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In the US, 25% of internet audience (50 millions) passes through a shopping engine.
Close to 75 % of traffic goes to the TOP 7 websites.

If you’re looking to increase your ROI, this research identifies key insights that will sharpen your marketing decisions.

Throughout the presentation, Matthieu Dejardins explored the following questions/points:
– Why shopping engines?
– Who are the Comparison sites users?
– Shopping engines challenges
– Pre-launch checklist & what does it takes?
– Top 10 Data Feed Optimization Tips
– Vertical Segment for search engines
– Which CSE? Amazon & bing opportunities
– Which results to expect?

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Why Shopping Search Engines?

According to Econsultancy.com Comparison Shopping Engines Survey, retailers spend approximatively 11% of their online marketing budget on shopbots while agencies say that on average their clients spend 14% of online budget on this channel respectively representing 10% and 16% of online sales.

Study from Forrester Research Brands Should Embrace Search Engines and Comparison Web Sites  showing that the average Comparison Search Engine user is a savvy and trusting buyer looking for complex products sold by either retailers or manufacturer.

The average Comparison Search Engine user is a savvy and trusting buyer looking for complex products sold by either retailers or manufacturer.

Top 3 reasons are:

1/ Place your products in front of browsing consumers during the exploratory phase, just before purchasing becomes intentional.
2/ Effectively present a unique value proposition (brand identity) to shoppers exploring buying options (pay per click based)
3/ Ensure consumers see your products on every available channel including Search Engines (SEM or SEO) or marketplaces (eBay, Amazon).

Who are the Comparison sites users?

According to a study from Forrester Research, they are savvy, trusting buyers. Search engines and Comparison Search Engines (CSE) users differ from the average consumer in behavior, spending more time online, sending and receiving more emails. These consumers trust their sources – both peer-generated content and commercial messages – more and are less price-sensitive.
They research complex products. Hardly any consumer used search engines or CSE as information sources for simple products like cosmetics – they just go to the store for those. The heavy traffic on these sites comes from consumers researching complex products like mobile phones, audio equipment, etc. Adding up the info sources, it is clear that consumers use multiple sources to research complex products.

Which Comparison Engines to consider?

According to a study published in May 2009 by the CPC Strategy LLC among Internet Retailer’s Top 500, Google Product Search leads in market penetration with 72.2%. Shopping.com and Pricegrabber follow with rates of 53.8% and 50.6% respectively with Microsoft’s snagging 30.2% of the top 500 market.

In US, 25% of internet audience (50 millions) passes through a shopping engine. Close to 75 % of traffic goes to the TOP 7 shopbots (please refer to the spreadsheet below). According to tailor-made data aggregation originated from Comscore, Nielsen and Google AdPlanner, the US Top 5 list considered among all sources of information is:
1/ Yahoo! Shopping
2/ Shopzilla / Bizrate
3/ Shopping.com
4/ Nextag
5/ Google Product Search

Top 10 Shopping Engines per audience - 25% of the US internet audience (nearly 50 millions) is passing through a shopping engine. 75% of the traffic goes to the top 7 shopbots.

Top 10 ranking per audience - 25% of the US internet audience (nearly 50 millions) is passing through a shopping engine. 75% of the traffic goes to the top 7 shopbots.

Amazon & bing.com opportunities

To drive traffic, we should use our XML feed for:
1/ Amazon.com – in December 2008, by surveying more than 500 online consumers, Channel Advisor found out that 93% of online shoppers are Amazon buyers; 80% of these buyers also use Amazon as their most trusted product research destination. There are 2 ways to integrate your products:
a) Marketplace: merchants list products with final checkout by Amazon (CPA: $0.99 + 6% sales net)
b) Product Ads: merchants list products on Amazon and drive consumers back to their sites as opposed to having to buy through Amazon (CPC: $0.7 – daily budget).

2/ Bing Shopping – allowing advertisers to sell on a cost-per-acquisition (CPA) basis and Cashback offers. Direct customers are rewarded by having a % amount of cash on every transaction & Microsoft is also keeping a fee on these sale. See example below with AT&T (35%), eBay/Paypal (8%), TigerDirect (7.3%), HP (3%), etc.

