Last month, I wrote about the launch of Become.com's comparison shopping features in an article that also highlighted the direction that founders Michael Yang and Yeogirl Yun are hoping to take the company. I had a chance to meet Michael last week at the Search Engine Strategies conference in San Diego, not long after Become had launched a new advertising channel for merchants.
Become.com has opened up their index to make it simple for online merchants to get their product feeds included in the shopping engine. Merchants simply need to work with Become.com's staff to get a data feed submitted. Once the listings are live, merchants pay on a cost-per-click (CPC) basis for any leads they receive through the site. The fee-based feed is similar to offerings by other top shopping engines, including BizRate and Shopping.com. It does, however, go against the method used by Google's engine Froogle, which invites webmasters to submit feeds for free, or attempts to find the feeds on its own.
Become.com's team thinks that the difference in their engine makes the cost worthwhile. "By combining search and comparison shopping Become.com provides merchants with the ability to list their products alongside web-based research results. This helps consumers to easily research 'what to buy' as well as compare 'where to buy'" explains Yang.
Yang and Yun are working to put together a shopping research engine that will help users convert to buyers more easily by providing them with plenty of product research to go along with pricing data. Greg Haslam, Director of Business Development at Become.com explains the advantage this way: "Our key advantage is that Become.com users have access to comprehensive research on the product and services that consumers are shopping for. These educated consumer leads payoff in better conversions for our merchant partners when measured against traditional comparison shopping sites that focus purely on price comparison."
Merchants that are considering taking the program for a test run may want to give it a shot before the end of August. During the month of August, the Become.com team is providing merchants with a 50% discount on sales leads that come through the engine. You can learn more about the discount by visiting the Become.com's merchant sign-up page.
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Jennifer Laycock is the Editor of Search Engine Guide, the Social Media Faculty Chair for MarketMotive and offers small business social media strategy & consulting. Jennifer enjoys the challenge of finding unique and creative ways to connect with consumers without spending a fortune in marketing dollars. Though she now prefers to work with small businesses, Jennifer’s clients have included companies like Verizon, American Greetings and Highlights for Children.
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