WizeCommerce CEO Jeff Katz on WizeCommerce and Marketplace Consolidation
CPC Strategy was fortunate to have WizeCommerce/Nextag CEO, Jeff Katz sit down with our CEO Rick Backus in a video interview to discuss ecommerce and marketplace consolidation.
This is the third video in the series which covers Google and online search, as well as the future of online shopping.
In this video, Jeff discusses WizeCommerce, as both a platform and a shopping channel.
Rick: Hello Everyone, I’m Rick Backus, the CEO of CPC Strategy. Today I’m joined by Jeffrey Katz, who is the CEO of Nextag.
Who Are WizeCommerce’s/Nextag’s Competitors?
Rick: Who do you guys [Nextag] consider to be your competitors? Do you consider PriceGrabber, Shopping.com, and Shopzilla your competitors? Do you consider Amazon and Google more to be your competitors? How do you guys look at it internally?
Jeff: Well, I think that we’re all in a marketplace and I think most of us who work in the valley and are in the e-commerce world, we’re all paranoid. So, my receptionist, I think might be my competitor. I think we all compete on a number of levels. Certainly we’re a large advertiser with Google, and yet they compete with us directly. And, PriceGrabber, [and] Shopzilla, are all very healthy competitors to us.
Having said that, I think we’re all in this sector, and we all benefit from consolidation when it occurs. It’s good for cost synergies, it’s good for advertising synergies, it’s good for having smarter people focused on the right issues.
Rick: Yeah. It also would be good for retailers. For the tax specs, the fact that there’s a different format for Google shopping than there is for Nextag, than there is for PriceGrabber, than there is for Shopping.com, it just makes it harder on all of you guys. The fact that you have to make these retailers kind of jump through some hoops, to even just submit your data feedback. Consolidation or just having at least one feed format that was consistent, I know the retailers would love you for that.
Jeff: Yeah. I think that’s a really good point, I think consolidation, ultimately will be good for our merchant customers. It’ll make it simpler. And I think a consolidated industry will be more impactful and healthier for retailers. To have a few healthy, very capable comparison engines versus either one or twenty is going to be a better story.
What is WizeCommerce and How is it Different From Nextag?
Rick: So, my last question is about WizeCommerce. We’ve had a lot of our clients ask us about WizeCommerce. There’s some confusion in terms of what WizeCommerce is, relative to what Nextag is, and how the two brands are different. If you could, just kind of help us understand why you guys created WizeCommerce, and what your goals are for the WizeCommerce brand?
Jeff: Thanks. Well, thanks for the question, the WizeCommerce concept came as we realized the business was changing dramatically. And, it’s really about making sure that our customers and potential customers know that our business is really about our platform.
Over the course over the last few years, we’ve acquired a few companies. For example, we have a few very significant non-Nextag name shopping sites in Germany and around the world. We have non-shopping websites. We have a small but profitable event ticketing company that uses the WizeCommerce platform.
So, ultimately, for our e-commerce community, what WizeCommerce is about that’s different than Nextag, is we have two offerings from the platform. One is a network of shopping sites that we operate and that we’re growing. That provide differentiated kind of shopping experiences and drive different kinds of revenues to merchants. That’s the shopping network part of WizeCommerce.
And then, there’s the platform solutions part of WizeCommerce where we have products like silhouettes. And we’re developing more tools from mobile e-commerce where people can use the platform. One merchant can use the platform for its own purposes to drive more revenue with very light integration. So they [online merchants] get all that monetization and traffic optimization tools in a very easy box to drive more revenue.
So shopping network plus platform solutions, all using the same WizeCommerce platform. That’s why we’re pursuing this direction, it’s more robust than just operating a single site called Nextag.
Jeff: It works well, and it’s going to be there. But we’re doing a lot more than that in the marketplace. That’s why we rolled out this strategic direction.
Rick: Got it. That helps me a lot in my understanding and so I’ll make sure to pass that on to our clients and our blog audience when they’re asking about WizeCommerce.
So that’s it, that’s all the questions that I have. I really, really, really appreciate you doing this interview with us. There’s not a lot of CEO’s of companies as large as Nextag that are as tech savvy, and as willing to do an interview like this. So, thank you very much, we appreciate it.
Jeff: Thanks. Good to spend time with you, Rick, and congrats on what you’re doing as well.
Rick: Thank you, we appreciate it.