November 19, 2014

New Blog Announcement

Dear Subscribers,

We’re excited to announce the launch of our brand new blog! Not only will you notice a vibrant new look and feel, but you'll also have an overall better user experience.

The new blog is equipped with categories, tags and a robust search feature so you can easily pinpoint the content you’re looking for.

Also, given the growth of ChannelAdvisor’s global presence and readers, we wanted to tailor our content to you. Localized and relevant content will now be delivered to each region.

IMPORTANT: In order to keep following our blog, you will need to re-subscribe. Please select which of our regional blogs you’d like to receive content from:

Thank you!

-The ChannelAdvisor Team

October 30, 2014

ChannelAdvisor’s Social Commerce Suite Adds Support for Houzz

ChannelAdvisor’s Social Commerce suite continues to expand, now with the addition of the popular social platform Houzz. Houzz allows homeowners to share and browse photos for home improvement and design ideas. Users also have the ability to purchase listed products from retailers, as well as connect directly with designers and construction professionals.

Houzz has quickly become an effective tool for retailers in the home improvement and design industries. Online retailers can participate in a pay-per-click (PPC) advertising program that uses product thumbnail images to put products in front of visitors based on the room, style and products they're researching.

ChannelAdvisor’s Social Commerce suite provides a unified solution for retailers interested in promoting products with social solutions like Houzz’s Pay-Per-Click Program. ChannelAdvisor customers can simply send a single product inventory feed to ChannelAdvisor, where the data is automatically transformed to meet the unique requirements and specifications of the Houzz data feed. Customers will also have access to a range of performance data that will allow them to optimize their product listings and social campaigns.


To find out more about how ChannelAdvisor connects retailers to social commerce sites, email us at or call 866-264-8594.

With the social landscape evolving so quickly, how do you know which site will work best for you? Learn how our Social Commerce suite could benefit you.

October 28, 2014

Targeting a Mobile World: Q&A with Yahoo on the new Yahoo Gemini

With the ever-increasing popularity of mobile commerce, retailers with an eye toward the future require access to the latest ways to connect to consumers via mobile devices.

Yahoo Gemini, a new ad marketplace launched in March, is a direct response to this demand. Yahoo Gemini allows advertisers to buy, manage and optimize mobile search and native advertising in a single, unified platform. To help retailers get up and running on Yahoo Gemini, ChannelAdvisor offered first-to-market support for the platform.

Now that Yahoo Gemini has half a year under its belt, we wanted to discuss it in more detail with Allan Chuate, a director on the sales strategy team at Yahoo, where he focuses on search and native advertising. Below, we’ll get his thoughts on the reasons for Gemini’s launch, the success he’s seen so far and his predictions for its future.

Q: Hi, Allan. Thanks for joining us. Can you tell us a little about Yahoo Gemini? How is it performing so far?

Since launching this March, we’ve introduced more image-rich native ad formats and increased available native inventory by partnering with quality publishers like CBSi. And it’s paying off for our advertisers. We’ve heard many success stories — boasting about greater brand engagement and more leads than other online ad formats.  

Q: Why should retailers be excited about using Yahoo Gemini?

Yahoo Gemini’s combined offering of native and mobile search ads gives retailers the ability to reach consumers throughout their purchase journey. Through one marketplace, retailers can use native ads to influence a consumer’s decisions before the active buying process begins, and then later use search ads to influence consumers during the research and consideration stages. We’ve seen this in action with high-profile apparel retailers finding success for new and well-established brands through our image-rich native offering. Our research has also shown that through the use of native ads, a retailer can see a +400% lift in branded search activity. Since our search marketplace is still growing, retailers have the opportunity to participate in a less saturated marketplace that allows them to acquire consumers at lower CPCs.  

Q: What factors drove the decision to launch a new ad marketplace?

People are now spending more time online using mobile devices than laptop or desktops. In response, Yahoo has become a mobile-first company. With apps like Yahoo News Digest and Yahoo Weather, we’ve created new ways for consumers to get information on mobile devices. We are equally committed to building technology that simplifies and improves the buying experience for advertisers, while offering the latest ad products and formats. This is why we created Yahoo Gemini. We are helping advertisers reach millions of people on their mobile devices with smart, beautiful, integrated, multichannel campaigns.

