Please note that this data is based on a sample set of shopping queries. We have found that improvements in position in most cases correlate with traffic improvements but do not imply an increase or decrease in traffic. The % change indicated below is based on the in the positions for the sample set of keywords. We would like to present this as a directional indicator.
Here are the % changes by position for some of the winners and losers.
On April 6th, 2011, Google released a revision to the “Panda” update that hit on Feb 24th. The team at Become, Inc has observed some interesting changes in visibility by position across a sample set of 20,000 product-specific keywords.
We have observed that the sites that did well in Panda have continued to improve with Panda+1. How-To sites, particularly eHow, have been +1ed in this update.
Comparison Shopping Engines
A Few Other Sites
Here are some observations on the sites that made the SearchMetrics and Sistrix winner lists and an analysis of how they appear to have fared in Panda+1.
In a 2010 Holiday Shopping Season Ranking amongst comparison search engines performed by CPC Strategy, Become.com scored a whopping rank number 5. The California based comparison shopping engine founded in 2004 was beaten by websites like Google or Amazon.
The study compared data such as overall traffic, average revenue, conversation rate, return on spend, and average cost per click (CPC) between the 10 best comparison search engines. Specifically, Become.com improved in ranks due to the highest return on ad spending (13%) and was even able to beat Amazon’s marketplace. Merchant websites also appreciate the high quality traffic coming from Become.com. You can find the full report here.]]>
As November starts, Black Friday 2010 frenzy is hitting a fever pitch. Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving, when most stores have their biggest deals of the year. These days deals from the biggest merchants are released and posted online ahead of time at sites like our Black Friday Deals site.
Here at Become, we are always researching consumer behavior to find ways to help shoppers find the best deals. With Black Friday around the corner, we have done a study on our online shopping traffic for Black Friday season (November 1-30), which compares state by state our most savvy Black Friday deal hunters against the online shopping pros who regularly use Become.com. For more information on interesting findings, access the study: Online Shopping Savvy vs. Black Friday Online Shopping Savvy.]]>
Become.com has launched a Halloween microsite, kicking off the 2010 holiday shopping season!
On this microsite, consumers can browser through various deals and products from a variety of merchants. Whether you’re looking for a costume to go trick-or-treating in, something to impress your friends at a party, or something to decorate your house with, this site has it all. Check it out!]]>
A merchant blindly listing on the comparison shopping engines (CSE’s) can be like a father giving his teenage daughter a credit card on her way to the mall. Even though his intentions are noble, his funds will inevitably vanish into thin air while hardly seeing any sort of return at all.
Luckily however, we at CPC Strategy are proud to present a complete handbook, which is the first of its kind, detailing everything that a merchant needs to know to not only get started on the CSE’s, but how to smartly and actively manage their campaigns to obtain the best results possible.
Combining our many years of expertise in managing campaigns for our own clients, the free 21-page handbook explains in detail how merchants can optimize data feeds, leverage bidding strategies, and increase their presence on the CSE’s.
Regardless if you’re a merchant just starting out on the CSE’s, or if you’re a veteran of the CSE’s, or even if you don’t know the first thing about the CSE’s, this book will enlighten and educate, making you more confident than ever in your time invested on the CSE’s.
The free eBook is available for download now at http://ebook.cpcstrategy.com.]]>
Sunnyvale, Calif. September 21st, 2010 –Become.com (http://www.become.com/), a global leader in online comparison shopping, today announced the appointments of Jeff Holden and Claudio Pinkus to its Board as independent directors.
Jeff Holden is one of the world’s foremost experts in consumer e-commerce and online marketing through his long tenure at Amazon.com. At Amazon.com from 1997 to 2006, Holden was responsible for the technology and website consumer experience, search, site navigation, personalization, e-commerce transaction functionality, automated merchandizing, online traffic generation (SEM/SEO), supply chain management and Amazon Prime. In early 2006, Holden founded Pelago, Inc. a pioneer in location-based services using social media.
Claudio Pinkus is a seasoned executive with over 25 years of internet and software experience. From 1996-1999, Pinkus served as CEO for Browne & Co, an online leader in the finance industry. He then moved on Ask Jeeves, Inc., where he served as President and Chief Strategy Officer for five years. Most recently Pinkus joined Multiply.com, a social sharing network, as a Board Member and Chief Strategy Officer.
