Sramana Mitra of Wired recently wrote, “Back in 2007, even before the iPhone was launched, giving us a powerful computer in our pockets or handbags, I started outlining a vision for Web 3.0. Tim Berners-Lee, a father of the World Wide Web, talks about the ‘Semantic Web,’ a way that computers employ the meaning of words — not just pattern matching — along with logical rules to connect independent nuggets of data and so create more context for information. The formula that makes the most sense to me is this: Web 3.0 results from combining content, commerce, community and context, with personalization and vertical search. Or, to put it in a handy phrase: Web 3.0 = (4C + P + VS).” Read more
Posts Tagged ‘eCommerce’
There is no doubt about it: Schema.org is a big success. It has motivated hundreds of thousands of Web site owners to add structured data markup to their HTML templates and brought the idea of exchanging structured data over the WWW from the labs and prototypes to real business.
Unfortunately, the support for information about the sales and rental of vehicles, namely cars, motorbikes, trucks, boats, and bikes has been insufficient for quite a while. Besides two simple classes for http://schema.org/Vehicle and http://schema.org/Car with no additional properties, there was nothing in the vocabulary that would help marking up granular vehicle information in new or used car listing sites or car rental offers.
Recently, Mirek Sopek, Karol Szczepański and I have released a fully-fledged extension proposal for schema.org that fixes this shortcoming and paves the ground for much better automotive Web sites in the light of marketing with structured data.
This proposal builds on the following vehicle-related extensions for GoodRelations, the e-commerce model of schema.org:
- Vehicle Sales Ontology (VSO), http://purl.org/vso/ns
- Volkswagen Vehicles Ontology (VVO), http://purl.org/vvo/ns
- Used Cars Ontology (UCO), http://purl.org/uco/ns
It adds the core classes, properties and enumerated values for describing cars, trucks, busses, bikes, and boats and their features. For describing commercial aspects of related offers, http://schema.org/Offer already provides the necessary level of detail. Thus, our proposal does not add new elements for commercial features.
Supply chain and products standards organization GS1 – which this week joined the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) to contribute to work on improving global commerce and logistics – also now has released the GTIN (Global Trade Item Number) Validation Guide. In the states the GTIN, which is the GS1-developed numbering sequence within bar codes for identifying products at point of sale, is known as the Universal Product Code (UPC).
The guide is part of the organization’s effort to drive awareness about “the business importance of having accurate product information on the web,” says Bernie Hogan, Senior Vice President, Emerging Capabilities and Industries. The guide has the endorsement of players including Google, eBay and Walmart, which are among the retailers that require the use of GTINs by onboarding suppliers, and support GTIN’s extension further into the online space to help ensure more accurate and consistent product descriptions that link to images and promotions, and help customers better find, compare and buy products.
“This is an effort to help clean up the data and get it more accurate,” he says. “That’s so foundational to any kind of commerce, because if it’s not the right number, you can have the best product data and images and the consumer still won’t find it.” The search hook, indeed, is the link between the work that GS1 is doing to encourage using GS1 standards online for improved product identification data with semantic web efforts such as schema.org, which The Semantic Web discussed with Hogan here.
Carmel Deamicis of Pando Daily reports, “Dr. Eyal Kishon, co-founder of Israeli based venture capital firm Genesis Partners, had a very personal reason for investing in Riskified, a startup that fights fraud for e-commerce sites. He kept getting rejected when he’d try to buy things online. Merchants would occasionally flag him as a “risky” purchase — perhaps because he lived in Israel and American stores can’t fact-check international addresses through the Address Verification System (AVS). Israeli startup Riskified, which recently raised a $1.65 million seed round, thinks its “semantic risk engine” is the answer. The technology builds a story around the shopper that ties together two types of information — the transaction information (where the person’s shipping address and billing address are, what proxy server they’re hiding behind, etc) and publicly available information about the person online. That way, they can more accurately predict which online shoppers are fraudsters and which are legitimate.” Read more
David Meyer of GigaOM reports, “More than two dozen tech firms and ecommerce operators, including IBM, Google, Adobe, Best Buy and Qubit, have banded together to create a standard for managing certain types of website data – particularly the kind that will be valuable to ecommerce outfits. The companies are going public with the ‘Customer Experience Digital Data Acquisition’ standard now, although they submitted the draft standard back in May and are hoping for sign-off by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) in September. The firms have been thrashing out the standard through the W3C’s Community and Business Groups initiative, which launched a couple of years ago to speed up industry-specific web standards development.” Read more
A new resource has been announced on Best Buy’s BBYOpen blog: Metis Alpha. Like Best Buy’s earlier forays into Semantic Web use, this one started with a business problem. As the announcement states: “These days, consumers have a rich variety of products available at their fingertips. A massive product landscape has evolved, but sadly products in this enormous and rich landscape often get flattened to just a price tag. Over time, it seems the product value proposition, variety, descriptions, specifics, and details that make up products have all but disappeared. This presents consumers with a ‘paradox of choice’ where misinformed decisions can lead to poor product selections, and ultimately product returns and customer remorse.”
Users of Prestashop, the popular open source e-commerce package that powers over 100,ooo shops, now have easy access to semantic markup through the release of a free extension module from Makolab S.A. The extension adds markup from the GoodRelations vocabulary using RDFa syntax to the product item page templates. Read more
More vendors are making waves among the ranks of those that figure semantic technology has a role to play in the travel sector, from helping hospitality providers assess the quality of user experiences to serving as a B2B backbone for companies that want to help users book travel plans, whether they’re aiming to spend Thanksgiving with the family in Nebraska or Christmas shopping in Paris, and more.
* At the PhoCusWrite 2011 Travel Innovation Summit last week, ReviewPro won the QuickMobile Award for Travel Innovation: Emerging Category.
Atosho has stepped onto the semantic advertising scene with a new ecommerce tool “which allows web users to buy products via a sophisticated web banner or widget, which the company refers to as a Microshop.” The article continues, “Imagine you are reading an article on a fashion blog and it mentions a certain pair of shoes from a designer. The Atosho tool would deliver those particular shoes or similar ones to the user on the same page. The user could then view the product, order it and pay for it without having to leave the page.” Read more
A recent article informs online retailers that “Starting now, you’re going to need good structured markup on your X/HTML in addition to your white hat tactics. I see structured markup as being equally important to authoritative inbound links as a ranking factor when optimizing content. Why? Because search robots are designed to serve search engine users by matching their search query expectations, known as user intent. These bots are machines, and they’re trying to discern the human mind’s evaluation of information in answer to human-entered keywords.” Read more
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