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Searchandise Commerce extends online platform to mobile

Searchandise Commerce, an online media network for product manufacturers and their retail channel partners, has launched HitList Mobile to deliver the company’s online merchandising services to mobile devices.

With the uptick in mobile commerce activity, Searchandise Commerce is positioning itself to enable manufacturers to affect their position for visibility wherever searches are occurring, while retailers can monetize premium position as a means of generating revenue from untapped mobile real estate.

Mobile Commerce Daily’s Dan Butcher interviewed John Federman, president/CEO of Searchandise Commerce, Beverly, MA, about HitList Mobile and the state of mobile commerce. Here is what he had to say:

What is Searchandise’s strategy behind extending its commerce services to mobile via the launch of HitList Mobile?
The mission at Searchandise Commerce is two-fold: to empower manufacturers to elevate their position on retail sites to better engage consumers and to enable retailers to monetize the virtual shelf space offered on their retail sites.

That said, Searchandise Commerce’s strategy behind offering our services to mobile devices is to stay true to our mission regardless of the platform from which consumers are researching and purchasing.

ABI research was just quoted that sales figures in the mobile commerce market would top $750 million in 2009, a 117 percent increase over 2008.

We know more consumers are conducting searches via their mobile devices, so it is becoming a critical component to a retailer’s strategy.

In the brick-and-mortar world, retailers vie for premium position to increase awareness and actively engage consumers as they conduct product research or commence the purchase process. 

On the Web, these premium positions are the top spots on a search engine results page, featured product zones or any area where products are presented, which is what we specialize in offering our customers.

Now we can translate our online offering to mobile, where consumers are actively searching and buying.

With which retailers and manufacturers has Searchandise partnered in the past? Have many of them expressed an interest in going mobile?
Our customer base consists of the top ecommerce shopping and comparison sites, and top manufacturers of consumer electronics and other goods.

Many of them have expressed an interest in mobile because it aligns with their overall retail goals.

Whether it’s a retailer who is looking to receive incremental income through cost-per-click—CPC—bids or a manufacturer looking to obtain premium positioning, mobile seems to be the next big thing.

That said, we expect the trend of mobile commerce will continue to grow throughout the year and beyond.

Why is mobile an excellent merchandising channel to boost revenue and visibility?
Historically, the most basic tactic in displaying search results is through relevancy weighing which leverages factors like margin, inventory, price and popularity to influence the order in which products are presented.

Retailers commonly apply additional weighting to ensure that, for popular searches, specific results are returned first.

This tactic, known as “searchandising”—the combination of on-site search and merchandising—offers the ability to easily integrate manufacturer bids as a new factor that can be applied to sort order.

Manufacturer bids can be used to break ties between similar products or as part of the overall sort algorithm, and as with other weighting approaches, merchandisers maintain ultimate control on how these factors impact final search results delivery.

With more consumers using mobile devices to conduct research and search for products, it’s critical that manufacturers rise above competitors and display their products in premium positions.

How is Searchandise getting the word out about HitList Mobile (i.e. marketing tactics)?
We are getting the word out about HitList Mobile through our Web site, Twitter and communicating directly with our consumer and prospect base.