Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Searchandise Commerce Helps Manufacturers Make Their Products More Prominent in eStores

OMG is this clever. So, Ms. Manufacturer, you are buying KWs on Google to sell product. But if your product is sold on retail websites, how do you ensure that it is as prominent as possible?

When someone searches for a 40 inch TV, is yours in the top ten on leading sites? Because if it isn’t chances are, you’re not gonna get much Click. Or much Shopping Cart. Or much Buy.

Searchandise Commerce is a start-up that is changing this dynamic by making it easy to raise your items in retailer site searches. And they sell it on a performance based CPC basis. Instead of appearing 17th in that ranking, now you can pay a little and raise your position into a much better search slot.

Did you know that a big revenue source for brick and mortar are SKU placement merchandising fees? Slotting, Displays, Features, End Caps, Four Ways and other merchandising tools are all highly lucrative for retailers, especially for stores that operate on low margins. Essentially, these tools help brands drive revenue from browsing behaviors. With Searchandise, ecommerce companies can start to reap the benefits of compensated merchandising as well.

Manufacturers participate in the program by:

•Identifying priority SKUs
•Setting their position bids
•Assigning a budget
Retailers begin to monetize the valuable real estate in their search results by:

•Provide an inventory feed to Searchandise
•Upload bid matches into your Search and Inventory system
•Assign a weighting for the PPC bids versus other search priorities
•Deliver a verified click count to Searchandise so they can charge the client and compensate you
Retailers can choose to include the promoted listings in the standard search stream, or create a special promoted searches stream analogous to what Google, Bing, and Yahoo provide.

Check out their video here.

The Searchandise solution has gotten a tremendous amount of press in the commerce and digital trades because it adds such an important new option for manufacturers and retailers alike. As e-commerce flirts with the 10% of total retail sales tipping point, it’s natural that both sides are looking for new ways to drive additional revenue. Relatively unsophisticated merchandising was all well and good when esales were more a hobby than a channel. But as well all know, money brings needed focus and attention.

Further, online retail drives considerably more than 10% of sales in a large number of categories. I just read that 93% of airline tickets are now sold online, and that the figures for PCs and similar technology are around 50%. Having a means by which to raise the retail profile of your products is truly a boon when digital is a critical channel for your business.

In brick and mortar there is a healthy interplay between push marketing like merchandising and pull marketing like driving consumer awareness and purchase interest. Searchandise adds an important tool to help drive a similar sort of interplay online. Check them out, and be sure and download their white paper here.

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