“We are extremely pleased to have both Jeff and Claudio join our Board. Their expertise and knowledge of the consumer ecommerce and online marketing industry will provide invaluable perspective for the Company” said CEO Michael Yang.
“I’m thrilled to be joining forces with the Become.com team, particularly given all that they have accomplished to date and the ambitious and exciting roadmap ahead.” said Holden.
“It is very exciting for me to join the board of Become.com during its rapid growth and I look forward to working with the Become.com team to build a great company.” said Pinkus.]]>
Why You Should Track Your Become Campaign Data
Become.com provides it’s merchants a free tracking pixel to capture consumer data. Merchants then use this data to reduce spend and increase revenue. You can manage your campaign towards a certain cost of sale % by removing products in your data feed that accumulate traffic but don’t lead to any sales.
With tracking information you’re also able to manage product and category bids, allowing you to drive incremental revenue and traffic to your website.
The Become tracking pixels tracks the following metrics:
For example, throughout a week 50 people click on a $20 shirt that you’re listing on Become at 40 cents per click. So that product costs you $20.
5 of the 50 people actually purchase the product which brings in $100 of revenue. The cost of sale would be your cost ($20.00) divided by revenue ($100.00) which equals 20%, or a 5 to 1 return for that product.
If 5 clicks out of 50 lead to a sale that product has a 10% conversion rate.
You can use a service like Google Analytics to monitor your Comparison Shopping metrics. But from personal experience and the experiences of others Google Analytics doesn’t always prove to be reliable.
The Become tracking pixel can be found at the bottom left of the summary tab in the Merchant Account Center. If you’re a merchant using a Yahoo Store, make sure you use the custom tracking pixel Become provides for that store.
Questions about your tracking pixel?
Please contact your account manager or email email@example.com.]]>
Rakuten, a Japanese internet marketplace, has announced that it has reached an agreement to purchase California based Buy.com for $250 million. Rakuten Ichiba is a marketplace that focuses on shopping, entertainment, and relationship development between individual merchants and shoppers. In addition to marketplace, Rakuten also owns the New York based LinkShare affiliate network, bought by the company back in 2005. By acquiring Buy.com, Rakuten will have access to direct consumers in the US and will offer more than 60 million products from 35,000 merchants across the world.
“As we evaluated how to accelerate our global expansion, it became clear that a partnership with Buy.com made perfect sense,” says Hiroshi Mikitani, Rakuten founder, chairman and CEO. “As a company, Buy.com shares our vision for the future of e-commerce, as a platform to give consumers the best value no matter their location, and to merge shopping with entertainment, and to help retailers build deep and lasting consumer relationships.”
According to Mikitani, Rakuten differentiates itself from Amazon and eBay by ‘sharing the customer’ with merchants rather than just listing products for them. The company says it allows merchants to design their own web stores, and provide reward points for purchases on Rukaten.
As for Amazon, Mikitani says, “They will become your competitor if you sell your product well.” Rakuten only sells a certain items on its own behalf, mostly books and CDs, and makes most of its money from sales by other merchants on the Rakuten marketplace. Rakuten Japan’s online sales totaled more than $9 billion last year and $14 billion when travel purchases are included, Mikitani says. The company also offers consumer credit card.
The company will focus on marketplace and global expansion. In addition to acquiring Buy.com, Rakuten recently has announced a joint venture with Baidu and another Taiwanese joint venture.
Buy.com says the number of 4th quarter orders has increased by 146% over the last year, and with Rakuten investment in the company, the growth could accelerate rapidly.
Article: FTC unanimously gives Google go-ahead to buy AdMob for $750 million
The Federal Trade Commission approved Google’s acquisition of mobile advertising network AdMob after the deal was under review for 6 months. The commission was pressured to pass the deal due to the earlier approval of Apple’s acquisition of mobile ad network Quattro Wireless back in January.
As a result of Apple’s entry, AdMob’s success to date on the iPhone platform is unlikely to be an accurate predictor of AdMob’s competitive significance going forward, whether AdMob is owned by Google or not,” the Commission’s statement explains,” the commission said in a statement.
Google said they are excited about the possibilities in mobile advertising. They will work closely with AdMob’s management team to close the acquisition deal in the next few weeks.
