The CSE Gospel According to Pronto/IAC’s Dan Marriott

December 3, 2006

Digital Marketing ChannelAdvisor By ChannelAdvisor

Dmarriott
I remember the first time I met Dan, within 20 minutes we started completing each other’s sentences.   When they started working on Pronto, we wanted to support the effort not only with datafeeds, but also by plugging our SMB/eBay customers directly into the system.  This article on ZDNET came out over the weekend and captures some of Dan’s comments at the Kelsey Interactive Local Media conference.

Dan has an innate ability to make complex markets seem like a board game and then uses that ability to eloquently show how IAC is positioned on that board game.  For example, he says:

“Pronto is a “web crawler.” Marriott identified new styles of services competing in the online comparison shopping space:

 

  • Decision support: Mpire.com
  • Occasion-based: Gifts.com (also IAC)
  • Demographically targeted: Glam
  • Community minded:  Kaboodle
  • Web 2.0 tools: Stylehive
  • Visual search: Like.com
  • Consumer incented: Jellyfish.com

 

All are vying for their piece
of a very large online shopping opportunity: $250 billion plus,
according to Marriott. Online spending on goods is currently about $132
billion and online influences additionally about $126 billion in
offline sales, Marriott said.

 

According to Marriott, aggregated “targeted shopping services” are only capturing about $1 billion of the market.”

Talk to most VCs about the industry and they make it seem like it’s game over, the money has been made, but here Dan makes a strong case that we’re in the first inning of comparison shopping systems.

Bottom line: Keep a close eye on Pronto, they have a very solid team and significant backing.

Sound off: CSE readers – what do you think?  Are we in the early days of CSE or the 9th inning?