The Edge Blog
The Edge - The official blog of Edgenet, Inc. Talking smart about the world of buyers' guides, product data feeds, and data feed optimization solutions.
If you don't know about the O'Reilly books, then you can click the link and do a quick learn - most people have seen an O'Reilly book on something through the years, even if it was part of a required course at school, or in a bookshelf at a friend's house. Wikipedia explains, "an American media company established by Tim O'Reilly that publishes books and Web sites and produces conferences on computer technology topics. Their distinctive brand features a woodcut of an animal on many of their book covers."
Purveyors of this blog might come to a conclusion that we're pushing hard to show the importance of product data so that you'll run - don't walk - and buy our product data solutions.
That's only half true.
As borne out by this article at information-management.com - one of the best articles we've ever seen on product data - the importance of quality, structured product data is only now being recognized across industries.
Google the term "buyer's guide," and you'll find...a whole heck of a lot of buyer's guides. Not a lot about the the history of buyer's guides, or the evolution of buyer's guides...just buyer's guides. For horses, AM radios, and yo-yos...just about anything.
It looks like no one knows where buyer's guides came from, not even the trusty Wikipedia. All we know is, they're here. And...they need help. A perfunctory look at a few buyers guides will reveal an almost-universal crater of functionality and technology. Why can't the yo-yo guide ask the user if they want a classic, flared gap, or modified shape and let them choose? Or, why can't the guide ask a question like: Are you looking for a yo-yo to perform looping tricks?
We blame unstructured product data.
Structured product data will improve your organic SEO results. So says a recent article at the website "practical ecommerce: Insights for Online Merchants."
The article, written by Jill Kocher, indicates that early decisions regarding site structure and how it uses a product catalog can "have surprising ramifications for SEO."
The secret is understanding HOW shoppers are searching for your products and organizing your website's navigation and pages to mirror and reveal product data that matches popular searches.
We've been telling you for years that better, highly structured data results in a bigger bottom line. Better data reduces inefficiencies, as indicated in an IBM study showing that companies lose an average of 8.2 million dollars annually from data collection issues.
And that's just data collection, not dissemination. One of our partners indicated that a supplier in their industry had to create between 50-100 data sets for 50-100 distributors.
Even before the product is rolled out, some members of the jury are returning a verdict.
On May 31, Google announced massive changes to Google Shopping, which are scheduled to take effect completely by October 1. Changes have already begun , and as experts begin to understand what's coming, some are worried about how retailers will react. Blogger Andrew Davis details "Why The New Google Shopping S*cks For E-Merchants."
Take it from us - Davis is right when he expresses concerns about a general, industry-wide ignorance to the importance of product data. We've been on our soap box a while, and even though we see the overwhelming evidence that Ezeedata's a game changer for data quality - and earnings - we have continued to witness businesses that don't see value in high quality product data.
Even though the changes are massive, there's no need for panic. Google may be a giant, but it's no Godzilla.
By now, most savvy retailers - and even a few of the late adopters - have realized that Google has changed online retail with its announced changes to move to a pay-for-play model. Here are a few details you might not have realized.
A recent study by ClickIQ demonstrates how badly consumers want product information while shopping. ClickIQ polled consumer panel members who used their phone or mobile device to research products while shopping. 61% said they used the internet to research a particular product, far and away the most popular activity.
Many analysts have begun to throw their opinions in on Google's latest earnings miss - specifically the slowing in the search giant's core business (from 33% to 25% in Q4). This article in Business Insider theorizes that mobile search is far less profitable than standard search, and indicates that Amazon's rise might be taking a huge bite out of Google's success.
If Edgenet's success rode on organic search and Google's ability to rule the internet, Q4 of 2011 would have delivered us some sobering news.
We've been telling you for years that consumer behavior has shifted forever. We see it in studies like this one, which explain that impulse buying is dead. Challenging economic times, the rise of mobile devices being used as "data devices", and the increased demand for better images, videos and details have all combined to create a population clamoring for more.
We've recently stumbled across a study which proved our point. The study showed