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This seems to be a trend developing amongst the major search engines. Shopping.com is doing it. Froogle will probably soon charge a CPC for referring buyers to merchants and Yahoo will be doing it soon as just announced.
For me this raises many interesting questions about e-tailing. As a reseller/merchant I have been very fortunate becuase I provide a niche product that is not completely mainstream or consumer oriented...but fear it could become one as "CPC comparative shopping portals" become more prevalent. We already have froogle, shopping.com, YahooShopping, Bizrate, to name a few.
My concern is that all products will become comodotized as we see multiple merchants side by side selling the same stuff. Hence the reason I ahve stayed away from doing partnerships with "comparative shopping portals."
But with the money these players are generating and new interest from the investment community in contectual adserving CPC portals perhaps the better business to be in if you are a reseller and a one stop shop for a particular niche is to become a "CPC comparative portal" and instead of making the money the old fashion way through straight ecommerce the better way is to be the search compare and buy vortal.
Any thoughts out there about this?
There definitely seems to be a trend towards "Mega Affiliates" - Amazon, Yahoo, Google, Ebay. These companies are leveraging their position in the market, name recognition, and market reach to earn revenue in a variety of ways.
As this trend continues I think they're going to continue squeezing out the "mom and pop" shop so only big businesses with revenue can "play".
It'll be interesting to hear from people whether they find this investment worthwhile.
The more this happens, the more smaller, less competitive companies will be pushed aside. In the short term we will see little change, but as time goes on the retailer will be pushed into spending more for his traffic and the buyer will have less choice.
Big players like Amazon offer a wide range of commodity items, but without the small independents choice will be removed, which is negative overall. I think we need some forward thinking answers to these problems, I for one cannot afford to pay out for every visitor I get. :-(
I also think online consumers have the potential to shop business away from our diverse online choices; in favor of these larger price engines (frooge etc).
As a individual with a credit card in my hand, I love the fact that I can search out the best price for the product or service I am looking for.
I would tend to think most people feel getting the best price online is the *key* reason they shop in this medium.
Frooge, Yahoo Shoppping, Pricewatch, eBay, etc is the unfortunate future of online shopping.
Look at eBay!?! Its totally insane right now. People are making money left and right.
7.5 cents of every dollar spent in the U.S. goes to Wal-Mart!?
Heres an interesting article on that;
The consumer *obviously* enjoys saving money, and enjoys the family oreinted corporate environment Wal-Mart has created and manintained.
I think online will follow this path.
I believe its only a matter of time before the little guys are pushed out.
I think community building is key to have long lasting success as a small business online.
What do you think?
'free forever' are mighty strong words:
So it is completely free. Is there likely to be a time
where you'll charge?
No. It'll be free forever. We've learned from Google.com
that if you provide a great service then you can derive
income from putting ads down the side. And we're going to
do exactly the same... Well, we're already doing the same
I definitely think they'll figure that one out soon, just as all the other major comparison shopping sites have. The only question in my mind is whether it'll be category-based CPCs or keyword-based; the former is easier to do, but the latter is what the large adveritsers want.