Q: What advice do you have for retailers considering an increase in mobile ad spend?

We recently did a study looking at shopping behavior on mobile devices and uncovered some really eye-opening trends around search — namely, the fact that it’s more important than ever to have a robust mobile strategy:

  • Rethink where mobile happens: Despite common assumptions, mobile devices aren’t only being used for shoppers that are “on the go” or even at the shelf. They’re also in places where PCs and laptops are available. This has implications for location-targeting strategies, as well as resource allocation to mobile campaigns.

  • Give mobile proper credit: While almost half of searchers said they used sponsored search listings to learn about new brands and inform their purchase decisions, a mobile search may be one of many steps in a purchase journey. When creating attribution models for campaigns, be sure to give mobile search the credit it deserves for being an influencer.

  • Get a competitive edge with bids and cross-channel campaigns: Mobile searchers are motivated to buy, and they are more likely to do so within five hours of a search. Bidding competitively is key to ensuring you show up in those coveted mainline positions. Adding native ads to your marketing mix may help to drive even more engagement — and we’ve seen a 121% lift in top-of-mind brand awareness for a retailer that had mobile stream ad presence. 

Q: What should retailers know about native advertising?

Yahoo gemeniNative advertising has become a very effective channel for all types of advertisers. At Yahoo, we have seen success across the spectrum of business goals, from performance to branding, and it has become the fastest growing, “always on” channel for many advertisers. Yahoo Gemini is a great fit for retailers that are not only concerned with conversions and cost efficiency in their digital advertising, but also those that want to be featured in safe environments with high-quality content. With the help of our simple UI and full API capabilities, advertisers can easily get native ads on top properties using flexible pricing options (cost per click, cost per thousand) that efficiently back into cost and ROI targets.

 Q: Native advertising has become popular with marketers in recent years. What’s fueling this investment in native ads?

Simply: native ads work. The rich ad formats are designed to integrate with content around them, regardless of the device they are viewed on. This means that users engage with them more naturally, and they outperform other online ad formats.  

Q: What are the key components of a successful native ad?

The most important step is developing creative that takes full advantage of the ad’s native format. For Yahoo Gemini, this means choosing a 1200 x 627–pixel image that sets the right tone and leaves a visual imprint. It’s also important to include copy that grabs the user’s attention, just like the headlines in the content surrounding the ad. Surprisingly, we’ve found that sometimes ads can be “too native,” and thus less impactful. Including a small logo (less than 20% of the ad) may help avoid this. Finally, once your ads are running, it’s important to look at the analytics and adjust targeting, bids and budget to dial in performance to achieve your goals.  

Q: What changes do you foresee in the near future for mobile search?

There will be continual, rapid growth as people choose mobile devices over desktop computers. What we’re seeing now at Yahoo is that while people are spending more time on mobile devices, they are doing so in shorter bursts. I anticipate a shift toward more curated, contextual and personal search results. Users expect to find answers and take action quickly and easily, and search engines are adapting to enable this. For example, with products like Yahoo Aviate, a user doesn’t need to even do a query, as content simply gets pushed to them based on where they are throughout their day.

Q: Native advertising is also quickly evolving. Can you share or predict what future native ad units will look like?   

As the online landscape evolves and content becomes more engaging, native advertising is the most optimal format to naturally adapt with this evolution. As publishers get more insight into what experiences maximize user engagement, native ads will adapt to drive results for advertisers. For example, I anticipate that native ads will incorporate more video and become more modular in order to be purchased programmatically.

Allan, we appreciate you taking the time to talk with us today about Gemini, mobile search and native ads, and we wish you all the best with the new platform.

Allan Chuate is a director on the Sales Strategy Team at Yahoo and focuses on search and native advertising. He partners with the Yahoo sales and account management teams, bringing new and actionable insights to drive maximum performance on the Yahoo Bing Network and Yahoo Gemini marketplace. Allan has over 14 years of digital advertising experience and has seen the search engine marketing industry evolve from his early days at and Overture through today.

Read more about Yahoo Gemini and how ChannelAdvisor can help strengthen and diversify your digital marketing strategies here.

