Would you like your products in front of the people most likely to buy them? Of course you would! If you are not on Comparison Shopping Engines (CSE) now, you need to get on them as soon as possible! Shoppers who are looking on Shopping Engines are further along in the buying process and are usually ready to make their purchase when they come to a CSE. Sometimes knowing which CSE is best for your store can be a challenge, but worry not, because we’re here to help!
All comparison shopping engines are not created equally. There are “free click engines”, which include Bing and The Find. Then there are a great amount of pay-per-click engines. Currently, Google Shopping is free, but will be pay-per-click by October 2012. It’s always a good idea to put all of your items on free engines. Even though they have less traffic than other CSEs they provide you with a great, free way to expose your products. What do you have to lose?
Here are our top ten picks for CSEs, with #1 being our most recommended:
- Amazon Product Ads
- The Find
We rated these channels based on traffic, sales, return on ad spend, and other key metrics. Using our experience managing Shopping Engine Services for eCommerce merchants, we are able to give you some insight on each engine. If you are submitting to engines yourself, consider these snap-shots when choosing where to invest.
Google – Google definitely brings the most sales and clicks to your store, which was great because they were a free engine. Now as they’re transitioning to a paid engine, it will be important to carefully watch clicks and sales to make sure you’re profiting. Mostly all products do well on Google; apparel, electronics, home and garden, etc.
Shopping.com – This engine receives high traffic and has more of a female demographic, aged 35 years and older. Items, such as apparel, home décor, and furnishings do well on Shopping.com. Shopping.com is also partnered with Ebay and Bing Shopping, so your listings may show up on both of those sites as well.
Nextag - Nextag is almost a straight split between male and female shoppers. Products, such as electronics, tobacco, sports fan apparel and memorabilia, and some home and garden products, such as lighting do best on this engine.
Shopzilla – Shopzilla provides strong traffic mostly from females, 35 years and older. Shopzilla offers a free BizRate survey that is placed on your confirmation page, and will prompt customers to fill a survey out after their purchase. Their ratings will show across Shopzilla, BizRate.com, and Google. This is a great additional service because shoppers love to see the product ratings when making buying decisions. In addition, the ratings from the survey can help you to improve your overall site and customer service.
Amazon Product Ads – APA are a great way to make your products visible to online shoppers. While customers are browsing Amazon they’re shown “ads” or suggestions from external sites which connect them to your store. Amazon product ads are have some stringent product restrictions. For example, apparel is not permitted to be sold through this engine, as well as car accessories, books, etc. Items in categories, such as grocery, jewelry, shoes and watches require approval by Amazon.
Pricegrabber.com – Pricegrabber receives good volume in clicks and traffic, but not as many sales as other engines. You may end up paying more than you’re earning, unless you take advantage of Pricegrabber’s hidden treasure, the penny bid. You can bid items at $0.01. They won’t show up as high as others, but the click cost will be minimal while still providing exposure and sales.
Become.com – Become sees less traffic than other engines, but does converts sales at a fair rate. One huge plus the merchant help service from Become. They respond to emails in a timely manner and are always very willing to help. Rather than filling out a form and waiting for an answer, each account is given an account manager that we can contact in case of an issue while managing your account.
Bing Shopping – As mentioned earlier, Bing is partnered with Shopping.com. This partnership has had some negative impacts on Bing Shopping. Shopping.com results are favored over regular (free) Bing results. Bing is still a free engine though, so you can only profit by being listed. Just make sure not to rely solely on Bing for traffic.
Pronto.com – Pronto sees significantly less traffic than the other engines, but will still bring in some sales. While their site is very shopper friendly and has a great set up, not many shoppers know of this engine.
TheFind.com- Last on our list is The Find. The Find is a free engine that is a growing presence among shoppers. It isn’t near the volume of some of the more established engines, but it is free, friendly, and growing. What do you have to lose?
We hope that gives you a better understanding the many Comparison Shopping Engines, and helps you make the decision on where to place your items online for customers to shop. Remember to check your prices and shipping to make sure that you’re competitive with the other merchants on the channels you choose. This is a big factor to shoppers, and a primary factor when they are about to make a purchase.