Note to Shopzilla: it’s BCC…. (or SpamZilla?)

December 1, 2006

Digital Marketing ChannelAdvisor By ChannelAdvisor

Several readers have reported about an ongoing customer communication situation (soon to be crisis?) over at Shopzilla.  Here’s the sequence of events:

1. 11/30 – Shopzilla Merchant Services,, sends email to about 250 customers about errors in reporting from 11/18-11/20. Excerpt:


“Due to a technical issue, we were unable to capture and record your order and sales data for the time period of November 18 through November 20, 2006. To prevent your conversion and cost of sale data from being inaccurate in the Performance Report on the Shopzilla Merchant Services Website,  we have removed the corresponding cost and click data from the Performance Report for these three days.  To view click and cost data for
this time period, please refer to the Cost Report.   “

2.  Whoever sent this email out cc’ed (yes CC’ed) all 250 customers in the open with complete email addresses.

3. (Note: if you’ve ever been on an email like this you know where it’s going).  Someone naturally hits “reply to all” and says “hey why did you cc everyone,  protect my privacy”, “stop emailing me!”, “unsubscribe”, “everyone STOP HITTING REPLY-ALL!”, “really stop”, “please?”, “help…”

4. About 20-30 messages like this spin around, gathering speed and ferocity.

5. Conversation degrades into a: “Hey did all of you merchants know Shopzilla does X and Y and make sure to check your bill for Z.  Accusations like this start to fly:

Is Shopzilla buying 1-5 cent click leads and charging us upwards of 75
cents per click?  Based on the 90% drop in our ROI and the depletion of
our 5 day spend money in 1 day leads us to believe they are trying to
maximise their revenue and profits at OUR EXPENSE.

So far the story stops here, but we’re really only 2 days into the situation so it will be interesting to see what happens next.  Will Shopzilla step in and formally apologize?  Will they in some way compensate all of these customers whose inboxes are now overflowing with unsolicited  emails?  Will they be forced to address the allegations beginning to swirl around?  Stay tuned CSE Strategies readers, we’ll keep you posted.