Orlando, FL – May 2, 2007 – The Channel Intelligence (CI) Product Attribute Summit held in Orlando April 26 – 27 brought together leaders in online commerce including retail companies that together account for 22 percent of all online retail sales, as well as search engines, data technology solution providers, content providers and manufacturers to discuss the role of product attributes in improving online performance through guided search and other emerging strategies. Attendees, panelists and presenters enthusiastically shared success stories and tactics that are shaping the landscape of online shopping through optimized product data.

Guided product search, which allows shoppers to narrow down their choices by selecting product features (attributes), has been shown to increase web site conversion rates substantially. “Consumer expectations are that the right product they are looking for is in the right place,” said Rob Wight, CEO of CI, in his opening remarks. “The first step is to ensure you have the category right. Then you can give shoppers the power to compare and contrast products according to attributes. We are seeing merchants who embrace consumer-oriented product search strategies through the use of attributes in their product data benefiting from increases in sales ranging from 20 percent to 44 percent and higher.”

Industry wide, currently only 37 percent of online retailers offer attribute-based search on their sites, although an additional 44 percent plan to implement it over the next one to two years. Presentations by Google, Yahoo! and Builders Square outlined how shopping engines are providing guided search options to their users through the use of product attributes. Presenters provided key recommendation for merchants to improve their rankings in comparison shopping engines such as supplying more attributes and unique identifiers for the product category, as well as using generic terms in addition to branded product terms.

During the event, concrete steps to optimize data feeds for product attributes were outlined, and several issues surrounding the use of attributes in online sales were addressed including the role of user-generated content, the potential damage to a brand and resulting product returns due to incomplete or inaccurate attributes, and steps necessary to standardize an attribute categorization system.

Among the industry leaders in attendance were Baby Universe, Bealls Department Stores, Best Buy, Circuit City, Dell, Paragon Sports, Philips, Sierra Trading Post, SHOP.COM, ShopNBC, TheFind.com, Toys R Us, and the Vitamin Shoppe, including seven of the top 20 retailers and 20 of the top 400 retailers as ranked by Internet Retailer. Feedback indicated that the event provided outstanding value with its focus on the increasingly critical topic of product attributes:

“The session about Measuring Success for Product Attributes was great because we were given action points as takeaways,” said Lisa Middleton, Merchandising Manager for ShopNBC. “Also, I found the CI staff very personable and excited to answer questions throughout the event.”

Chelsea Schlunt Director of Business Development for TheFind.com commented, “The location of the summit was great. The meeting itself was really informative and it was nice to focus the whole day on one topic.”

“Discovering emerging opportunities and the ideas surrounding this topic is what I liked most about this event,” added Susan Beebe, Manager of Internet Marketing for the Vitamin Shoppe.

To find out more about the issues discussed at the Product Attribute Summit or learn how your organization can use product attributes effectively, contact Channel Intelligence at info@channelintelligence.com or call 866-559-2300.

About Channel Intelligence
Powered by the patented CommerceIQ™ technology platform, Channel Intelligence (CI) web-initiated commerce solutions make it easy for online shoppers to find and buy products whether they start at retailer sites, manufacturer sites, destination shopping sites, or mobile shopping applications. Using a series of robust data optimization techniques offered through the CommerceIQ platform, CI significantly improves the quality of product data and the placement of products on the Internet. Every day CI manages and syndicates millions of products valued at over $3 billion dollars through its three primary services – SellPath® Channel Solutions for Manufacturers, SellCast™ Retailer Solutions, and SellCore™ Platform Solutions. CI customers include hundreds of the world’s best known brands including Best Buy, Black & Decker, Canon, Circuit City, Fujifilm, LG Electronics, Logitech, Mitsubishi, Neiman Marcus Group, OfficeMax, Olympus, Palm, Panasonic, PETCO, Skechers, SmartBargains.com, Spiegel, The Stanley Works, and Target. Channel Intelligence, a partner company of Internet Capital Group (Nasdaq: ICGE), is based in Orlando, FL with offices in Europe. www.channelintelligence.com

Joy Lee
Channel Intelligence, Inc.


Published on: 12:00AM on 2nd May 2007