Yesterday, I listened to talk-show host, financial-wiz and all around good guy, Tom Sullivan, as he discussed some of the news that we were all discussing yesterday – A9.com, Blogs and the major shift that is actually, finally, happening in the world of information exchange…
Having held the cell-phone for more than 25-minutes to speak with Tom during the show, only to run up against “top of the hour” time constraints, I have no outlet for those eagerly prepared thoughts and comments so I place them here…
A9.com, Yahoo Local, Google local, Google Video, Blogging, Vlogging … The middle man is not dead as many expected he would be by now, but his address has changed to “www” and he’s ALWAYS available on your Palm, your smartphone, your email and desktop.
We are finally; really and truly (I promise) living in that On-Demand World we’ve all been waiting for. Consumers no longer need to wait for information to be “published or pushed” to them in the slower paced, traditional sense. Nor is that information only available on a printed page. We now log-on and get it when and how we want it.
A survey by The Kelsey Group and BizRate.com reveal that local commercial searches – those seeking merchants "near my home or work" – represent 25.1% of all searches being performed by online buyers… Princeton, NJ (February 11, 2004)
Advertising dollars will follow the consumer. Consumers want LOCAL information. A9 and others are looking to give local guys the platform and the tools they need to play. The tools will be free… for a while.
If any of these players can actually get smaller retailers to “load their channels” with the kind of price and item, shopping content users want to see, there will be a lot of new income created for the site as well as small business.
Because advertising online is now lead by pay-for-performance (PPC) programs (Introduced, I believe, by Overture and made popular by Google, Yahoo!.) even the smaller players will be able to participate in a way that makes great sense and has virtually no risk. (In this new world of “guaranteed advertising” if it does not work, you don’t pay.)
A small business owner will soon be able to present his merchandise right along side national sellers that compete in that same category, and may possibly be able to offer some advantages the big guy may not be capable of.
: WalMart Vs. Pops Mart: All things being relatively equal on a product or service, who wouldn’t rather buy from a locally owned store? (I’d even be willing to pay a little more to be a “good guy”, avoid shipping costs and insure easy return should something not go as planned.)
: Please, NOT the same Widget: There must be millions of products out there (world wide and in our own backyards) sold exclusively by smaller specialty stores. I’d like to shop for those things too. Currently, they are not widely available.
Feeds can take many forms (see RSS Feeds) but basically, if you can get this price and item, merchandise information into a database, by using something like A9’s planned upload tools, it can be distributed to virtually any digital information device imaginable. Blogs, cell phones, black berry’s, instant messengers like AIM and IM.
Now imagine if they had an alternative that was free if it did not work and promoted by some of the most exciting consumer brands available anywhere in the world with local market penetration numbers that make them real players.