Archive for the ‘Comparison Shopping Engines’ Category

#CactusChat is Alive! Get your eCommerce Marketing Questions Answered in Real Time

Monday, November 4th, 2013

Cactus Facebook ChatWith just under 50 days left until Christmas, is your eCommerce store ready for the holiday shopping season? Before you fall prey to holiday myths, ask our Internet Marketing experts on the critical and crucial questions that make your Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, and Christmas sales zoom. Join us on Thursday, November 14th for a live chat!

If you thought last year was busy, imagine having nearly one week less in between Black Friday and Christmas to market, sell, and ship. Just 26 days between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year make for a much shorter holiday shopping season than last year’s 32 days; but don’t let that stop you! Last year, many retailers were promoting holiday sales well before Halloween. This year should be no different, as merchants eagerly attempt to snag as many pre-holiday sales as possible.

So how do you beat last year’s performance with even less time? Where do you find reliable answers to your internet marketing questions?

On Thursday, November 14th at 3pm EST, Solid Cactus’ Internet Marketing experts will host a live chat on Facebook to answer your questions. Questions can be sent in starting today through Facebook, Twitter, comments below, or email

Experts from our Comparison Shopping Engine (CSE), Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Pay-Per-Click (PPC), and Email Marketing teams will be on hand to address, answer and debunk your questions. Here are some examples of common myths that we’ll also be covering:

  • Do you need to make any changes to your comparison shopping feed when adding gift cards to your site?
  • Why are meta tags valuable in making your organic listings stand out for the holidays?
  • How do negative keywords reduce your PPC budget?
  • Is it possible to send email blasts too often during the holidays?

There are three ways to participate: you can send in a question in advance, the day of, or simply be a spectator.

  • RSVP to the Facebook Event and attend the day of.
  • Follow @SolidCactus on Twitter for highlights from the live chat.
  • Email your question to
  • Bookmark this post for a live Twitter feed, which will be posted to this URL as the event goes live.

Fine Tune Your Internet Marketing for the Holiday Season, Sign Up for our Free Webinar Today!

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013

webinarAs an eCommerce store owner, you spend a lot of money on pay-per-click (PPC) advertising every year. Not to mention what is spent on comparison shopping engines (CSEs), email marketing, social media and search engine optimization (SEO). Each one of these marketing channels should be providing you with a positive return on investment if they are functioning like a well-oiled machine and working together towards a common goal.

However, many store owners don’t understand how each of these channels can (and should) be playing off one another so they contribute to bottom-line success.

If you’re one of them, I’d like you to join me and a team of our marketing experts for a free webinar on multi-channel marketing called, “Marketing that Works Together, Works for You!” During this hour-long session, Robyn Snyder, Lauren Carey, Jaclyn Rudeski and Jeff Stolarcyk will dive into the synergies that exist within the different channels and how you can maximize their overall effectiveness in your marketing plan not only for the upcoming holiday, but for the new year.

I promise the hour will be well spent, fun, conversational and packed with information you can use to grow your online business. Plus, you’ll have the opportunity to pick the brains of our experts during a question and answer session that immediately follows the presentation, so get your questions ready!


When: Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Time: 2:00 – 3:00pm Eastern Time
Where: GoToWebinar – Sign up


Webinar Host 

 Scott Sanfilippo Scott Sanfilippo
Co-Founder & Brand Ambassador, Solid Cactus


Panel of Internet Marketing Experts 

 Robyn Snyder Robyn Snyder
Director of Internet Marketing CSE/PPC
  Jaclyn Rudeski
CSE Manager
 Lauren Carey Lauren Carey
SEO Manager
  Jeff Stolarcyk
Email Marketing Supervisor

Sign up to attend this free webinar today, and I’ll see you on the 25th!

Scott Sanfilippo is Co-Founder and Brand Ambassador for Solid Cactus and has nearly two decades of eCommerce experience dating back to 1994 when he opened his first online store, Since then Scott has owned 39 online stores and has assisted hundreds of entrepreneurs achieve their own online success.  


Bing Bounces Back and Falls into a PLA Model

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

In late May 2012, Google made a big announcement that would change the way businesses would sell on their sites. In the announcement, they informed merchants that their Google Product Search would be changing to a pay-per-click type model; also, that they would be moving towards showing the merchants products in a Product Listing Ad (PLA) format.

Revenue results from clients before and after using Google PLAs

With that knowledge, it should come as no surprise that Bing would follow suit nearly a year later with their announcement this past April. Bing revealed that they would be moving to the same Product Ads model in Q3 of this year. Bing’s Product Ads will be comparable to Google’s, in that ads will include the products image, price, description, and merchant center information.


How Bing’s new Product Ads will look

Bing is not currently allowing any new merchants to sign up for Bing Shopping, and hasn’t been for quite some time now. Considering this announcement, it is expected that Bing will reopen their doors to new merchants. This will be a good chance for businesses that weren’t already on Bing to sign up and explore a new avenue for sales. However, if you are already on Bing Shopping, you have an advantage. Although, for the most part, we have seen some decline in Bing Shopping results, we recall the same activity occurring before the new Google Shopping was unveiled. So don’t fret; and make sure to keep your account live during this process!