October 20, 2014

Video: Google and ChannelAdvisor Chat About Shopping Campaigns

ChannelAdvisor has been working with Google for over a decade now — all the way back to the launch of Froogle. During that time, we’ve seen the evolution of Google Shopping unfold. Link Walls, ChannelAdvisor vice president of product management, and Frank Andolina, ChannelAdvisor manager of digital marketing services, discuss advanced strategies for Google Shopping in Part I of Google Partners’ Ask an Agency video series.

In this video, you’ll learn the fundamentals that make up a successful Google Shopping campaign. Some of the questions addressed:

  • How have retail customers adapted to Google’s Shopping campaigns from the traditional model?

  • What are the primary elements in a Shopping campaign?

  • Why is campaign structure so important?


Craving more actionable steps for successfully promoting your products with Google’s Shopping campaigns? This free eBook has you covered.

October 02, 2014

Webinar: How to Get to the Top...of Google’s Search Engine Results Page

Tuesday, October 7 at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT

Obtaining information these days is effortless. Go to a search engine, type in what you’re looking for and voilà! Consumers are used to finding the most relevant links on the first page of search results. And if not there, they’ll simply type in another search query. Think about it — when was the last time you ventured to page 2, 3 or 4 of  search results?

That is why it’s crucial for your website to show up at the top of a search engine results page. It’s valuable real estate to drive web traffic back to your page and/or products! As a retailer, this can be tough. Competition is fierce and the allotted real estate is only so big.

Next week, we are hosting a free webinar with Retail Online Integration that breaks down the best
practices for digital marketing. During this webinar, we'll be discussing:  

  • Free webinarHow to use search engine optimization (SEO) to achieve a higher ranking in organic search

  • A breakdown of the digital marketing channels that comprise the search engine results page (SERP)

  • Best practices for using product ads and paid search

  • Digital marketing trends

In a search query, do you want your website to be bumped to the second page? Didn’t think so. Sign up today to learn how to own the SERP!

September 26, 2014

Google’s Panda 4.1: It’s Not Your Ranking – Your Impressions Are Dropping

So your SEO rankings are fine, but your impressions have been dropping in advance of Panda 4.1. With the release of Google’s updated search engine algorithm today, some people will notice a drop in impressions. Metaphorically speaking, the opportunity to be part of the “organic auction” and receive impressions is governed by User Behavior Ranking Signals. Most prominently, these signals include click-through rate, bounce rate, time on page, interaction with the page and social shares of the webpage.

To help correct for falling organic impressions, follow the suggestions below, which are geared for mid to large online retailers with more than 50 products.

Improve Your Click-Through Rate

Your organic SERP listing is your 24/7 billboard that turns searchers into shoppers. Let’s improve the listing below to maximize it for one of fictional company FishingAdvisor’s most popular search queries: “pflueger fly fishing rods 8' starter kit.” The search query drives searchers to a product page that offers an 8' Pflueger fly-fishing rod starter kit for beginning anglers.

On the SERP, the listing looks like this:  


Here’s what we’d recommend to improve the listing:

1. Title: First, we’re going to fix the title of the listing to more closely match this popular search query. It’s great for SEO, but it’s also just a better user experience if your listing title matches the searcher query. The title comes directly from your title tag. You can locate your title tag in the HTML of your webpage by searching for“<title>”in the code.


I’m going to leave off FishingAdvisor, the company name. It’s unlikely that people will shop based on brand name at this point in the buying cycle (given this very specific search query). Plus, the brand name is already included in the domain name in green. There’s no reason to use up this valuable SEO real estate with something that already ranks well – the domain name “FishingAdvisor.”

2. Seller Rating: Include your Google Seller Rating, because your online store is already rated in Google Product Search. If you have three or more stars, and a minimum of five reviews, Google will include it in the SERP. I have marked up this information in the HTML using Microdata Schema. With Schema, you can promote other items such as offer, in stock/out of stock and brand in the organic SERP.


3. Description: The description used in the SERP listing is pulled from the meta-description tag. This is much like Google AdWords ad copy. Right now, the listing is pulled straight from the on-page description and doesn’t advertise the value proposition well. “Starter kit for anglers just getting into fly fishing. Pflueger. ... Rod Length. 8'….” Let’s change that!


