HPShopping Gorges on Transactions After Improving Data Feed

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HPShopping.com tripled transactions on its site during the past year by boosting the performance of data feeds from comparison-shopping engines and its partner sites.

HPShopping executives realized about a year ago that, with 30 affiliate sites and several comparison-shopping engines, managing all the company's data feeds was becoming too large a job. It began working with Chicago-based search and affiliate marketing firm Performics.

In its Feed Lab, Performics received HPShopping.com's data feeds, conducted field validation -- such as ensuring that click-through URLs go to the correct landing pages -- appended and modified the feed, then sent it to comparison-shopping engines, partner sites and through Google's AdWords program.

"Then we do some overall optimization: If certain segments of the feed are not performing well in certain ways, we shouldn't send those products to distribution partners," said Chris Henger, vice president of marketing and product development at Performics.

HPShopping boosted the number of SKUs going through the data feed from 600 to about 950, and raised the conversion rates going through the feed, said Catherine Paschkewitz, director of consumer marketing for HPShopping.com.

"Over 350 SKUs were either added to the feed or cleaned for accurate display on comparison sites," said Paul O'Brien, interactive marketing manager for HPShopping.com.

Rebates and other promotional offers also were added alongside products on comparison-shopping sites, so consumers selected products even before they landed on HPShopping.com's pages.

"We added value to the feed and improved distribution," Henger said. "The feed went to more places and to the right people."

In the first month after the data feed optimization last spring, sales on HPShopping.com jumped 64 percent, then sustained double-digit growth monthly for the past year.

While HPShopping improved its listings and data feeds on other sites, Paschkewitz said HP also boosted sales by providing better product information on its site and sending users to the right area on its site.

On product pages on its site, HPShopping.com added corresponding media that included more product data and promotional offers. When a user clicks on a product, the information surrounding that product is arranged better "with all the key things you need to know," she said.

Also, HP improved cross-selling techniques on product pages.

"If you're buying a printer, it might feature the cartridge and related items, so consumers have a better experience," Paschkewitz said.

Christine Blank covers online marketing and advertising, including e-mail marketing and paid search, for DM News and DMNews.com. To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting www.dmnews.com/newsletters

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