Microsofts Cashback Program through their Bing search engine allowing new AT&Ts customer to get 35% off the iphone 3GS in June 2009.

Microsoft's Cashback Program through their Bing search engine allowing new AT&T's customer to get 35% off the iphone 3GS in June 2009.

In Dec. 2008, out of the 100 online retailers ranked by Internet Retailer as the “Hot 100 Retail Web Sites”, 75 had an affiliate programs.

38% of the 75 top Internet retailers chose CJ, 23% went with Google Affiliate Network, 18% with LinkShare, 13% run their programs on in-house-based platforms and 3% market through ShareASale.

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Human being limitations, we are not perfect!

Landing Page Optimization Study Vonage.com. This example shows excellent LP separation. Design & branding elements are consistent with the main site, but layout and user experience is dramatically different.

Landing Page Optimization Study Vonage.com. This example shows excellent LP separation. Design & branding elements are consistent with the main site, but layout and user experience is dramatically different.

1/ Research by Dr. Gitte Linbdgarrd in Behavior and Information Technology indicated that Web users form first impressions of pages in as little as 50 milliseconds (1/20 of as second).
2/ You have up to 8 seconds to convince visitors this page is for them and them alone. At most they will read 15 words.
3/ Usability experts have found that people read about 25% slower on the web, and their perennial recommendation is to use 50% of the copy that you would use in printed material. The average American reads about 50 words online in 20 seconds – if they aren’t distracted by other graphical elements.
5/ Eye-tracking tests prove that people’s eyes flick about a page, reading a few words here, a few words there. People read the first 3 words of paragraphs, bulleted items and then they often stop reading and skip on to the next paragraph and/or bulleted item.
6/ Often men and Google users may never scroll or click to read more. The will make their yes/no decision entirely based on what they can see right away, and convert or move on.

Challenging goals & many entry-barriers

Your ad persuaded them to click. You landing page needs to convince them to stick around for at least a minute and possibly do a bunch of fairly unpleasant stuff:
Do a bunch of reading (90 % of the population doesn’t much like reading)
– Laboriously type their name and address (only geeks use auto form fill)
Hand over a phone number so a telemarketer will pester them
Give an e-mail and take the risk of being spammed
Dig out a credit card and have it stolen by a phisher or fraudster
Pay for something


Top 16 Must Have check-list

1/ Logo (generally on the top left of the page).
2/ Clickable Hero shot (to the left of the text if possible). Easier for human eye.
3/ Conversion action link or button
4/ Headline
5/ Quick offer explanation
6/ Longer product/service explanation
7/ Links to more info
8/ Deadlines
9/ Forms and descroptive tags next to each field
10/ Tagline describing what your brand does or stands for
11/ Security and reassuring elements (BBB, TRUSTe and Verisign icons)
12/ Testimonials: textual,  include photos or audio/video (e.g. “as seen on TV”)
13/ Technical specifications
14/ Guarantees (e.g. create own trust labels: free shipping, money-back guarantee, etc.)
15/ Rich Media elements (streamed video/audio, Flash)
16/ Fine print at bottom (copyright, legal)

Slide 4

Research by Dr. Gitte Linbdgarrd in Behavior and Information Technology indicated that Web users form first impressions of pages in as little as 50 milliseconds (1/20 of as second).
You have up to 8 seconds to convince visitors this page is for them and them alone. At most they will read 15 words.
Usability experts have found that people read about 25% slower on the web, and their perennial recommendation is to use 50% of the copy that you would use in printed material. The average American reads about 50 words online in 20 seconds – if they aren’t distracted by other graphical elements.
Eye-tracking tests prove that people’s eyes flick about a page, reading a few words here, a few words there. People read the first 3 words of paragraphs, bulleted items and then they often stop reading and skip on to the next paragraph and/or bulleted item.
Often men and Google users may never scroll or click to read more. The will make their yes/no decision entirely based on what they can see right away, and then convert or move on.

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