eBay buys Shopping.com - Boon or Bust to Online Merchants?

Written by Scott Smigler

Continued from page 1

- Upside to eBay Shoppers: Access to more products and increased price competition.

- Upside to Online Merchants: Access torepparttar lucrative community of eBay shoppers.

- Downsides: eBay sellers will face increased competition.

2) eBay could be buying Shopping.com to simply enhance its value to both eBay shoppers and eBay sellers. Shoppers would benefit fromrepparttar 142480 product reviews and price comparison technology that Shopping.com owns. Sellers would benefit fromrepparttar 142481 enhanced shopping experience because demand for their products will further increase.

- Upside to eBay: Increased customer loyalty and listing fees.

- Upside to Shoppers: Better version ofrepparttar 142482 service they’re already comfortable with.

- Upside to Online Merchants: None. Many online merchants have been reluctant to establish an eBay presence because they’ll have to maintain two separate stores.

- Downsides: Online merchants won’t haverepparttar 142483 streamlined access they’re looking for to reachrepparttar 142484 eBay community, andrepparttar 142485 value of advertising on Shopping.com would be diminished.

My Take

I can’t imagine that eBay would spend $620 million on Shopping.com only to disband its network of online merchants who pay a lot of money to be featured there. Accordingly, my prediction is that eBay will maintain a version of Shopping.com’s current advertising network where merchants acquire clicks from buyers (contrary to eBay’s model where buyers never click to leaverepparttar 142486 eBay website).

If I’m right, eBay’s acquisition of Shopping.com will be huge for advertisers. Advertisers will be able to advertise on Shopping.com like they always have. The only difference will be a massive influx of quality traffic from eBay.

I am concerned because eBay’s press release only talks about creating an enhanced shopping experience for current buyers, and mentionsrepparttar 142487 new opportunity for current eBay sellers. The press release does not mention Shopping.com’s advertisers at all, which makes me question eBay’s true motives. In other words, I may very well be wrong.

Bottom line: Watch this closely. eBay’s acquisition could be a tremendous boon to online advertisers, opening up a fertile new market for online marketing. Or, eBay could be acquiring Shopping.com purely for its technology and product review network withrepparttar 142488 singular goal of enhancing eBay.com. If so, online merchants will be missing out on a big opportunity.

Online merchants should watch this very closely.


Scott Smigler has been an evangelist for a serious, ROI-based focus on the online channel since he founded Exclusive Concepts in 1997. Exclusive Concepts provides integrated online marketing strategies, Internet brand consulting, search engine marketing campaigns and results-oriented web sites for hundreds of clients that range in size from small ecommerce firms to public companies.

Improve Conversion Rates – Load Times

Written by Halstatt Pires

Continued from page 1

Server statistics can also provide you with evidence of slow load times. Are users spending a lot of time on entry pages, but not visiting internal pages? Either you have poor content or a loading problem.

Finally, you can also use diagnostic programs to test load times. Typically,repparttar programs will kick out estimated load times for dial-up, DSL and T1 connections. Make sure you test your home page and internal pages. Diagnostic programs are excellent tools, but don’t get lazy. Make sure you physically watch your site load on a dial-up connection. The experience will prove invaluable to improving your site and conversion rates.

Improving Performance

The steps needed to improverepparttar 142479 performance of your site often depend onrepparttar 142480 nature ofrepparttar 142481 site. A database driven site will have different issue than a graphic intense site. There are, however, universal factors that can be checked:

1. Graphics: Typically, browsers have to make a connection for each image on a page. The more you have,repparttar 142482 longerrepparttar 142483 load time. Limitingrepparttar 142484 number and size of graphics can help.

2. Tables: If you use tables, try to break them up into smaller modules. Large tables can negatively impact load times.

3. Multimedia: If it flashes, explodes, spins or blinks, consider ditching it. Yes, it looks great, but is it worth 45% of your audience?

4. Size: Scrutinizerepparttar 142485 size of your pages. The biggerrepparttar 142486 page,repparttar 142487 slowerrepparttar 142488 load times. It shouldn’t be a problem ifrepparttar 142489 page is comprised of text, but large pages with lots of code will load slowly.

Cheer up if you have a speed problem! Yes, you’ve lost a lot of business, but now you can fix it. Most of your competitors will never figure it out. That puts you ahead ofrepparttar 142490 game.

Halstatt Pires is with Marketing Titan- an Internet marketing and advertising company comprised of a search engine optimization specialist providing meta tag optimization services and Internet marketing consultant providing internet marketing solutions through integrated design and programming services.

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