Interview with Lin Grosman of GoDataFeed – Comparison Shopping Feed Service

GoDataFeed

GoDataFeed is one of our partners for merchants looking for a comparison shopping service to automate their product feeds. I was able to ask Lin Grosman of GoDataFeed a few questions about their company and some issues that our clients often ask about when it comes to comparison shopping services.

Here is our interview…

1. Tell us a little about yourself and what got you into the Comparison Shopping Field

With the rise of internet shopping, more online retailers and search engine marketing firms searched for an affordable, time-saving solution to market their company’s products on multiple comparison shopping sites and affiliate networks. Anyone who’s spent hours manually submitting their products to various shopping sites or hired a developer to take on that workload, knows how time-consuming and counter-productive that can be.

We developed GoDataFeed to empower merchants and offer a powerful, yet user-friendly application that helped small and medium-sized retailers promote their products on multiple shopping sites. Once we realized what a huge productivity boost this was, we deployed a Web-based version to increase our accessibility and we now serve merchants across the country as well as Europe and Australia.

2. What advantages are there for merchants to list their products in various comparison channels?

Marketing to shoppers using comparison shopping sites holds some real advantages as it is an affordable way to gain visibility to a large number of highly motivated buyers. Advantages of Listing Products on Comparison Shopping Channels include:

  1. Highly Qualified Leads- Shopping channels allow shoppers to compare prices, products and feedback, so shoppers seeking products on comparison shopping channels are educated, highly motivated buyers who are ready to make a purchase
  2. More Targeted Approach- than traditional pay-per-click and organic methods that both lets merchants reach motivated shoppers while building their brand online
  3. Affordable- because merchants are only paying for traffic generated to their site and can control their marketing costs through category or product-level bidding
  4. Measurable – Merchants can precisely measure which products are selling or not selling and they can also evaluate which shopping sites are generating the most quality traffic
  5. Levels the Playing Field- shopping channels give small-to-medium sized business the opportunity to effectively compete with other stores and larger retailers
  6. Diversification- By submitting to multiple shopping channels, merchants can diversify their marketing approach on free, pay-per-action and pay-per-click sites

3. Do you have any success stories to share how these listings have helped SMB merchants?

Our tool was designed for small-to-medium sized businesses, so we hear consistent feedback from companies from a range of different industries who have seen their business grow as a result of their streamlining their product feed marketing efforts through GoDataFeed.

One company, CoffeeCakes.com, actually tripled their sales after the second week after using GoDataFeed.  Other companies, like FootwearEtc.com and RevivalAnimal.com, have seen consistent growth while using GoDataFeed over the past couple of years. In addition, Wine.com, an Internet Top 500 retailer, has recommended us as a “terrific solution.”

So whether you fill a marketing, web-management or technical role in your company, or wear multiple hats, as is usually the case in many small businesses, the software lets you setup your feed campaigns one-time and have it working for you as an automatic “background process” that submits your fresh, updated product data every day or week and lets you measure channel and sku-level performance.

4. Are there any “must list” services that all merchants should be in?

Definitely, and our number-one question is “Where should I list my products?” The best answer is to know which shopping channels specialize, or have deeper categorizations, in your product lines. For instance, retailers trying to target the female demographic should consider sites like theFind.com HerOrbit and Like.com, all channels that are visually designed to appeal to women.

To diversify a retailer’s online feed campaign strategy, we recommend:

  • Always take advantage of the free shopping channels, like Google Product Search, theFind and Sortprice.com
  • List products on Bing Cashback—it’s worth the effort as they employ a no-risk, commission-based “pay-per-action” model
  • List products on as many relevant pay-per-click sites as you can afford including NexTag, PriceGrabber and Shopzilla
  • Incorporate affiliate networks, like Share-A-Sale, who have an award-winning affiliate network model and really excellent customer service
  • Explore more affordable shopping sites like Pronto and Become, which and are steadily gaining popularity online while giving merchants more affordable category rates

We work with our Shopping Channel and Affiliate Network Partners to get our online retailers and marketing firms introductory sign-up promotions—all which merchants can check out on our Supported Shopping Channels page: http://www.godatafeed.com/supportedfeeds.aspx. We currently support more than 50 shopping channels and affiliate networks.

5. How does GoDataFeed help merchants using ShopSite with comparison shopping channels?

We are, essentially, a seamless, turn-key solution for ShopSite store owners looking to market their products on multiple shopping sites. Because GoDataFeed is integrated with ShopSite’s platform, merchants don’t need to produce or update product data for submission to the shopping channels. GoDataFeed automatically “plugs in” to the ShopSite platform, pulls their data nightly and submits only accurate and up-to-date product data to the shopping channels.

6. Any tips for maximizing conversions?

Yes, to maximize conversions, merchants should optimize their feeds for each channel—in a nutshell, that means giving each shopping site as much relevant information as possible in their desired format. Some tips include:

  • Product titles should include clear, concise product data including manufacturer or brand name, model numbers as well as size and color variations; they should not contain marketing messages or promotional information (i.e. Free Shipping)
  • Descriptions fields should be “sprinkled” with more broad, popular keywords that complement the title and have the ability to enhance searchability and shopping site rankings
  • Proper categorization is crucial to merchandising products in the best location for each shopping channel
  • Submitting fresh feeds, on a daily or weekly basis, ensures merchants are not wasting click costs on out-of-stock items and maintaining correct pricing information

GoDataFeed has all of the channels’ data feed and category templates built-in, making it easy for retailers to customize their product data to the exact format expected by each channel and categorize their products correctly. The system will also validate the feeds to flag any critical or recommended changes prior to feed submission.  Most importantly, all plans include an analytics module that lets online retailers and marketing firms measure their shopping channel campaigns.

More of our top data feed optimization tips are available for download on our homepage at www.GoDataFeed.com.

Thank you for the opportunity to share our story and tips with LexiConn’s ShopSite retailers.

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