Ok so I am a little late with the announcement, but after talking to these guys at Etail West last week, I can say they really seem to get it.
Ciao is one of the bigger comparison shopping engines in Europe with a with presence in Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Sweden, The Netherlands and the United Kingdom.
Why do I think these guys get it? Markus Rottmaier, Head of Sales International says, “Our main focus is on the user. We provide them with all the information they need before clicking through to a merchant’s product page. The target audience is someone who’s in the middle of the buying process. Typically, we’ve found that customer-written recommendations are the most useful in accelerating the decision process — and deliver increased conversion rates for merchants.”
Instead of paying lipservice to the web 2.0 mantra, Ciao encourages user-to-user interaction by stepping up and paying its most valuable contributors.
According to CSE Strategies “The strategy has worked in Europe, where Ciao’s conversion rates tend to be higher than its competition. Plus, it’s one strategy also recently employed by Become and Pronto, both of which have seen massive traffic increases (1000%+) since releasing social features in the same spirit.
“We see ourselves more as a shopping community than a pure price comparison site.”
Unlike the typical CSE model of click arbritrage, Ciao is relying on its user generated content to ensure high organic rankings.
Merchants who want to try Ciao can sign up now and get three months worth of traffic free. After the 3 months, it’s a CPC model with no bidding and the lowest price for that product showing up first.