The ecommerce landscape is changing and navigating it successfully will depend on choosing the right paths to your customers, or rather how you manage different paths which your potential customers may take to find your products.
While there are multiple ways to get your products found, not every option may fit into your ecommerce strategy. Here are some of the options that your customers have for finding and buying your products:
- Product Listing Ads
- Comparison Shopping Engines
- Affiliate Networks
- Shopping Cart Platforms
Products are provided by multiple third parties and customer transactions are processed by the marketplace operator and then delivered and fulfilled by the participating retailers or wholesalers. In addition to a seller fee, a percentage of each sale is paid to the marketplace operator. This model is pay-per-action. Some examples are google Shopping Actions, Amazon, eBay, Walmart, Jet, Newegg, Rakuten and Sears.
Product Listing Ads
A product listing ad includes product image, price, and merchant name and appears when a search is performed. You bid on ad placement through the medium provider. A click on the product listing takes the visitor to your website to complete the purchase. This model is pay-per-click. Some examples are Google Shopping (Adwords), Bing, and Facebook Dynamic Product Ads.
Comparison Shopping Engines
This is very similar to product listing ads, but enables shoppers to compare products or offerings based on price, features and selection. A click on the product listing takes the visitor to your website to complete the purchase. This model is pay-per-click. Some examples are Nextag, Polyvore, Connexity, and Wanelo.
A marketing arrangement by which an online retailer pays a commission to an external website for traffic or sales generated from its referrals. A business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought by the affiliate's own marketing efforts. This model is pay-per-action. Some examples are Commission Junction, Rakuten LinkShare, Pepperjam, ShareASale, Avantlink, Google Affiliate Network, and ClixGalore.
Retargeting, also known as remarketing, serves personalized online display advertisements to consumers who have previously visited your website. Code on your store site creates a list of people that visit your site by placing anonymous retargeting "cookies" in their browser. This list allows retargeting vendors to display retargeting ads to your potential customers as they visit other sites. This model is pay-per-click. Some examples are Adroll, Criteo, BazaarVoice, Barilliance.
Shopping Cart Platforms
Software that is the user-interface for the customer to shop at online stores. This is your store website. Some examples are Shopify, Magento, Bigcommerce, Zoey, 3dcart, Volusion, Miva, Woocommerce, Spark Pay, PrestaShop, ShopSite, Zen Cart, X-Cart (the list is endless).
Now that you know what channels you will be advertising or selling on, we will discuss different methods to turn your catalog into listings on these channels.