Google Shopping earns validation in Channel Intelligence purchase
By Jay Keller
Parent ICG Group announced Wednesday that Channel Intelligence has entered into a “definitive agreement to be acquired by Google Inc. for $125 million in cash.”
Specifically, Channel Intelligence specializes in “CI Boost Services” for retailers through product search engines, shopping engines specific to Google Shopping and a well-known leads generator called Where-to-Buy Retail.
Channel Intelligence became a “featured launch partner” of the new Google Shopping experience last fall, a platform that is based upon the Product Listing Ads (PLAs) commercial model.
PLAs are labeled as “sponsored” and appear in Google search results in two places: the commercial unit and on the right hand bar with other ads.
Search results on Google Shopping are also built on PLAs.
For Google, Channel Intelligence represents a marketing powerhouse with an enormous wealth of product data representing nearly 15 percent of online transactions in the U.S.
This helps boost Google’s offering as it explores new ways to reach consumers through its search engine.
Channel Intelligence also claims to drive $2 billion in online referred sales annually in consumer packaged goods including computing products, home improvement products, appliances, gadgets and children’s toys.
Some noteworthy retail clients include Target, Best Buy, Neiman Marcus and HP.
Since launching over two years ago, Google Product Listing Ads (PLAs) have seen enormous growth and have become an important channel for retailers of all sizes.
The goal for Google remains simple: Help retailers bring sales catalogs “to life” with PLAs by connecting new and existing shoppers using desktop, mobile and tablet devices.
“Clients have achieved an average sales increase of 349 percent over the first six months of 2012 year on Google Product Listing Ads – the new Google Shopping,” according to the Channel Intelligence’s website.
Where-to-Buy, the third retail-specific offering from CI Boost, uses “Buy Now” buttons placed on websites, display ads, video reviews and ads, etc., so customers discover another buying opportunity.
According to Channel Intelligence, Where-to-Buy “converts leads at a rate that’s two- or three-times higher than leads from other sources.”
Google confirmed the deal to Mashable over e-mail with the published report saying the Google source said the deal should “improve the shopping experience for buyers and sellers.”