Capitalizing on Comparing Values
The nation’s faltering economy is helping to fuel the growth of comparison-shopping sites as consumers, increasingly price-sensitive, go online to do research and find the lowest prices on select products. Among those capitalizing on the trend is Monterey, Calif.-based
The man at the helm of
What is your target demographic?
Our target demographic and core customer is a busy mom, usually between the ages of 30 and 55, with a household income of about $75,000. She’s brand-conscious, seeks value, and likes to share new purchases and favorite stores with friends. She sees shopping as a necessity, but also as a form of fun and entertainment. Our goal is to offer one-stop shopping that saves her time, money and sanity, especially during hectic periods.
What are the basic challenges when it comes to comparative shopping by genders?
It is no secret that women make most of the purchasing decisions for their family. In fact, according to the Center for Women’s Business Research, women influence 95% (and make 85%) of all consumer-buying decisions. The busy, modern woman with a family and career is strapped for time and needs tools to help her complete her shopping quickly, efficiently and economically.
What changes has
Over the past year, we have migrated our business from a purely transactional e-commerce site to an online media company. We have expanded our media platform with the launch of a direct CPC (cost-per-click) program, which provides merchants with the ability to have product listings integrated into
The current economy actually makes our value proposition even more attractive to consumers who are eager to find the best product at the lowest price. In a down economy, families are in need of more comparison shopping, value, discounts and coupons, so the company’s strategic position has never been stronger. Our weekly revenue is up 30% compared to a year ago.
We keep this in mind when launching new features, as well. For example, earlier this year we launched “Save Green, Live Green” a site-wide campaign that highlights everyday realistic ways consumers can save money while helping the environment at the same time. Consumers appreciate this sort of information, and it keeps them coming back to the site.
How else do you drive repeat business?
Comparison-shopping sites need to be engaging. To do that, you have to offer a place to compare, learn, share and shop. We provide editorial and “advertorial” content aimed at assuring customers they are buying the right product for their needs, the right style for their tastes, and getting the best value for their money. It’s all about engagement, and
How has online comparative shopping grown?
Comparison-shopping sites are gaining momentum as more price-sensitive shoppers do their homework. In fact, with more online shoppers discovering and using comparison-shopping sites, $300 million of growth is projected in the consumer search engine space this year.
What’s your take on this year’s holiday selling season?
There is no question holiday shoppers this season will be in search of savings, convenience and selection. Overall, we believe taxed, stressed-out shoppers will be issuing a “holiday SOS” of varying kinds—getting through a dauntingly long checklist of gifts, stretching a budget, or needing inspiration for original gift ideas. We are in a good spot to meet these needs, and have been for a while.
What are you doing to stand out in a crowded marketplace?
How will the site evolve moving forward?
We are looking to add enhancements such as personalization tools where customers can set up shopping preferences and get product recommendations that specifically meet their needs.
We are also seeing a greater interest in the sharing of information amongst consumers. That said, we want our shoppers to be able to share product favorites and deals with their peers.