Monthly Archives: September 2012

Shopzilla Introduces Smart Pricing that aligns with your performance

Steve Burns Posted On - September 19, 2012

Shopzilla Introduces Smart Pricing that aligns with your performance
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Shopzilla introduced smart pricing in 11 subcategories. The program allows retailers to align the CPC charges with their conversion cost of the sale. Smart Pricing has been proven to be successful and Shopzilla has extended it to all categories.

Earn more, pay more – while your average CPC billing remains the same

This new pricing has resulted in the minimum CPC bids, but there is no perceptible change in the average billed CPC. The Smart pricing program automatically adjusts your billed CPC according to the quality of traffic. It bills more when the conversion rates are higher, and lower for sources with low conversion rates.  But overall, your average billed CPC will remain more or less the same as your earlier levels.

Example of Smart Pricing

Smart Pricing will ensure that your ROI is consistent and will ultimately improve. Since you will be charged your maximum bid only for the highest quality of traffic, you will feel confident to increase your bids.
All products having active bids in these categories have been shifted to the new minimum rates since July 18th 2012.  Bidding above the new minimum rates will require you to do so manually. All bids that are above the new minimum bid will remain unchanged.

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Google Shopping impact on Online Retail Business?

Steve Burns Posted On - September 11, 2012

Google Shopping impact on Online Retail
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It is a change that Google claims will better connect merchants to their consumers, though merchants will now have to pay Google to get into the bandwagon and gain visibility.

Google Shopping will feature Product Listing Ads which were earlier exclusively found on Google Ad words and displayed along with organic listings and Google Product Search Results.

The free lunch is getting over and merchants will now have to pay for their visibility and clicks. So let’s find out what merchants should be aware of to adjust to this new reality.

The transition to Google Shopping is expected to be completed in the US this fall and in the rest of the world by next year. Once the changeover is implemented, browsers will see three types of results on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) – AdWords ads (paid), Organic results (free) and Shopping Results (paid).

Post the transition it is expected that close to 2/3rds of the search results property will be devoted to paid listings.  The AdWords and Shopping results will feature images that will automatically make them more prominent in the eyes of the browser. This will offer merchants another interesting way in which to engage with the customer.

The net-net result will be that organic listings will get crowded out by display ad types that use graphics to drive home their point.

Despite the obvious fact that paid listings will automatically increase the prices of goods sold through this route, there is good news for 99% of the online merchants. Until now Google Product search used to be completely dominated by the big ticket online retailers like WalMart, eBay, and Amazon. Now every merchant that is willing to pay will have their stores and wares featured on the search results. This will in a way level the playing field, albeit at a cost.

Those who have the knack of discovering niche products and lines of business wherein they can compete with the big boys and still turn in a decent profit will benefit. For example, a small online store selling sports goods can compete with the bigger stores like HealthKart.

In an interesting finding, a Google search for the new Samsung S3 returned results of 19 different retailers with listings, with the big daddies like Amazon, eBay, Verizon etc. not featuring amongst them. This is proof that even in the popular product categories, small retailers can muscle in their way to greater visibility with intelligent advertising, through merchandising and bid optimization.

Time to improve your feed management strategy

The change in Google Shopping will necessitate a re-evaluation in the way merchants judge their feed management and comparison shopping engine investments. Now that comparison shopping listing will cost money, merchants must take an ROI centric look at their investments.

Alexa states that none of the top 30 searches on Google are related to products or shopping. This demonstrates the fact that most merchants use online mass retailers like Amazon or eBay as their true product search engines.

Online merchants should look at Amazon, eBay, Nextag, etc. to list their products if they have not already done so.

Placing a small feed for a high value product is a good way to test a new site for efficacy in driving traffic and sales. Tracking products on different channels will help you take a considered decision about expanding activities in the channel.

Using a multichannel media mix to drive enhanced sales

Merchants who earlier relied on Google Product search to drive traffic will now have to face a difficult choice. Lose traffic or pay for visibility. The best way around this is to analyse the marginal ROI for your spends in every channel and invest in channels that deliver the highest returns.

