Most of us know by now that using RSS feeds helps connect our sites to our users - keeping us in the forefront of their minds. Some are using RSS feeds for more than just blog posts however, including getting relevant information such as new product announcements out to their subscribers.
Offertrax now has a beta program that helps retailers alert shoppers to new product information, price changes, hot sales, best deals, etc. These feeds can be sent to subscribers' cell phones and other mobile devices as well (including PDAs in the future). It's being touted as a great way to connect to the 97% of users who don't initially convert, by connecting with them later for future conversions.
The system is free to consumers, who simply sign up to receive information from the retailer. The retailer will pay a fee to Offertrax for use of the technology, although it is currently free to merchants until 1/31/07. Future payment will likely consist of a modest fee per SKU.
This sounds really intriguing, but there's a possible SEO advantage to it as well. Each product in the feed is similar to a mini-blog, where users can comment on it. Now you've got what? More content. Automated, user-generated content. Content for the search engines to glom onto. Essentially, the system creates conversations and community based around products. This content resides on Offertrax's system, however it will be directing traffic to the retailer.
Imagine the hype to be created around the next cool gadget or video game, for example. RSS alerts could fuel some fire before a product is even launched. And that conversation could attract even more visitors to the retailer's site. A little imagination could go a long way in allowing retailers to connect with their users in limitless ways.
I can see this as being the next big wave for retail sites, especially if Offertrax makes it easy for the retailer and easy for the consumer. Code will be cut and paste to RSS-enable the SKUs. Since it is a web app, and no download is required, it should make the process fairly painless.
Want to know what acronym I'd use for this? PSS - Personalized Shopping Syndication