Reduce Bounce Rate

If people arrive on a webpage that appropriately answers their search query, they will likely stay. To reduce bounce rate, it helps to provide a clean, orderly design. Since this is incredibly subjective, below are some design elements to keep in mind:

Message: Get right to the point. Leverage the help of a merchandiser, designer, copywriter and editor to create a pointed and concise message. Creating smart product pages is similar to creating the front page of a newspaper – it takes a team to decide what makes the cut. Give people in-depth information that’s easy to read and digest. Provide ways to interact with the page. For example, play a video, share a link, roll over to enlarge an image. Avoid pop-ups and pop-unders.

  • Layout: Create a predictable rhythm to the page so users know there are more sections below the fold. Provide a decisive end to the page. Use concise, same-size content blocks and image blocks. Keep elements on the page evenly spaced, aligned and justified. Completely avoid a highly paginated series of pages, as it’s unlikely that users will click through them. Give users the option to open and close text blocks with a “view more” option. Leave white space between page elements. Standardize font, font size and color using a style sheet. Don’t use inline styling to draw attention to specific page elements.
  • Handle Images: Kill the hero image in emails. Remove large masthead images from your webpages. Mobile users hate these. Make images mobile-friendly using image scaling, just like text blocks provide the option to hide the image entirely.
  • Fix Errors: Redirect your 404 error pages. Never allow a 404 error sit on your site for longer than 24 hours. Sure, you’re adding and removing products at lighting speed, but when you remove a product, take the extra 30 seconds to redirect the page in the content management product page editor. On most platforms, it’s as easy as checking a check box that says, “Redirect This Page.” Then fill in the provided text field with the URL the shopper should be redirected to. Do not redirect everything to the homepage. 

No matter how hard you try to avoid 404 errors, they will occur. To make them more friendly, customize your 404 error page so that it’s a great user experience.

  • Go Fast: If you sell products online, your site should be lighting fast on every device. To increase page load time:
  •     Avoid long pages
  •     Avoid pagination
  •     Minimize the number of templates and style sheets you use
  •     Parallelize the load of CSS and JS files or add images to a CDN. Keep third-party content below the 600-pixel mark.

Consider Social Interactions

When a shopper plays a YouTube video embedded on your site, that’s a one-to-one relationship between YouTube and your site. Google likes and measures this type of interaction and uses entities to measure how your site is used and shared. Google’s Hummingbird algorithm also measures the common co-occurrence of vocabulary between your site and entities that point to your site.

Next Steps

As you correct these issues, you should see an improvement in impressions over the course of 60 to 90 days (maybe sooner). In the meantime, to find out about how ChannelAdvisor can help you strengthen your SEO strategy, take a look at our SEO one-pager here.

September 09, 2014

What To Expect at ChannelAdvisor’s 5th Annual Insite Sydney E-Commerce Conference

Insite_sydney_14_299x125 (1)
The much-anticipated annual Insite event will be hosted in Sydney next Tuesday, the 16th of September.  This powerful half-day conference will feature a line-up of the top names in the e-commerce space, including representatives from Google, eBay, NORA, the ARA and Trade Me.

Insite will bring together industry heavyweights and many of Australia’s leading retailers for a jam-packed afternoon of presentations, panels, in-depth discussions and networking opportunities.

What can you expect?

In the space of a few short hours, attendees will learn about the latest and upcoming online retail trends, and how to harness this knowledge for business growth in the multichannel landscape – both in Australia and on the international stage.

Agenda Highlights

This month ushers in Google’s mandatory switch from the current product listing ad (PLA) campaigns to the recently released Shopping campaigns format. As navigating the transition and optimising for the new format can be a tricky task, Google APAC Regional Product Expert Kate Conroy will speak to the changes at Insite and how retailers can shape up their Shopping campaigns for the coming holiday season.

Retailers can also look forward to fireside chats with Dick Smith Digital Marketing and Insights Manager Tasman Page and director of Pushys Online, Glen Navratil, both of whom will share valuable wisdom from their own online experiences.