Article: Shopping.com Demographics
Shopping.com released the following demographic data to Mercent:
This data reveals that the median age is a good indicator that the users are old enough, have accumulated enough disposable income to spend online, and that they are educated and will research online before buying. While some shopping sites such as SHOP.com lean toward female users, Shopping.com’s user base is almost evenly split. Lastly, it’s important to note that 70% of people have purchased something in the past 30 days, which means on average the majority of people viewing an ad on Shopping.com are ready to purchase.
Sources: Shopping.com and Channel Dollars (Mercent Blog)
Article: eBay Launches Two Fashion Shopping Sites
eBay announced the launch of its two new clothing sites, fashion.ebay.com and fashionvault.ebay.com, which will focus on daily designer clothing deals. This new strategy moves eBay away from its core offering: second hand and garage sale items. Will this new fixed priced selling model boost sales and profits? The new sites were created with a goal of keeping customers by offering them great prices on new products. The new model is expected to grow into a larger percentage of total sales for eBay. If successful, eBay could find new audience of customers. Retailers such as Hugo Boss, Lord &Taylor, Brooks Brothers, Aldo Shoes, and Escada have already lined themselves up to deliver discounted designer apparel to eBay.
Source: Digital Trends
Article: What Does Apple’s Much-hyped iPad Mean for Mobile Commerce?
On April 3rd, Apple sold 300,000 iPads the first day of launch, and has since sold a total of 570,000. What does this mean for retailers and e-commerce? It’s another app that enables retailers to optimize shopping experience for users, and so far three major retailers have disclosed some information: eBay, fashion retailer Gilt, and Amazon all have added an iPad app to their mobile strategy. eBay was very successful with its m-commerce program with $600 million in sales in 2009, and wants the iPad app to compliment its iPhone app. The company views the iPad as another source of m-commerce revenue, and a platform for an optimized customer experience.
“The eBay app for the iPad opens to a screen with large, high-resolution pictures, not dependent on a lot of text to explain categories or products, and showcasing products in such high resolution that a consumer might be able to see if a guitar was subtly damaged. And it’s very quick,” he adds. “Normally when you do a search on eBay you get several thousand products and you have to refine the search. But because of the nature of touch-screen technology and no need to limit content to one single page, just by swiping the screen you have this continuous flow of high-resolution images that creates an infinite page. 90 seconds later you have understood hundreds of listings in a visually pleasing manner without missing any products that you might have filtered out in a search refinement”, says Steve Yankovich, vice president of platform business solutions at eBay.
Gilt, an online luxury retailer, also praises the bigger screen, higher resolution and speed. Their app allows the user to click and drag items into the shopping cart.
“You really need only one screen to shop Gilt,” says Jag Bath, Vice President of product management. “Additional screens are really beneficial when it comes to what we do at Gilt, such as showcasing products on the higher-resolution screen to the point where you can see the details of small stitching. The iPad makes it easy for us to leverage our class-A, high-end photography. It’s like browsing a magazine, only you are seeing far better pictures and you can instantly buy what you see.”
Amazon.com also launched iPad app for its Kindle e-reading product line on April 3, 2010. Their users can select over 450,000 books from the Kindle store on iPad.
“Kindle for iPad includes all the features customers love about Kindle for iPhone along with a new user interface tailored to the look and feel of iPad,” says Jay Marine, director, Amazon Kindle. “Kindle for iPad is a way for customers around the world to download and enjoy books even if they don’t yet have a Kindle.”
All three retailers will keep a close eye on adoption, and will benchmark against iPhone performance.
Source: Internet Retailer
Article: Would Apple Build a Search Engine to Prevent Google from getting iPhone Data?
Gene Munster, financial analyst at Piper Jeffrey, recently mentioned that Apple might build or acquire a search engine of its own. The reasoning behind this is to protect the data Apple generates from its iPhone app store. Other analysts say that this road would not be very logical for Apple since building a search engine is too difficult and would take too long. Another option would be to switch to Bing in 2011 or acquire an existing company with search technology such as Cuil.
Article Title: Google Buys Video Platform Episodic
Episodic, a video platform and service company has announced that they’ve been acquired by Google. The Episodic platform is used for broadcasting live and on-demand video, along with analytics to measure the number of engaged users.
“We are thrilled to announce that Episodic has been acquired by Google,” Noam Lovinsky and Matias Cudich, the co-founders of Episodic, wrote in a blog on Friday. “The entire Episodic team is extremely excited about this new partnership and what it means for our customers and the evolution of online video.”
Google has not commented on this acquisition yet, but the company will use Episodic platform to enhance You Tube content.