ShopWiki may be the best shopping search engine you don’t know about. Because it’s crawler-based, it doesn’t rely on managed XML feeds as do its better-known competitors over at Yahoo, Google, Shopping.com and the plethora of other comparison shopping engines. And because it searches the whole Web, CEO Rory Cumming says it delivers the lowest price about 80 percent of the time.
I caught up with Rory yesterday. He came on board last Fall, along with a fresh infusion of funding. He’s focused on optimizing the site for search, as well as on international expansion. The first week the site launched a German version, it garnered more traffic than Shopping.com in that country. His sights are also set on Australia, France, the UK and the Netherlands.
At home, he’s taking another approach: creating storefront technology for sites too small or unwilling to create and manage feeds for the larger shopping search engines. He’s also struck a deal with a motorcycle afterparts dealer, and a high-end luxury goods browsing site is also on the drawing board.
ShopWiki’s edge, he claims, is shopping’s long tail — its ability to help consumers find products they otherwise couldn’t easily find online. It works really well at that, too.
SEO is going to be the ongoing challenge. Virtually all the site’s traffic comes from Google — a fact that applies to other shopping search engines as well.
Cracking the code of shopping search customer retention could remain the sector’s impossible dream.
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