For API users, Yan Bezugliy of ProBargainHunter.com has created a really useful, free WordPress plugin that simply takes a Shopzilla Product ID as input, and spits out the comparison results into a nice table as shown in the screenshot below:
As users of the Catalog API know, having a plugin like this really saves a lot of time and lets you focus more on your content, not your advertisements. To download this free plugin, please head over to ProBargainHunter and follow the installation instructions.
I was able to catch up with the plugin's creator, Yan Bezugliy, and ask him a few questions about his experiences with the Shopzilla Publisher Program and WordPress.
Chris: Yan, thanks for creating this great WordPress plugin! What compelled you to make this contribution to the blogging community?
Yan: It is really a combination of several things that made it happen. First I am a blogger. Since I started in late 2006 I have incorporated more than a couple dozen WordPress plugin's into my blog and I am very grateful to the people who spend time contributing to the community. Second, I run a shopping deals site which uses the Shopzilla API to do product price comparison, and I have had very positive experience with it. Third, I am a software and web developer, so it was a fairly natural decision for me to port the code I use on WiredDeals.com into a WordPress plugin for everyone else's benefit.
Chris: Have you made any other WordPress plugins?
Yan: While I have done a lot of other web development work, this has been my first experience with WordPress plugins.
Chris: I can assure you that this plugin will get a lot of use from Publishers. What do you like most about the Shopzilla Publisher Program?
Yan: Again, it is a couple of things. One, I was able to find a key feature in Shopzilla's API that made it possible to integrate the functionality into my site. I refer to the search result relevancy index. Second, I am an entrepreneur myself and I like the feeling of a small company I get when I exchange emails with the team at Shopzilla, the kind of "personal touch" absent with the big guys. Lastly, I just think Shopzilla team is trying very hard to do their best job at it, and I really appreciate that.
Chris: Thanks for the kind words - our team is working hard to ensure a quality experience for our Publishers. That being said, do you have any feature requests that you'd like to see implemented in the future?
Yan: I am not sure if this is a common thing, but I would like to be able to track the level of conversion for my leads so I can tune up my advertisements campaigns. The better the conversion rate is the happier my customers are and the higher the customer retention rate I eventually get. Alternatively, if I see low conversions I will know I need to change something. This also opens a possibility for me to switch from CPC to affiliates commissions as I see fit, which might not sound like a good thing for Shopzilla, but in a long run I believe you would benefit from this kind of transparency, especially if this is not something your competitors normally offer.
Chris: Yan, traffic quality is our top concern due to our close relationship with merchants paying for placement, and it is very important that affiliate partners send traffic that converts well. High converting traffic benefits not only the paying merchant, but also signals that the ad campaigns on affiliate sites are not a distraction to users, but an addition of useful content. While I can’t guarantee that we’ll implement this feature, we will definitely review it and possibly consider it down the line. Do you have any other comments?
Yan: Thanks for having me on your blog! You are doing a great job and I wish you guys success with your affiliate program.
Chris: Thanks, Yan. We appreciate the feedback as well as the work you put into making a tool that many Publishers benefit from.
To download Yan's Wordpress plugin for use with the Shopzilla Publisher Program Catalog API, please visit the ProBargainHunter site.