Local eCommerce – Lessons for JustDial / Entrepreneurs from Baidu Local Express

Baidu Local ExpressChinese Internet Giant, Baidu has had Keyword based bidding on the lines of Google AdWords for sometime codenamed as Phoenix which Local service platforms still find the bidding system complicated. In October 2015, Baidu launched Local Express, a new simpler marketing platform for local merchants. Its key advantages include:

  1. Ease of use of the marketing interface, without the hassles of choosing keyword price.
  2. Geo-targeting to customers within 5-30 km from merchants, making the marketing campaign more effective
  3. One-stop ad placement displaying across three key traffic platforms on Baidu: Baidu Mobile, Baidu Map, and Nuomi apps. In the past, Baidu search and Baidu Nuomi had separate marketing and services channels
  4. Infrastructure support. Merchants can rely on Baidu Nuomi’s landing page support, and do need to set up their own website.

Local Express currently targets eight local service sectors, including (1) cosmetics, nail polishing, manicure, and pedicure, (2) gym and yoga, (3) talent training, (4) electronics repair, (5) auto services, (6) photography, (7) moving and housekeeping services, and (8) plumbing services. These are also existing categories on Nuomi’s platform. We note that restaurants, KTV, and tourism, are not (more…)

Badiu’s Mobile Monetization Strategy Begins to Pay Off – Challenges Remain

Baidu Mobile MonetizationChinese Internet Giant, Baidu is ramping up mobile monetization through mobile paid search, contextual ads, and mobile VAS (mostly games).

Baidu Mobile traffic + landing page optimization drive ads adoptions
Baidu’s mobile search volumes account for ~1/3 of Baidu’s organic search traffic, or 500 mn mobile search queries per day. Increasing mobile traffic would incentivize Baidu’s search customers to allocate more of their ads budgets to mobile vs. PC.

However, a key challenge for PC-based websites is to display web content on mobile devices, with the lack of mobile landing pages resulting in a suboptimal user experience, fewer mobile browsing activities, and fewer page views. Thus, online advertisers have (more…)

Baidu Mobile Monetization Rising, TAC Cost Higher A Surprise

Baidu Engineering TeamBaidu Management that mobile revs for the first time accounted for >10% of total revs in 2Q13. This would indeed mark a significant improvement from levels of 5-6% that we had earlier estimated. Mobile represents 20+% of total Baidu queries, and that mobile (incl. tablet) CPC’s are at least a 40~45% discount to desktop despite improving click-through. It thus seems clear that conversion on mobile significantly lags that of desktop.

Baidu’s Traffic Acquisition Cost [TAC]
We were quite surprised with the surge in TAC to RMB880m up 182bp QoQ to 12.2% of total revs, and well above 50-100bp sequential growth expected by many. While the co attributed most of the growth to increased (more…)

Baidu Weigou Testing Google MarketPlace / Product Search Like Ads

Baidu Engineering TeamChinese Search Giant Baidu reportedly has been testing a web application, Baidu Weigou. As part of the service, Baidu will display product information and prices from e-commerce sites (similar to that of Google Product Search) under the search box, based on the product queries entered by users. Clicking on these products will direct users to a “fast buying” channel on the same search results page. Users are able to place orders by simply leaving their mobile phone number, recipient name and delivery address. Currently only cash on delivery (COD) is supported.

According to our channel checks, the service currently only supports a limited number of products for transaction, such as the iPhone4S, Wu Liang Ye (a famous Chinese liquor brand), Dove Chocolate, etc. Meanwhile, fuzzy search queries (e.g. an input for “iPhone” instead of “iPhone4S”) do not seem to trigger the Weigou feature. (more…)