Which CSE should benefit from your Mother’s Day purchase?

May 3, 2007

You remembered, right?

Mother’s Day.  May 13.

I took a look at the major CSEs that made special efforts to build mini Mother’s Day stores — these engines clearly hope to up the ante and capture a bigger chunk of the estimated $11.5 billion that consumers spend on the leadup to the big day.

Here’s a quick breakdown of selected mom-friendly CSEs:

  • Shop.com — good, obvious promo on the front page and I like how they break out items by personality or profile and not just on price.  Some examples: “Gifts for Fashionista Moms,” “Gifts for Gourmet Moms.”  Beyond that, execution isn’t impressive.  Items appear in pop-ups, but you have to jump through an obscure intermediary screen.  Once you get to the list of items, you can only add all or nothing.  Makes no sense to me.
  • TheFind — Subtle and tasteful promo on the front page.  Stylish compilation pages and good concentration on food vs. clothing and other goods.  Once you click on an item, TheFind directs you to their standard comparison shopping grid treatment (which I believe is executed extremely well).  Humorous headlines, too (“Support Her Social Drinking”…they should have a keg or something).  Overall, I believe this effort seems seamless and is very well done.
  • Bizrate — Nice product mix (Bluetooth headsets and earrings in one place) and simple, straightforward presentation.  A clickthrough yields the typical CSE experience.  I think Bizrate executed well on bringing attention to the “special” store with a pink “Mother’s Day” nav button.
  • Shopzilla — Same pink button stickout as Bizrate.  Again, simple and effective.  Shopzilla pulls it together better, I think, with their product categories.  Ooh, and they offer the “Ex Voodoo Knife Set.”  Um…I’m sold.
  • Pricegrabber — Continuing with the lovely pink colour scheme, but you’re lead there by PG’s stylized category button on the right nav pane.  I don’t really see anything special here, though and it’s pretty text / promo heavy.

It’s obvious which engines put forth a little bit of an extra effort by putting some thought and resources behind a Mother’s Day feature.  In the end, it’s a fairly simple exercise…probably culminating in selecting the highest-converting products for women.  But anyone can do this, and that’s why I give TheFind the top spot for best Mother’s Day feature.  Shopzilla takes the second slot.

I think it comes down to copywriting and creativity.  Again, anyone can throw together a list of products.

It’s a lost opportunity for a CSE if a Mother’s Day experience is lackluster.  Think about the droves of family members and spouses coming across these sites for the first time.  The CSE that makes things simple and fun will reap future benefits.  How do you want your shopping experience remembered?

If I missed any, then drop them in the comments with your own analysis / opinion.

Written by Scott Hurff.
Contact me at scott.hurff (at) channeladvisor (dot) com.