Target and Toys R Us posted overall sales declines during the holidays.
The network will syndicate products from 4,000 merchants to Bing and other comparison shopping sites.
Shopping.com is now the eBay Commerce Network, parent company eBay Inc. said today. The change reflects recent changes at the comparison shopping engine to distribute retailers’ product listings across hundreds of web sites, including the Bing search engine, content sites like C/Net, comparison shopping engines TheFind.com and Smarter.com, and e-marketplaces including eBay.com, says Kristy Troup, general manager, U.S. business, at the eBay Commerce Network.
“We’re trying to stay in front of consumers in different ways,” Troup says. With a single product listing feed, she says, the eBay Commerce Network is designed to help retailers reach consumers throughout the shopping process, from researching products to when they’re on a shopping site ready to buy. On a content site such as C/Net, for instance, shoppers can read a review of a digital camera, then click a link to the reach the buy page of an advertising retailer. The same product from the same retailer could also be available as a product listing on TheFind or another comparison shopping site as well as on eBay.com and through the Bing search engine. EBay Commerce Network is located on the web at www.ebaycommercenetwork.com.
Through its connections with other shopping sites and networks, eBay Commerce Network is set up to give 4,000 merchants access to sites with some 200 million monthly page views, Troup says. Participating retailers include retail chains like Macy’s Inc., Target Corp. and Best Buy Co. Inc., and web-only retailers Amazon.com Inc. and Wayfair LLC. In the Internet Retailer Top 500, Amazon.com is No. 1; Wayfair, No. 50; Macy’s, No. 14; Target, 23; and Best Buy, No. 11.
The eBay Commerce Network, which charges no set-up fees, charges retailers on a cost-per-click basis. It provides retailers with an online dashboard for managing product listings and retail pricing, which merchants can modify as they monitor their sales metrics.
As part of the rebranding effort, eBay is investing in eBay Commerce Network with improved campaign management tools to help retailers manage their CPC bids and produce the highest click-through rates and sales, Troup says. “We’re investing in the network and committed to growing it,” she says.
To feed product data to eBay Commerce Network retailers can do that directly or through third-party companies listed on the eBay Commerce Network’s web site, including ChannelAdvisor Corp., Mercent Corp., Solid Cactus, Singlefeed, GoDataFeed and CPC Strategy.
Eric Best, CEO of Mercent, says Shopping.com has served as a valuable sales channel for online merchants, and that developing the broader eBay Commerce Network is a strategic move by eBay to better compete against other e-marketplaces. "This move comes at a time when we're seeing interesting market dynamics and changes to online marketplaces—most notably Google Shopping, and with increased competition from Amazon, Sears and others." He adds that Mercent will work with its merchant clients to explore how the eBay Commerce Network will supplement their e-commerce operations.
Mark Vandegrift, director of managed services at ChannelAdvisor, says that the eBay Commerce Network is a significant move by eBay to focus on its marketplace business, and that it has the resources to offer new ways to reach consumers with targeted offers. “EBay has lots of shopper data that could be used to bring new targeting functions or other advertising options into this program, which would definitely benefit sellers,” he says.
EBay acquired Shopping.com in 2005. Shopping.com was formed in 2003 through the merger of shopping site DealTime.com and the research and comparison shopping site Epinions.com. Shopping.com, DealTime.com and Epinions.com continue to operate as individual sites within the eBay Commerce Network.
Darren Baldwin, manager of e-commerce at web-only work wear retailer Dungarees.net., will talk about how retailers can effectively work with Google Shopping at the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition 2013 in Chicago in June in the session. “Searching for success with the new Google Shopping.”