eBay Commerce Network and Shopping.com Help Expand Your Reach
Some early Internet trendsetters have fizzled away, or at least have lost their luster. Yahoo! is nothing like Google. AOL isn’t the go-to place to access the web, and Alta Vista certainly doesn’t live up to its name (top view). In fact, last month, it officially died (Yahoo! pulled the plug on it).
But eBay, an early trailblazer in the world of online shopping and transactions, is still relevant today. It remains a go-to place for web-based flea shoppers and anyone looking for a deal. Its acquisition of PayPal in 2002 made the idea of easy and secure purchasing a reality within eBay’s infrastructure. But does the success of its bidding site trickle into its Commerce Network?
While eBay is best known for its bidding model, it does maintain a Merchant Program, or eBay Commerce Network, where retailers place their product listing ads across eBay’s network. The eBay Commerce Network is eBay’s way of uniting eBay with comparison shopping engine Shopping.com, which it purchased in August 2005.
Shopping.com reaches more than 250 million consumers every month, yet it hasn’t been as well known across the globe as eBay. As a result, eBay’s reshaped the focus of Shopping.com toward publishers and merchants, rather than consumers. Sure, consumers can still go onto Shopping.com for price comparisons (it remains one of the publishers using the eBay Commerce Network API). But behind the scenes, eBay is operating a commerce network that connects online merchants with consumers through a variety of publishers.
Long story short – this means that search results made by the eBay Commerce Network will show up across the web, which increases a merchant’s overall reach.
eBay claims that it’s diverse “publisher network” can reach consumers at any stage of the shopping experience, from awareness to buy.
This certainly is an attractive feature for any online merchant. eBay is doing all it can do to be the premiere place for shopping. Its success relies on its ability to push its API to as many independent publishers as possible, to live up to its claim of reaching customers throughout the buy cycle, and from anywhere online.
Signing up to be a merchant
Merchants who sign up for a Shopping.com account can easily upload a data feed, fund that account using PayPal (of course), and launch the campaign after being reviewed internally.
When you are approved, you’ll be given access to ROI Tracker, which helps you monitor your sales and conversions, as well as Survey Tool, which allows you to create a service quality rating on eBay Commerce Network, and allows you to get customer feedback through customizable questions.
You have three ways to submit a feed to the eBay Commerce Network:
1. Use an eBay Commerce Network provided FTP location
2. Use your own FTP location
3. Use an HTTP link
If you want to access eBay’s global network (they work within the US, UK, Germany, France and Australia), then you have to set up separate accounts for each country.
eBay has recently boasted some impressive numbers, showing that the decisions its made over the last few years are paying off. It certainly has the vision to become the overarching place for online shopping, meaning it might be worth your while to hitch your wagon to this ride early on.
To learn more about the eBay Commerce Network, or to find out if it’s right for you, call OperationROI at 1-888-277-5429 or fill out our contact form.Not Leveraging ECN or Getting Desired Results? Contact Us Today!