Yesterday, I waxed, perhaps poetically, about how Comparison Shopping is not the high ROI, immediate sale opportunity most marketers expect. It is a part of a customer’s decision making process, research, and consideration so significantly that if you don’t optimize your feeds to promote all products effectively, you do not exist as a store or brand. Let’s talk about The Kitchen Sink.
Earlier this year I was remodeling my home and was not about to go to Home Depot, Sears, OSH, Home Expo, and BestBuy to talk about my sink and refrigerator options with commissioned sales folks and limited choice. I was not about to Search refrigerators (Go ahead, try) and begin hunting through 13 MILLION websites to determine my options. I foolishly head to Comparison Shopping sites where I expect to compare and shop for refrigerators and kitchen sinks Check out who has stepped up to the plate – those are our options. Boy was I wrong and frustrated as this is no fault of Shopping.com, Bizrate, or Shopzilla but of Stores and Brands who don’t distribute Home & Garden/Appliance product information to Comparison Shopping sites because, come on, who buys a refrigerator online?!? Yet, it is the most obvious resource for a consumer to evaluate options and prices. Your brand marketing folks should be pissed that you’re not doing this because, who misses out? Only the Store. Frustrated, I turned to Craig’s List and find used options at a fraction of the cost which, though they aren’t the best or exactly what I wanted, I’m happy to buy when its convenient and 20% of the retail cost.
As a marketer, you need to think of The Kitchen Sink when dealing with your datafeeds!!! Your feed should have all products in your catalog, including the kitchen sink. Now, I know what you’re thinking, I have ROI expectations I have to meet, I can’t include products that don’t convert; we’ll talk about ROI tomorrow. For now, I want you to shift your job responsibility from managing Comparison Shopping sites and feeds and requirements and performance to focusing on the datafeed and doing what you need to do to include EVERYTHING in one feed:
- All Products
- Long and unique Short Descriptions for each product
- Regular and Sale
- Shipping Info (some customers will ship a refrigerator!)
- Tax Info
- Product Weight
- Product ratings if you have them (especially if they are good)
- Product Availability (Available online or in a store??)
- Promotions and Offers (Sell me!)
- Product Attributes and Specifications
Have you gone far enough!? NO
If you sell shirts and customers can choose from 6 different colors when they get to your site but your datafeed only pushes out one color, only that one color exists as far as your customers are concerned. Create unique line items for configurations and variations: Refrigerator in black, silver, or cream? That’s 3 lines in a feed so customers who want silver, find that you have silver.
Now, I can find whatever you have available and, whether or not I buy from you, you’ve made a new happy customer who knows that next time I need something, if you have it, I’ll be able to check it out when comparison shopping.