Retailers have a lot of options in terms of what type of shopping cart they can use from Magento, to custom builds to Multichannel Applications like Channel Advisor.
Which Shopping Cart Should I use?
That is a common question that we get asked a lot. There are so many shopping carts out there it is hard to know which one to use for your web site.
Magento is one of the new carts out there but even Channel Advisor debates weather this may have been a better choice as a base for their platform than the ASPDOTNET Storefront code that they use. If I were a multichannel retailer selling a ton on Ebay and wanting an easy way to feed comparison engines and built in paid search automation software I would choose channel advisor. If I just wanted a straightforward canned cart I would use Magento. If I wanted more custom features, I would have programmers build a custom cart so there are no coding limitations. Whatever option you choose, the main issue is conversion rate. Office Depot is a channel advisor client and they were in the top ten most successful websites by conversion rate in 2009. So more than the tool, it is what you do with it.
More shopping cart options
- Shopsite Pro
- Merchandizer Pro
- Network Solutions
- X-Cart Pro
ChannelAdvisor enables retailers to submit one inventory feed to ChannelAdvisor’s platform where it is translated and optimized to fit the specifications of online channels and distributed accordingly. It feeds your web store / shopping cart, online marketplaces like Ebay, Amazon and Buy.com, Paid Search Programs such as Google Adwords, Yahoo! And Bing, as well as Comparison Shopping Engines like Shopping.com, Shopzilla, Nextag and more. By having one database of your products that feeds all channels, you can more easily focus on adjusting for ROI. It also provides greater control of data since you can “beam” it to a number of places through direct integration and there are many software modules that go with it to help you get more from each campaign. The support is also excellent.
Channel Advisor’s Marketplace Advisor offers several features to facilitate e-bay listing and selling.
A few key features:
- Central inventory management / manage all products from one place
- Image Hosting, photos up to 500 MB with bulk upload options to save time
- A “Listing Creation” feature, which utilizes customizable templates to make your posts look professional and accessible
- Automated sales reports.
While I won’t go into a detailed Channel Advisor review, I do believe Etailers need to be aware of it. They have 7,000 customers, many of which are top internet retailers and are tied to the hip with Ebay through very deep “partnership”.
May 3-5, 2010, at the Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club in Durham, NC. The 9th annual conference.
Every year ChannelAdvisor’s holds a conference called Catalyst. I went this year with three of my client’s. I was impressed with the fact that one of EBay’s top people and a new hire but senior person from Google were there.
Speakers included the following:
- Scot Wingo, President and CEO of ChannelAdvisor
- Raju Malhotra, Director of Product Marketing, Bing
- Jay Custard, Global Online Marketing Director, Crocs
- Dinesh Lathi, Vice President of Buyer and Seller Experience, eBay
- Stephanie Tilenius, Vice President of E-Commerce, Google
As stated on the ChannelAdvisor Site:
Attendees can also expect to learn, direct from industry experts and peers, strategies and best practices for selling more through comparison shopping engines, paid search, marketplaces, rich media and social media. This year will also bring the return of the popular consumer panel, which allows attendees to poll a demographic range of consumers about their online shopping and buying habits.
“We always hear from our retailers that Catalyst offers an unusual value proposition; the ability to interface in an intimate setting with senior management from companies that our retailers work with daily,” asserted Scot Wingo, ChannelAdvisor CEO. “We’ve created Catalyst with the idea of bringing together the most innovative minds in e-commerce to fuel discussions, solve problems and create new questions about where e-commerce is headed and how the industry can improve.”
“Catalyst is the one show I refuse to miss,” said David Duong, CEO of Shoe Metro. “No other show provides the opportunity to network with so many peers and industry influencers.”
The show was full of great info and it is clear that Social Media (Blogs that start conversations, Facebook Coupons / niche content and Twitter product launches just to name a few tactics), Conversion enhancements through a/b testing, Comparison Shopping Engines and SEO are all red hot marketing tactics.
ChannelAdvisor’s Catalyst 2010 Conference Recap and PDF’s of presentations
A few pics from the event