickie apps. The Find is a technologically advanced, intuitive search product in need of tools to market their business online. The Find is one example of the smaller projects Threxy enjoys working on. This client contracted Threxy to create a series of applications, including one holiday Facebook application that would help users become familiar with The Find product. The result, in this example, was a holiday themed, brick-and-mortar search tool on Facebook to find specific products available to the FB users.<br />Appendix 1.19- Become.com/ Our Friends<br />http://www.become.com/about/friends.html<br /> <br />Appendix 1.20- ThreeLeggedToad<br />http://www.3leggedtoad.com/content/view/26/28/<br />Appendix 1.21- The Top 100 Alternative Search Engines<br />http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/top_100_alternative_search_engines.php<br />Appendix 1.22- Practical ecommerce<br />http://www.practicalecommerce.com/articles/2098-TheFind-com-CEO-We-Index-Every-Product-from-Every-Store-<br />Appendix 1.23- CB Insight<br />http://www.cbinsights.com/c-cc225865b743ecc91c4743259813f604<br />Funding Information - Participating Investors<br />InvestorInvestor TypeLocationParticipating RoundsBay Partners Venture CapitalPalo Alto, CA Series A, Series B, Series CBlueRun Ventures Venture CapitalMenlo Park, CA Series A, Series B, Series CCrosslink Capital Venture CapitalSan Francisco, CA Series CFirst Round Capital Venture CapitalWest Conshohocken, PA Series AGoogle  Mountain View, CA AcquiredLeapfrog Ventures Venture CapitalSeries A, Series B, Series CMenlo Ventures Venture CapitalMenlo Park, CA Series C<br />Appendix 1.24- Compete<br /> Comparing Potential Future Competitors<br />http://www.compete.com/m/graph_to_image/empora-com-like-com/uv/1y/big/<br />-45148548895<br />Appendix 1.25- Compete<br />Like.com vs empora.com<br />http://www.compete.com/m/graph_to_image/empora-com-like-com/uv/1y/big/<br />Unique VisitorsMonthly ChangeYearly ChangeLike.comWeb Portals and Search869,486-36.89%-22.30%Top Search Terms(7,349 Terms)Referring Sites: 683Sites Sending More Traffic: 524Sites Sending Less Traffic: 170Referring Categories: 85Top Destination Sites (1,065)Google.com, Yahoo.com, Bing.com, Facebook.com, Zappos.comTop Tags:Search, Buy, Compare, Find, Products<br />Unique VisitorsMonthly ChangeYearly ChangeEmpora.comMiscellaneous1,439-55.28%-22.30%Top Search Terms(9 Terms)Referring Sites: 2Sites Sending More Traffic: 1Sites Sending Less Traffic: 1Referring Categories: 2Top Destination Sites (3)Google.com, Yahoo.com, Bing.comTop Tags:No tags<br />Appendix 1.26- ReadWriteWeb<br />http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/pixsta_visual_search.php<br />Appendix 1.27- VentureBeatProfiles<br />http://venturebeatprofiles.com/company/profile/become-com<br />Appendix 1.28- Search Engine Journal<br />http://www.searchenginejournal.com/becomecom-shopping-search-enters-japan-market/3220/<br />Appendix 1.29- Dictionary.com<br />http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/scope<br />Appendix 1.30- Alexa.com<br />-580689242865http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/like.com<br /> ReachChangeYesterday0.01500+50% 7 day0.01200+6% 1 month0.01170-16% 3 month0.02150+51% <br />Percent of global Internet users who visit like.com:<br />Appendix 1.31- Science Direct<br />http://www.fanaee.com/trans/Ecommerce14.pdf<br />