Talking CSE Strategy with Kelkoo, Ciao and eConsultancy at Catalyst UK

March 30, 2009

Digital Marketing ChannelAdvisor By ChannelAdvisor
Today at ChannelAdvisor’s Catalyst UK conference, Dan Burnam from ChannelAdvisor moderated a panel featuring two of the UK/EU’s top CSEs and eConsultancy. The panel included:
  • Llloyd Price – Marketing Director – kelkoo
  • Tom Hyde – Temamleader eCommerce UK – Ciao
  • Linus Gregoriadis, Research Director- eConsultancy


Here are some interesting tidbits I got from the session:

Social marketing
  • Kelkoo are interested in social media, but not sure about how to make it work given that CSEs are at the end of the buying cycle and social media is frequently very early. 
  • Ciao wall application on facebook   

How to get the most out of your channel

  • Kelkoo – the datafeed is the best place to focus on quality. That’s what shows up on the site, so focus on the feed.
  • Ciao has lots of tools for the retailer to help them add/drive user reviews, so using them helps and datafeeds are important too.
  • Linus – Make sure you are using a system that tells you exactly what each channel is driving and costs so you can manage things closely.

 

How do you feel about Google coming onto your turf with Google Product Search?

  • Kelkoo – we love it. We don’t see it as a threat.  What they’ve really done is just have some basic results.  If I’m a retailer, and I’m getting free traffic from GPS, I can invest that into more paid offerings, so we see it as a positive.
  • Ciao – Ciao reviews are frequently pulled in by Google so our retailers actually get traffic from it which we enjoy.
  • Linus – 2/3 of retailers are using GPS.  So I say to retaiers to definitely use this channel!

Q: Retailers want CPA, reduces risk.  Engines like CPC. Which do you prefer / are you focused on?

  • Ciao – we like CPC because it’s transparent and easily to monitor vs. CPA.  It’s working. Are looking at hybrid models, but find CPC is superior.
  • Kelkoo – Focused on CPC

Q: What’s the rest of the year going to hold for the economy and ecommerce as a whole?

  • Ciao – UK retail climate is ok because the share of offline will continue to grow.  Recommendations are going to be very essential to make sure you are in front of consumers.
  • Kelkoo – Everyone focused on smaller items, ‘treats’, but not high-end.  Retailers focusing on women which plays to our demographic.
  • eConsultancy – There are lots of opportunities online still, so focus on those vs. the few people not shopping.  More retailers are doing well focusing on customer service. Twitter is an interesting example of how the savvy merchant can get aboard it as a customer service.  Also focus on customer retention, optimise it.

Audience Q&A

The area of generating feeds is a dark art.  For example yesterday we did 200 sales last month on GPS, only 40 on Kelkoo.  Why can’t you help us, the retailer, optimise for your site to get good position?

  • econsultancy – Amongst retailers, many aren’t even using the channel yet.  Some are doing really basic stuff. Others are really pushing the envelope.  Companies like ChannelAdvisor, with ShoppingAdvisor, can help you not only bridge that gap, but give you the software to implement it.
  • Kelkoo – we work best when a retailer shares their sales data with us.  We can’t just push back to the retailer, it needs to be a shared process.  We can share keywords that are working too. Focus on pre-orders, we’re seeing lots of demand there.  Test CSEs for demand.  use Google Trends data too.  Keywords that convert on google will tend to work well for us too (in your title).
  • Ciao – Transparency is the key. We work with retailers constantly to improve conversions and get the most from their investment.

Do you take a feed or include eBay or Amazon?

  • Ciao – we only include eBay as backfill.
  • Kelkoo – We do support eBay/Amazon, we don’t get a lot of feedback that they are duplicate and/or have different pricings.

Coming at this as a consumer, can you tell me what are the benefits using your sites?  I usually get frustrated with CSEs.  How will you improve the customer experience?

  • Ciao – At Ciao we have an emphasis on providing tons of information.  We list things from least to most expensive so you don’t have to resort.  if you want a panasonic laptop, we have tons of reviews along with the retailers offering that product.  We include total information on availability, S+H, etc.
  • Kelkoo – We are more like window shopping – we help give you inspiration.

ChannelAdvisor question – Do you allow us to upload all the google product search items?

Yes, we do that today with templates.