Web stores and shopping comparison engines

admin | Monday, May 16th, 2011

Continuing from our series on profiles of companies currently housed in the MEST Incubator, this post introduces RetailTower, another budding Ghanaian software start-up supported by the Meltwater Foundation. RetailTower provides a software solution for online retailers, allowing them to manage their inventory across multiple channels from a single platform. This post highlights on RetailTower’s product and some information on the target market. Before then, here’s a little bit about my background:

I am co-founder of RetailTower and graduate of the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST). With my business & finance background from the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), I drive RetailTower’s growth through expansion of client base, partnerships, and revenue. This business and finance background  has made me well-suited for the business operations of the team.

The Target Market

Image credit: Maximum PC, Creative Commons.

According to Internet Retailer – an online portal for e-commerce intelligence, ‘more people are turning to the web to search for goods and services now than any other period in the history of the web. The report also discovered that more than 80% of online shoppers are influenced by comparison shopping engines’.

To take advantage of this opportunity, it is extremely important for merchants with online stores to be able to submit their products to as many high profile shopping comparison engines as possible to enable easy access by online shoppers.

ComScore Media Metrix has also revealed that “The top 20 shopping comparison engines attract almost 200,000,000 users monthly”. This, we see as an opportunity to reach prospective shoppers. However listing products on shopping comparison engines can be a challenging task for online retailers, because listing products require tremendous amount of time and effort which involves properly formatting data feeds for several shopping engines, categorizing products, and uploading feeds to these engines; this process can take several hours to complete.

Currently shopping comparison engines, merchants can only submit their web store’s lists using the respective shopping comparison engine’s categorization structure, and this structure varies from shopping engine to shopping engine. Consider this; if an online retailer has to submit their shop inventory to about 10 comparison engines… a very time consuming thing to do if you asked me.

RetailTower

RetailTower’s value proposition here is, allowing merchants to seamlessly list their products on multiple shopping engines with ease.

Our platform provides a single point of integration between existing e-commerce platforms such as: Shopify, Magento, PrestaShop, OSCommerce and comparison engines like Google Product search, TheFind, Become.com, Shopzilla etc.

By enabling automatic feed submission, we take away the headache of shop owners individually submitting products to the various search engines online.

As shoppers continue to use online marketing channels to find products and compare prices, we foresee that retailers will need technologies and solutions that will enable them harvest this opportunity.

With the continuous growth of the e-commerce industry, we are confident RetailTower’s platform will enable merchants master their online channel marketing campaigns.

Thanks for reading, and your comments, feedback & suggestions are very much welcome at info@retailtower.com

By: Isaac Nii Noi Nortey

Co-founder, RetailTower

  • An awesome post, proves the world indeed is becoming a digital village. Customers in the West can be targeted from anywhere, even from Africa. Biggups guys!

  • Emmanuel Vincent Mensah

    Ha! finally i get to read on RetailTower.

    What took you so long for me to read in depth information on you ?
    Anyway, I guess it is worth the wait.

    I have been monitoring your progress since last year. I think it’s a great business idea. Managing multiple channels from a single platform ! Man you guys rock.

    I’m watching you guys. I cant wait to see you blossom.

    Kudos and keep the good work up.

  • Thanks for sharing these insights Nii Noi, very informative 🙂

  • Hi, this is a great post! Thanks..