Will Google Shopping be worthwhile? Only time will answer that question, but merchants will need to be more calculative about their spending, productive ads will warrant more spending and vice versa. Product Listing Ads are tied to Adwords, so merchants should set up automated reports to ensure that they don’t exceed their budgets.

To make up for lost traffic and sales, it is time to get Bing campaigns up and running and look at facebook to increase brand awareness. People who depended on Google Product search will have to search for other free feed channels to make up the traffic numbers. They should bone up on Adwords and paid search as this will be new mantra for success on Google advertising.

On the whole though smaller merchants should be happy that the playing field has been levelled in their favour, albeit at a cost.

This blog is brought to you by a platform that enables you to handle your feeds and get analytics about your performance across multiple marketplaces and comparison shopping engines. We offer both self driven as well as managed solutions that helps online merchants to improve their results.

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Amazon sponsored advertising program

Steve Burns Posted On - September 4, 2012

Amazon sponsored advertising program
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If Google can do it, so can Amazon. The Amazon program allows merchants to bid on keywords that will enable their Amazon products to be displayed alongside search results just as in Google Adwords.

Let’s say you are a shoe manufacturer and you are selling your products/brands on Amazon under the Provok brand. It is natural to presume that you will face a lot of competition from other brands and manufacturers.

Presently you have little scope in either putting your product right at the top of the listings, or even in putting your shop in the high visibility region. Marketplace selling on Amazon is a long winded process wherein Amazon rewards you for providing good service and getting positive ratings from customers. So it is only when you become popular destination for customers, that Amazon rewards  you with higher rankings.

The moot point that has to be addressed is – how do you expect to get customers and positive feedback in the face of dim visibility – when your product/brand/shop is featured twenty thousand listings down the line?

The Solution – Amazon Adwords

Amazon Adwords helps brands such as Provok to bask in the limelight through the bidding process. While it will take a lot of time and effort for Provok to gain organic ranking that will give them visibility, paying for their adwords will enable them to jump start their sales by offering them paid visibility. So, when someone is searching for shoes, he will automatically discover Provok brand in a ad that will lead him to the Provok shop and enable the customer to buy from him. All this for a fee to Amazon of course. There is no free lunch in the internet marketplace! The bidding amount that he pays is on top of the commission that the merchant pays when the customer shops at this place.

What is the difference between Amazon Product Ads and the Amazon Sponsored Results program?

The difference is simple. Product ads will take a customer from Amazon to the Provok website and allow him to complete the purchase there.

What the Amazon Sponsored Program does is that it keeps the customer on the Amazon site allowing the buyer to buy the product from the Provok Shop from Amazon – so that the company gets to keep both the bidding price as well as the commission. It is very similar to Google Adwords – where companies and brands that do not get organic listing pay for visibility.

What is the potential Impact of Amazon Sponsored Results ?

It will fundamentally change the way in which the largest online marketplace on planet earth works. It will be of particular help to merchants who are:

·         New to Amazon Shopping
·         Is currently doing low volumes
·         Who have good margins to make money even after paying Amazon its commission
·         Interested in increasing the volume of business they do on Amazon.

This includes almost everyone except ( may be not) the established retailers with high visibility.

It will prove to be a tremendous shot of adrenalin for marketing campaigns that use it. Paid visibility is a no brainer when you want to sell.

The big difference between Sponsored results and Google Adwords is that a person who types Shoes on Amazon is already a qualified buyer, as against a person googling for information.

Hence paying Amazon money for paid visibility can beat Adwords on any good day.

This is also a good way to increase your organic rankings, by clocking sales, providing good service and getting positive feedback. The benefits of increasing your organic ranking is a sustainable benefit.

With more and more merchants bidding for keyword visibility, the free market will decide on the prices for your keywords.

A properly managed Amazon Sponsored Results program can be a game changer in online retail business.

Happy Selling

This blog is brought to you by– a platform that empowers you to distribute your product feed to as many as 200 different shopping channels such as  marketplaces, comparison shopping engines and affiliate netowrks. It provides incisive analytics and is a success enabler for online merchants. To view a demo of ChannelSale and its possibilities, call 1-866-709-9495 or email or for more information click

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