For the first time, ChannelAdvisor Insite will feature a cross-border trade panel to help equip retailers to take advantage of this growing trend. The eclectic panel will include a range of perspectives on entering international regions via marketplaces and comparison shopping engines, with speakers:

  • Neil Thomas, general manager APAC, Shopbot
  • Conrad Bain, global development manager, Trade Me
  • Chris Morley, e-commerce director, Premium Australia Foods

In another exciting first, Mark Gray, APAC managing director at ChannelAdvisor, will release the results of a joint study with the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) and reveal insights into the state of Australian e-commerce in 2014. This presentation will be followed by an expert panel that will speak to the study’s findings and the implications for the future of Australian online retail. The panel will include:

  • Sue Anderson, director of programs, Australian Retailers Association
  • Ben Franzi, GM global e-commerce platform sales, Australia Post
  • Paul Greenberg, executive chairman, National Online Retailers Association

What else can you look forward to?

  • Enjoy a networking lunch and post-conference reception with like-minded retailers and some of the largest online channels
  • Exchange best practices, learn about new innovations, delve into the latest technologies, and stay ahead of your competition
  • Receive expert-led training on ChannelAdvisor products and services

The Details

ChannelAdvisor Insite Sydney 2014 will be held at Doltone House (Pyrmont), 48 Pirrama Road, Pyrmont, on Tuesday, September 16, 2014, 12 p.m. to 5:45 p.m AEST, followed by a networking reception. 

Exchange ideas. Chat with the experts. Get inspired. And walk out ready to attack your next big challenge. 


Blog post by Shani Flynn, ChannelAdvisor marketing copywriter, APAC

August 25, 2014

Webinar: Build and Strengthen Your Digital Marketing Foundation

Thursday, September 4 at 2 p.m. EDT/11 a.m. PDT

Have you started your marketing plan for next year? 2015 is looming around the corner, and if you’re like most retailers, holiday prep is taking up all the room on your plate. You’re going to want to make some space, though, because we’re going to help kick-start your 2015 planning!

Three of ChannelAdvisor’s digital marketing experts come together next week for part one of our two-part webinar series “Getting Smart About Retail Digital Marketing.” You’ll have the opportunity to hear expert tips from a product marketing manager, search engine optimization (SEO) specialist and digital marketing services manager. Together they’ll focus on building and strengthening your digital marketing foundation — and even sneak in some holiday tips, too!

This webinar series will walk you through the entire process of developing the right marketing strategy for your brand — one that will boost the important numbers and increase your exposure across the most profitable online channels. Webinar

Don’t miss out — we hope to see you on Thursday, September 4! Once you register, no need to repeat the process for part two on September 11. Sign up now to hear our top digital marketing e-commerce gurus share:

  • Tips for optimizing your webstore for increased conversion

  • How SEO can increase your visibility

  • Best practices for building your brand and social voice

  • How to identify which advertising channels are right for your business

August 21, 2014

5 Takeaways from Insite Auckland 2014: What E-Commerce Retailers Should Know

With speakers from Google, Trade Me, eBay Commerce Network and Shopbot, last week’s Insite Auckland conference saw industry experts and leading retailers discuss emergent trends, the state of local and global e-commerce and actionable strategies for business growth.

The packed-house event gave attendees the chance to step back from a day-to-day mindset and take a holistic view of the e-commerce landscape. The environment was one of open discussion and engagement, with a wealth of ideas exchanged among the business-savvy crowd. Popular sessions included a forward-looking perspective on the evolving marketing landscape from Amanda Jordan, national sales manager, retail and government, at Google; and a deep-dive into buyer demographics from Trade Me’s head of supply, Georgina McGowan.   

Insite Auckland image - multichannel approach to your business

Didn’t make it to the event? Here are the top five takeaways you’ll want to know:

1. M-Commerce Is Growing: Reaching upwards of 60%,1 New Zealand’s smartphone penetration is one of the highest in the world. And with more than 40% of Kiwi smartphone owners having purchased a product or service via their devices,2 retailers need to develop mobile-specific strategies to ensure a consistent yet tailored brand experience across all devices. As more and more consumers reach for their smartphones, these ultimate shopping companions will increasingly affect conversion rates, both online and in-store.

2. Customise and Optimise the Search Process: Mark Brixton, APAC regional director at SLI Systems, views searchers as ‘must-win customers’. Consumers who visit your site and interact with the search box are further along the path to purchase. But you can easily lose them if you’re not optimising your search to align with the variations in visitors’ language. 

