Feb 21, 2013

The Best Local Business Product Feed Tool

Whether you are an enthusiast or full-time professional working in e-commerce, I dare to say you have stared at a product feed at one point in your life with desolation. For local small business owners who have tangible locations, this time-consuming e-commerce tool, although very valuable, has been hard to justify as an investment until now.

Milo.com brings the value of product feeds to the everyday consumer not just sitting at a computer or tablet surfing the web, but more importantly to the everyday consumer walking down the street.

There is a big difference between this service and mobile apps that deliver coupons or geo-located over the air push notifications. First, product feeds are not discounts; they are synonymous to walking down an isle of any given store, only on your phone. Second, it gives the consumer a real-time look at who has exactly what products in the surrounding area and gives them more information to make an informed decision. This is a powerful tool that any savvy business owner should recognize. By getting a customer in the door for one specific item, that customer is more likely to buy additional items as well as become a loyal patron, especially if they are a local (meaning neighborhood) themselves.

To put things in comparison, product feeds are the backbone of every major shopping comparison engine - Shopping.com, Google Shopping, Shopzilla, Bizrate.com – these are all populated by product feeds. So, what good does optimizing a product feed for Shopping.com do for the corner hardware store wanting to sell wrenches? Pretty much nothing, considering if that same corner hardware store wanted to submit a product feed to Shopping.com it would compete directly with The Home Depot, Wal-Mart, etc.

This is a significant step forward in leveling the playing field for local businesses that already feel the pinch of major retailers operating in their neighborhood.  In my experience, consumers strive to support local businesses but are inherently inclined to complete a purchase the easiest and cheapest way.

I will be keeping my eye on Milo.com and hopefully be able to integrate its services as part of an overall strategy to local business who reach out to LEAP for e-commerce marketing services

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