Online Shopping To Dominate in the Future

Impressive statistics forecast by the IMRG for the online retail in the next five years. UK shopping has come on in leaps and bounds, the trend continues with the forecast for 2007:

  • €63billion will be spent online by UK shoppers
  • 860 million parcels will be shipped to the UK’s 26 million internet shoppers, 33 each on average
  • Online shoppers will each spend €2400 on average
  • 10% of all retail now online, rising to 20% in three years time

Online retail will grow in quality too, becoming an integral part of mainstream consumer’s habits

  1. Inclusivity people of all abilities will use online shopping
  2. Normalisation online shopping will become integral to normal everyday life
  3. Diversification online shopping will extend to a wider range of products and services
  4. Shophistication online shopping services to become easier, quicker, safer and more valuable
  5. Exclusivity a rise in specialist boutiques, offering more niche and exclusive products

Cross-border Shopping

Cross border retail is gaining traction, as shoppers look for and find better deals across borders. Shoppers in Europe have forever shopped across borders, specially when located in towns near frontiers. With online shopping and international postal delivery, cross border shopping for better deals is about to take off.

Already, Spanish book purchasing relies heavily on Amazon UK deliveries, as no strong contender exists in Spain. Amazon UK has in the past purchased advertising from, our parent company. Bargain hunting is about to extend across borders; and the bargains are considerable, even in spite of delivery cost across Europe.

Affiliate Marketing on the Rise

Great event for affiliate marketers yesterday by affiliates4u team. Four hundred attendees, merchants, affiliates and networks in Holborn, London.

Merchants are courting affiliates and their ability to attract targeted user traffic. From Kevin Cornil’s presentation; affiliates sold in excess £ 2000m goods online for a fee of £140m. A year-on-year rise of 60%, taking an alleged 10% of total online advertising spend.

Merchants are discovering pay-on-acquisition model. My opinion is that CPA commissions will inevitably rise though, as merchant demand for the model exceeds the volume available through affiliate networks. In the end, buy through ad impressions (CPM), clickthroughs (CPC), and on-purchase-results (CPA) will balance out to give the same value-for-money (ROI).

Yes, what a soup of acronyms.

The word branding came up in conversations increasingly. Paid-search and affiliate marketing have a secondary benefit in addition to the immediate sale; repeat sales. In fact, the repeat sales experts extraordinaires, the email marketers, were also at the event. It is not just about the sale on clickthrough, it is about the repeat visit. The brand and the loyalty. In fact, one expert from UK Media Ltd, who arbitrages £ 12m in volume, says branding is the next natural step for affiliate web sites.

Presenting at the London Search Engine Strategies Conference

Top niche conferences are the best places to start sales cycles. I will be contributing my bit to the Enclick sales effort at the London Search Engine Strategies conference. I will be presenting tips on exploiting European Shopping Search opportunities.

My presentation is derived from the whitepaper Are you Making The Most of Shopping Portals ? (PDF file). The message is

The “search tail” is often under-exploited by merchants. Most merchants
own product data that can be turned into a “quick-win” in search
marketing terms. My advice is get (1) “your data out” and (2) filter
and push your data to the head of the search. Often the most popular
and profitable keyword emerges from the tail; all a question of finding
it and promoting it to the main page.

A large database of product information is worth its weight in gold in
search marketing terms. Learn to exploit it and you will improve both
search head and search tail. I have analytics for a shopping site
( that started using dynamic top 10 list of
products and categories based on measuring search traffic to the site.

In essence, data feed marketing is the next generation marketing channel. Send me an email, (paul dot elosegui at enclick dot com) if you want to meet up.

Ecommerce Risk Reduced to Zero with PayPal Virtual Credit Card


Though security and risk worries are becoming a thing of the past for online shoppers, Paypal has just introduced the ultimate security solution; a debit card for your paypal account.

Hundreds of millions of shoppers using their paypal account to ensure security on their ebay purchases can now use their paypal accounts for all purchases. With the new debit card number associated ot their paypal accounts, shoppers can use this new “paypal credit card” to shop safely on all retailers accepting credit cards.

Paypal accounts are designed with online fraud protection, since they can only be used online. Paypal guarantees fraud protection and polices its account transaction proactively. Online security is heightened by technical encryption and authentication technologies, over and above the standard secure transaction page.

Paypal’s new innitiative to improve consumer confidence online should have higher impact in countries where confidence is still low. The value is limited in the UK and US where credit card companies and major banks have dedicated online fraud units, and confidence is high.

PayPal Virtual Debit Card FAQs – PayPal

Lycos Acquires German Online Shopping Technology

Lycos Europe, european online portal has acquired Mentasys, shopping software provider, for €30m and an additional performance related €14m. Mentasys software connects sales networks with intelligent product advisors. The software facilitates the sales process. Mentasys’ 60 staff doubles Lycos’ shopping technology development team. According to Antoine Boulin, MD of Pangora HQ in France.

Pangora and Mentasys competencies are very complementary. Pangora brings its expertise in front-end technologies, sales and international distribution. With this new partnership, Mentasys brings know-how in back-end technology, product data and reviews…
[Free translation]

Lycos, european online portal, is investing in its white brand shopping portal Pangora. Christoph Mohn, CEO de Lycos Europe declares

We are convinced that more and more purchasing will be done online. European online shopping sector has double digit growth every year. Lycos Europe has a strong position in the sector and is constantly improving its performace thanks notably by its Mentasys acquisition. It’s strong expertise, specially in B to B, and its white brand shopping solutions will help us in more than our German market. We forecast these sales figures in other markets like UK, France and Italy.
[Free translation]

Pangora’s own brand shopping site is, which has a small market share in Germany; the site is yet to top 500,000 unique users a month. Lycos is pushing the eVita brand to France and UK. Though not part of the top 10 shopping sites in UK, Europe’s top market, the eVita is expected to contribute significantly to Lycos’ struggle for positive cash-flow.

[Via euro adhoc: The European Investor Relations Service]

Comparison Shopping Engines Contributing More to Online Retail Shopping, leading loans and insurance comparator, received 13.55% of total traffic from organic search, and 20% from paid search (PPC) campaigns. Hitwise’s Bill Tancer reports that 4.2% of traffic to retail sites are now being sent by comparison shopping engines. For certain products, 90% of online shoppers use comparison shopping engines to research a purchase.

… more

[Disclosure: EUCAP is invested in Enclick Comparison Shopping and data feed marketing service.

Google to Phase Out Froogle


Froogle is being elbowed out of the online price comparison sector. Like or not, the essence of a good price comparator is the quality and depth of its database, and the quality of its search. In my opinion, the google search and google base combination will inevitably see froogle out of the the door.

Meanwhile Google is circumspect about Froogle’s future, stating

G: Froogle is alive and well. We are continuing to integrate shopping and product search features into to make it as easy as possible for users to find product information through Google. We don’t have any more specifics to share publicly on how this will look down the line but we will make sure to let you know about any developments. [Via John Battelle’s Searchblog: News:

Google is no stranger to failed projects. In fact it thrives on them, using the darwinian approach of beta testing a huge number of potentials and only picking the best and fittest projects.