Ecommerce: Profit In Data Feeds?
You’ve been to a shopping engine online. You know the kind, a place where you can do comparison-shopping online before you actually make a buying decision.
If you are a netrepreneur you may wonder if it is even possible to have your product considered for price comparison sites like, Yahoo Shopping, Shopzilla NexTag, Shopping.com, Froogle and PriceGrabber.
It is possible, but your inclusion into the world of online price comparisons relies on significant work from you in the area of data entry. Product information must be supplied to each of these sites in the form of a data feed. These feeds may vary from one location to the next, but primarily require model number, StockKeeping Unit (SKU) and price.
Tamara Mendelsohn, a principal analyst at a Forrest research analyst said the following in an interview with E-Commerce Times. “Almost three quarters of U.S. households are connected to the Internet, and the majority use it for researching products online. Retailers can’t afford to ignore their multichannel consumers anymore,”
Engines that thrive on comparison-shopping care less about your site and more about your product. If your product is sought and you have a credible data feed for the product your site will likely be included in the price comparison.
Some ecommerce professionals believe this is the next wave of site optimization. Instead of dealing in keywords or phrases the customer is directed to your site specifically because you have a product for sale that they are motivated to purchase.
Forecasts predict a significant amount of growth potential through the use of data feeds for product comparison search engines.
The primary caveat with the ‘possibilities’ of shopping engines is that the ongoing work in data feeds can be exhaustive while the benefits come with a price tag. The principle is very similar to Pay Per Click (PPC). When a customer clicks your link to check out your prices you will pay an advertising fee to the search engine.
If you provide a price that is competitive and have a reputation that is strong, the use of a shopping engine may make sense. If you are tentative about the use of a shopping engine you should investigate the finer details and see if this labor-intensive service can provide enough customers to offset the costs in labor and advertising.
Ecommerce is as ever-expanding and sometimes complex device that can be simplified in certain situations. It can also be highly complex, but useful if you have the time, resources, knowledge and drive to learn and apply ecommerce skills.