Co-Written by Jaclyn Rudeski & Andy Peck

Michael McGinley

Understanding Amazon Product Ads

Wednesday, January 9th, 2013

Many merchants sell their items directly on, but did you know there is another great way to gain customers on without selling through Amazon directly?

Amazon Product Ads allow your products to show in search results. Customers can click on your products to go directly to your website. These don’t appear as annoying ads that online shoppers would overlook; they are more of a suggestion to customers of other products they may find useful on external websites.

While all the listings appear co-mingled in the search results, when you actually click to view the product, you may see a Product Ad or a Seller Central ad.

  • Amazon Seller Central/WebStore/FBA – The “add to cart” button appears which allows customers to checkout directly through Amazon (meaning merchants will be paying Amazon a revenue share percentage).

Amazon Seller Central

  • Amazon Product Ads – Rather than seeing the “add to cart” button, there will be a button that will allow the shopper to “visit this site” which will take the shopper directly to the merchant website. Here, the customer can complete their purchase using the store’s cart.
Amazon Product Ads

Amazon Product Ads

The great thing about Amazon Product Ads is the merchant does not pay a potentially costly revenue share percentage to Amazon, since the shopper does not checkout via the Amazon cart. The merchant does however pay a cost-per-click (CPC) for the listings, in place of a revenue share percentage.

Ads usually appear under the “add to cart” button of the product sold through Amazon. Amazon Product Ads also receive their own “product ads from external websites” section at the bottom of every Amazon Seller Central/WebStore/FBA listing page. Again, these don’t appear to look like ads, rather just shopping alternatives for the customer. This is a great way to increase exposure and sales too.

Amazon Product Ads On External Sites

Amazon Product Ads On External Sites


But what about those Sponsored Links at the bottom of Amazon pages?  Those are indeed PPC ads, generated and served from the advertiser’s Google AdWords account.  Since Amazon is one of Google’s “Search Partners,” by default, all PPC ads targeted to the regular Google Search pages can appear on Amazon, eBay, Ask, and a host of other Search Partners Google has, although the search engine giant doesn’t disclose a full, comprehensive list.



Solid Cactus often recommends running PPC ads on the Search Partners Network because we typically see a very good return for most industries.  Also, it’s great branding to have your store appear in Amazon’s Product Listings, in addition to Sponsored Links at the bottom of the page.  Think about it: a user is more likely to consider you a leader in your industry after seeing your store name in several spots, as opposed to just one.

So, if you’re considering Amazon as a part of your shopping engine advertising efforts in 2013, don’t discount the value of the PPC ads at the bottom of the page as well.  While often considered annoying, these ads do convert and will help your overall store branding, so don’t be afraid to consider it this holiday season.

If you’ve been discouraged from advertising on Amazon in the past due to the revenue share, consider Product Ads and PPC this year.


Leaving Google Shopping Is A Terrible Move For The Holiday Season

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

You'll Shoot Your Eye Out!The holiday season is right around the corner, yes, you heard right, the holidays. So, now is the time to take the proper steps to prepare your online business for the busiest sales months of the year. Year after year, online comparison shopping is becoming more popular and common among consumers. One of the biggest comparison shopping engines and players in this game is Google Shopping.

Many merchants are apprehensive about the new Google Shopping changes and want to back out from these changes rather than embrace them. Although, spending is now involved, the new Google Shopping is really a great tool to control where your products will be listed among the results.

Like most other paid engines, you can bid on your campaigns to control where you would like your products to be listed on Google Shopping. Previously, results on Google Shopping were based on relevancy which was almost a random drawing of products placed in results. Having more control over where products are listed will ultimately help your sales.

Also, since many merchants are backing away from the new Google, you must make sure you are staying on board! Competition will be dropping and you can possibly be the new best possible result for consumers. By leaving Google you are giving your competitors an advantage and breaking down their competition. So let them leave, and you stick around to find all those lost customers! Because this transition is happening in October this is the most important time to be sticking around and picking up all those lost shoppers.

Google receives more traffic than most comparison shopping engines, especially other free ones, so you will be reaching a much larger consumer base by staying on Google. Also, just to get your products out there Google accepts penny bids on the Product Listing Ads, so you wouldn’t have high placement but you would still have the chance to be found in the results without spending nearly anything.

Another great thing about the new Google Shopping is the promotional text feature. This will really come in handy for the holidays! Promote a hot item you sell, free or fast shipping, etc. This is a great way to grab the attention of shoppers and make your products stand out about the others.

I hope I’ve persuaded you to stay on board with Google Shopping. Google’s Shopping engine is the most important one to be on especially for the holidays. We hope you have a successful and profitable holiday on Google Shopping!