I almost didn’t go to this session and I’m glad I did. Lots of good information on optimizing and submitting ecommerce sites.
Laura Thieme, Bizresearch
Engines take information in different formats. There is an active campaign to standardize these.
Benefits of shopping engines: product title, description and info right there on the results page. Cost and merchant compare right on the SERPS for a similar product. Up-Front tax and shipping calculations and seller rating.
Average conversion ratio is 4.3%. Conversion rates go up during peak seasons.
Create a feed: export product database into an excel spreadsheet. A good fied has every field filled in. Bad feeds have lots of missing data and non-optimized fields. Use a large screen whenever possible to view the spreadsheet, makes things much easier.
Recommends automating your feed creation. Third party programs can pull data but not always accurate.
Look at general search results for target terms to see if Google shows a onebox Froogle listing. Compare similar results, see what they use for product titles, descriptions, and even landing pages.
Optimize feed based on how people search. Use keywords and actual product in the product titles, not just descriptions.
*Most data feeds take 2-10 hours to optimize and submit*
Use programmers to create feed and marketers to optimize it.
To improve: watch expense, not changing prices, add logo and phone number, see which engines perform better than the others. If you have bad ROI shopping search wont help. Use quality pictures, accurate product titles, monitor competitor pricing and reviews, ensure rapid and accurate fulfillment.
Scott Greenberg, Marchex
Start with products with a higher profit margin. Bas performance on returns, charge backs, incentives, etc. Know your max cost per click to stay within profit margin.
All engines have different feed specs. Fill out as much as possible. Use shipping and tax info in the feed for complete pricing. Get good reviews and ratings, this effects placement. Customer service provided referable testimonials. Take advantage of non-standard opportunities (boldings, logos, etc.)
Brian Mark, Toolbarn.com
Difficulties: Rising CPC, poor tracking tools, lack of analytics, individualized feeds, more competition, rules are constantly changing.
Uses Froogle, Bizrate/Shopzilla, NexTag, Shopping.com, Pricegrabber.
Calculate hidden costs as much as possible: Boxes, processing, merchant fees, etc. Be sure to set your ROI numbers and as much stats as closely as possible. Drop poor products and always try to improve conversion rate.
Watch your competitors closely. Choose wisely if you want to pay for extra services such as logo, etc.