Information Meets Commerce


A quick note this week on two recent developments at the intersection of information and commerce, our sweet spot...

First, a fascinating post at Screenwerk, details the huge strides being made by companies trying to capture, aggregate and in some cases syndicate, retail inventory data. I've previously discussed the most established player in this field, Milo, but another company that hadn't previously hit my radar, called Retailigence, is now claiming that it is collecting data on 5.3 million products representing a stunning 25% of all US retail sales volume. Oh, the back-end data possibilities! To its credit, Retailigence is all over this opportunity, and is offering predictive intelligence on consumer sales behavior, along with sophisticated consumer profiles. As usual, B2C is leading the way, but retail/distributor inventory data opportunities abound on the B2B side.

Second, while you have doubtless heard about the loud battles being fought by companies such as NetFlix and Hulu in the online movie distribution wars, there was a somewhat quieter entry into this marketplace recently: Amazon's IMDB subsidiary. Yes, the Internet Movie Database, an impressive database of movies with incredibly rich detail, is being used as Amazon's platform to stream online movie trailers and sell movie tickets via mobile devices. And if the movie whose trailer you are viewing happens to be available through Amazon's Instant Video, there's a convenient link for cross-selling purposes.

What interest me with IMDB is that is represents that fascinating point where databases and catalogs blur, and where data content companies move from describing products to selling them. There should probably also be an award for IMDB for its creativity in developing, advertising, subscription and now transactional revenue elegantly and simultaneously. Expect that award from someone other than us, since we have already recognized IMDB with our Model of Excellence award way back in 2004.

Infocommerce gets sweeter every day.

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