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Leveraging creative content in the eCommerce segment

Mar. 10, 2008

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eCommerce software developer iStorez is trying to improve the overall personalization of the eCommerce segment, using proprietary technology to create a better shopping experience that leverages the special offerings that online retailers are making to their Internet customers.

With iStorez, online users can create their own customized shopping malls, where the weekly special offers from their favorite eTailers and consumer packaged goods companies are all in one convenient place.

Kriyari, a maker of online shopping platforms, launched iStorez seven weeks ago. The site collects and organizes shopping newsletters from hundreds of eTailers and uses back-end software to turn them into searchable storefronts.

iStorez receives a merchant's weekly promotional e-mail newsletters and then uses its software to turn the text and images into a promotional display that looks a bit like a fashion magazine spread.

Neng Bing Doh, director of marketing at Kriyari says "the idea came from serial entrepreneur and founder Anand Jagannathan, who founded enterprise networking firm Banyan Systems, Reach Software and interactive marketing firm Responsys before founding Kriyari."

If you're an online retailer, iStorez becomes a new ad channel leveraging creative content already being produced for your eCommerce site anyway. When sales are made through iStorez, the site receives a set commission.

Bing added "I have been in this e-mail marketing space and saw it as a new play on the traditional e-mail newsletter. This certainly wasn't euphoria, but it was the next step."

He said "what sets us apart is that the content is always fresh. New storefronts come in all the time. The online consumer only sees what's current. There's no expired promotions, no chance that you'll try to buy something that's not available any more."

"Each week, a company might have a free special offer, and a consumer could miss it if I dosen't have a specific place where people can go to find out what it is. Keeping tabs on those types of offers in just one single place is something consumers are going to find very convenient," said Bing.

Of course, iStorez competes headon with other similar comparison shopping sites and shopping search engines, many of which have access to the same pricing and sales data that iStorez has.

However, some comparison shopping sites can cause problems since some products may appear ranked mainly by price or other specific characteristics, rather than being presented based on a shopper's profile, which may include a whole and personalized list of things they are really interested in, previous shopping activity and other similar factors.

Unique personalizing features could help give it a competitive edge and collaboration tools could also give it a Web 2.0 look-and-feel that will most certainly appeal to certain shoppers.

Forrester Research analyst Carrie Johnson says "most assuredly, personalization features have been a important keywords in eCommerce for years. However, achieving it and finding ways to make it pay have not proven to be as easy as expected."

Additionally, online consumers can select which eTailers they want to search or see offers from when they register and login. Also, Bing says a future release will include additional tools for shoppers, such as the ability to collaborate with others to build profiles and wish lists.

Bing added "overall, success stories such as and eBay have ensured that others will try to follow suit. By most accounts, and if done correctly, personalization features do increase sales conversion rates and revenue, which means eCommerce managers and online storefront owners are going to keep trying to find just the right formula."

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Source: iStorez.

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