Interview with Yahoo Shopping V.P. Rob Solomon
Brain Smith has hit a great niche target with his blog ComparisonEngines.com where he reports on news and conducts interviews with comparison based shopping search engines. Recently, Brian interviewed Rob Solomon, General Manager and Vice President of Yahoo! Shopping at Yahoo’s Sunnyvale campus to review Solomon’s background, other shopping engines, Yahoo Shopping comparison technology, and integration of Yahoo Shopping into such Yahoo offerings as Yahoo Small Business, Yahoo Product Submit, Yahoo Mindset and Yahoo Search. Such attributes as customer loyalty, retention, and personalization which help to define the differentiationin other Yahoo offerings as compared to Yahoo competition seem to be as important to Yahoo Shopping. Here are some excerpts.
BRAIN : What Makes Yahoo! Shopping Different than the other Shopping Comparison Engines?
ROB SOLOMON : â€œComprehensiveness in terms of the number of product offerings on Yahoo! Shopping and the number of merchants listed on Yahoo! Shopping. Over time there will be a decent gap that Yahoo and Google will create [with their shopping search engines] because of advanced crawling and search capabilities.â€
â€œLooking forward, there will be more focus on personalization and community. Yahoo has 350mm users globally and 150m registered users. Weâ€™re making a big bet on community with services like Yahoo! 360. Weâ€™ll spend the next 2-4 yrs building out community features and it will factor into the shopping experience. Epinions was good. Ratings are pretty good. The next generation [shopping search] has to do with community features and more robust ratings and review. We will focus on bringing more content into the experience. In the past itâ€™s been over-hyped and ended up scaring people, but there will be more and more personalization and customization within Yahoo Shopping!â€
â€œIn the end, itâ€™s about search, content, community, and personalization.â€
BRIAN : What does the future of comparison shopping look like?
ROB SOLOMON : â€œVertical search is here to stay and the VCs are funding the growth. It will be interesting to see how it evolves. The big challenge is customer acquisition. How will they [pure plays] get people to use their site when you have Yahoo and Google out there? Itâ€™s such a competitive space and Yahoo realizes how important it is. Microsoft will do it also. The big guys will define it. Weâ€™re only in the first iteration of vertical search. The next question is how we marry products, content, and community.â€
Read the entire interview in full at ComparionsEngines.com.