Retailers often use jargon, or associate a product with only one term, and forget the other types of search queries consumers may use. For example, a visitor searching for ‘sandals’ may type ‘flip flops’, and if your site fails to include both terms when returning relevant products, you’ve instantly lost a potential customer.
3. Data Can’t Be Overemphasised

Inbound: Don’t underestimate the value of collecting customer data, but the key is to put it to good use. Measuring on-site search patterns will not only help visitors navigate, but will also allow you to keep pace with trends and ideas for keyword bids on external search engines.

Outbound: Quality product data will be the foundation of your success. Simon Kelly, ChannelAdvisor sales executive, spoke on how mastering key metrics will ensure that you’re hitting the mark on data and enabling business growth. In short, your product data should be:

    • Readily available
    • Structured in a way that’s flexible and sustainable
    • Showcasing your product catalogue in the best possible light
    • Populated with quality information, copy and images
    • Thorough — the more accurate and complete, the better the results will be.

4. Marketplaces Are Eating the World: Marketplaces now make up a sizeable, growing share of all e-commerce transactions. Third-party marketplaces account for approximately a third of online sales in the US and UK,3 and an overwhelming 90% of e-commerce trade in China.4
New Zealand is set for a similar trajectory: Marketplaces account for three of the top ten most visited shopping websites in the country,5 with Trade Me dominating the space. If you’re selling in New Zealand, marketplaces should be part of your growth strategy, both domestically and when looking to take on cross-border trade.

5. Prepare for the Future of Multichannel: In her session, Google’s Amanda Jordan emphasised the dynamic nature of digital marketing and the impact of upcoming innovations on the retail industry. Wearable tech, the rise of video-based marketing and the ubiquity of showrooming are all important pieces of an ever-expanding e-commerce puzzle — one that will require retailers to adapt to the shift from standard advertising and find new ways to use social, mobile, search and remarketing.


The common thread running throughout the takeaways above? Assess your data and performance accurately and often, and then take relevant action to improve your e-commerce business. 

Wish you'd been there? Don't miss out on Insite Sydney 2014. Register here.
Blog post by Shani Flynn, APAC marketing copywriter, ChannelAdvisor

3Public reports from eBay, Amazon, Google, and ChannelAdvisor estimates based on our transactional data.

Insite Auckland 2014 logo
Download all the event presentations - including Google, Trade Me, and SLI systems - from Insite Auckland 2014

August 19, 2014

Product Listing Ads Are Seeing Stars

Reviews can have a monumental impact on a consumer’s decision-making process. When looking for a new restaurant to try, you go to Yelp. When exploring new career options, you go to Glassdoor. When in the market for a new vehicle, you check out Edmunds. When it comes to choosing what to spend a hard-earned dollar on, reviews and ratings can greatly sway consumer behavior. In initial tests, Google reports that including product ratings in Product Listing Ads (PLAs) has already helped increase click-through rates.

Would you be more likely to make a purchase after seeing a commercial, or hearing a suggestion from a friend? When it comes to trust, peer recommendations tend to trump advertisements. And now, Google has finally caught on to the review revolution by adding reviews and ratings to PLAs.

Google just recently announced the new advertising ingredient — weeks before the forecasted Shopping campaigns switchover.

Product ratings will appear in the form of stars and review counts. The five-star rating system is derived from a collection of reviews pulled from multiple sources, such as merchants, third-party aggregators, editorial sites and users.

Vacuum cleaner ratings

Google claims that the little stars will help consumers find product information easier — essentially decreasing the steps in the research process — and increase quality traffic for retailers.

For now, product ratings are available only to retailers targeting the US, but Google does plan on extending this feature to other countries in the coming months. Mike Capsambelis, Google Shopping product manager, makes the following disclaimer on Google’s blog: “Product ratings are one of several extensions we may show with Product Listing Ads, so please note that just because a product has reviews does not mean that we’ll always show ratings.”

We’ll be keeping a close eye on if and how this feature progresses.

In the meantime, if you’re interested in enabling the new rating system for your PLAs, the initial step is to submit this form to Google. Google will then determine if and how it collects your product reviews and will reach out to you with details.


Blog post by Jordan Nowlin, social media & blog manager, ChannelAdvisor



In light of Google’s transition to Shopping campaigns, managing your current Product Listing Ads (PLAs) requires some adjustments. To ensure you’re optimized for profitability, download this free guide!