Internet Retailer Conference and Exhibition


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This is a talk I gave with Peter Cobb of eBags in June of 2010 about Comparison Shopping Engines.

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  • Over 80% of your sales will come from an ecommerce channel
  • Customer-focused team with execs from:, LL Bean, Samsonite, eToys
  • - Be sure to regularly evaluate poorly performing models and remove them from your feed in order to improve efficiency
  • Internet Retailer Conference and Exhibition

    1. 1. Putting the Changes at Comparison Shopping Engines to Work for You Scot Wingo, ChannelAdvisor CEO
    2. 2. <ul><li>Overview of Comparison Shopping Engines (CSEs) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>CSE Landscape </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Changes from CSEs in 2010 and beyond </li></ul></ul><ul><li>eBags - CSE Case Study </li></ul><ul><ul><li>eBags Background </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>eBags and CSEs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>CSE Best Practices </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Q+A </li></ul>
    3. 4. <ul><li>Forrester – 55% of online shoppers influenced by CSE </li></ul><ul><ul><li>ChannelAdvisor ‘assist’ technology shows this is true </li></ul></ul>
    4. 5. <ul><li>Google search changes have put pressure on the CSEs </li></ul>
    5. 6. <ul><li>CSE 1.0 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Vintage <2000 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Product catalog driven </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Usually very electronics oriented </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>CPC </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Stagnant, little to no innovation since 2006 timeframe </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Primarily acquire traffic from paid-search </li></ul></ul><ul><li>CSE 2.0 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Vintage >2006 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Variety of models to enhance experience/business </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Reviews (Ciao) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Social (Pronto) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Traffic/fun (Jellyfish) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>BizModel (CPA ) </li></ul></ul></ul>
    6. 10. Shopping Engines All Categories Apparel Consumer Electronics Health & Beauty Home & Garden Sports & Outdoors Tools & Hardware Toys, Baby & Hobby Amazon Product Ads 3.90% 3.20% 3.10% 3.30% 4.70% 3.10% 7.80% 5.00% Nextag 3.10% 3.20% 4.30% 6.70% 2.30% 2.50% 1.70% 4.60% Google Product Search 2.60% 3.80% 2.60% 1.30% 3.60% 2.00% 1.60% 2.70% Bing Shopping 2.60% 1.20% 3.60% 7.50% 2.00% 1.60% 2.20% 2.30% 2.50% 2.30% 6.10% 1.60% 1.90% 2.60% 3.70% PriceGrabber 2.70% 2.70% 2.80% 4.20% 2.60% 1.50% 1.80% 2.20% Shopzilla 2.80% 3.20% 3.00% 4.80% 2.50% 2.00% 1.90% 2.50% 3.20% 4.00% 3.70% 4.30% 2.90% 2.00% 2.30% 3.40%
    7. 11. <ul><li>There are more changes coming in 2010-2011 than past 5 years </li></ul><ul><li>CSE 2.0 companies becoming top 10 – CSE 1.0 companies lowing share rapidly y/y </li></ul><ul><li>Overall focus on coupons, product reviews and updated user-interfaces </li></ul><ul><li>Some consolidation: Pricegrabber took over Yahoo! </li></ul><ul><li>Will some of the next-generation mobile CSEs be the platform that consumers adopt on smartphones? </li></ul><ul><li>PriceGrabber is introducing sku-level bidding </li></ul><ul><li>Bing is ending cash-back </li></ul>
    8. 12. Optimizing Comparison Shopping Engines Peter Cobb Co-founder, SVP
    9. 13. eBags Overview <ul><li> launched March 1999 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Luggage, Handbags, Laptop Cases, Backpacks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>500 brands, 40,000 products </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Shipped over 11 million bags to date </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Drop-ship model </li></ul><ul><li>2 million customer reviews </li></ul><ul><li>Frugal marketing spend </li></ul><ul><li>CSEs range from 12-25% of sales per month </li></ul>
    10. 14. Relationship with CSEs <ul><li>Involved with 14 CSEs </li></ul><ul><li>Direct weekly contact with 9 CSEs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Weekly calls to discuss performance and set expectations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Feed revisions </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>New ideas to optimize </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>3 month strategy review/outlook </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Large CSEs are key, but don’t forget small guys </li></ul><ul><ul><li>,,, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Direct contact key to meeting performance goals </li></ul></ul>
    11. 15. Relationship with CSEs <ul><li>Be an Early Adopter </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Competing against mega-retailers with high awareness and $$$ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Participate in “Betas” to get first mover advantage </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>You want to be site they come to first with new idea </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Need to weigh impact on IT resources and assess probability of success </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Share internal data with CSEs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Discuss KPIs and site performance data to level-set </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>eBags reporting sometimes differs from CSEs </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>ROAS, sales, traffic, conversion rates </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Encourage CSEs to tweak mix to increase performance </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li> can highlight “top 20 products” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Get higher quality CSE affiliate traffic mix </li></ul></ul></ul>
    12. 16. eBags Engine Mix
    13. 17. eBags CSE Holiday Results <ul><li>Very strong holiday for CSEs (+38% yoy) </li></ul>
    14. 18. eBags Results <ul><li>Some softness during March and April (-21% yoy) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Challenges with Google’s changing algorithm </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Changes in major engines’ affiliates reducing traffic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li> and Bizrate traffic softness </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Nice rebound and ramp up in May (+12% yoy) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Title optimization – make it clear and concise </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Feed template updates (provide relevant additional information) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Original price + sale price, material, colors, dimensions </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>alt images, higher res images, star & text reviews </li></ul></ul></ul>
    15. 19. Reviews in Google Product Search
    16. 20. Best Practices <ul><li>Watch your products </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Closely monitor your “power SKUs” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Be sure to regularly evaluate poorly performing models </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Title optimization is key </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Make sure your titles are clean, concise and contain all relevant information </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Diversify across many engines </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Provides opportunity for revenue growth </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reduces chances of single event causing catastrophic effect </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Team with your CSE account managers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>They know what is working for other clients </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Often have too many accounts so they work on those they like </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Get the right data management team </li></ul><ul><ul><li>They spot changes within CSEs immediately </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Unbiased view of which CSEs are growing and which are faltering </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Are incentivized to sell more </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Often make introduction to “friendly” online retailers </li></ul></ul>
    17. 21. Q+A Question & Answer