Oct 182006

Getting Involved: Standardizing Comparison Shopping Feeds

Here's an update from Jay Heavilon, who's heading up the ARTS-NRF CSE initiative.

We released the XML spec for CSE at the Shop.org annual last week and
recieved quite a bit of attention from both retailers and third party
agencies. An article was published in InternetRetailer today in the
online edition. Here is the link: http://www.internetretailer.com/dailyNews.asp?id=20218

The Beta Test also went very well with only minor updates required to
the spec to meet the requirements of the test. Many thanks to AOL,
Circuit City and Channel Intelligence for their efforts!

We have the technical spec now posted on the ARTS website for public
comment and review. You can pass this on to your stakeholders for
public download and review. Go to http://www.nrf-arts.org and follow this sequence:

  • Select IXRetail in the left nav.
  • Scroll to the bottom of the page and click download.
  • Accept the terms and conditions.
  • Check the box to the CSE Schmema and click Download and Purchase.
  • The Schema can be downloaded for free by filling out a Non-ARTS member

Major comments received from New York last week are "Cool" and "Can we
include a Sku'd product example". We will be working on this at our
next meeting in Del Ray, Florida on November 13th and 14th, as well as
identifying priorities for next standards work for online retail. I
encourage all to attend and bring your ideas. We could also meet with
the Chair of the PCM (product content managment) work team and see what
we can leverage from PCM for online retail - there is already a large
body of excellent work.

Please register if you plan to attend the meeting in Del Ray. On the
ARTS web site is a Meeting Calendar link in the left nav, select the
13-16 November meeting hosted by Ecometry.


3 Responses to "Getting Involved: Standardizing Comparison Shopping Feeds"
Jamie says:
Why does ARTS ask for an agreement to terms and then all of this personal information just to download a proposed schema. I'd love to look at the schema and provide comments, but this doesn't sound like a very open process.
Alan says:
Jamie, I agree. To answer your question directly, I'd say its because (1) ARTS isn't in the open (source, content, etc) mindset, and (2) they have to handle IP carefully to keep Y!, AOL, etc at the table. I wish this could have happened "bottom up" with a open simple standard (like RSS); but given the state of the industry, if it is going to be "top down", the industry neutrality of NRF is an important asset.
Jamie says:
I see your point on #2, Alan. I wonder if a merchant-driven standard would work - although considering my experience with shopping engines I can probably answer that question on my own ;) I do appreciate the standards effort though. If it can happen, it would be a huge improvement.

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