For many e-Commerce merchants, some of the hardest things to do are get new customers and sales and compete against your competition.
These don’t have to be problems though, not if you consider using comparison shopping engines.
As a shopper, you may have used comparison shopping engines yourself to find the best deals online.
Shoppers enter a search query for the type of product they want and they’re shown a number of products from different retailers. They can then compare prices, shipping costs and product details form a number of retailers in one single page.
No more opening up 25 web pages in new tabs.
But comparison shopping sites aren’t just useful for shoppers, you, as an e-commerce merchant can use them to get a better understanding of your competition and how your products face up against them.
In this blog post, we’ll look at what a comparison shopping engine is, some of the top sites available and how you can use it to monitor your competition and increase your sales.
Benefits of using comparison shopping engines
One of the biggest benefits of using a comparison shopping engine or site to list your products is how far down the buyer’s journey your potential customers are.
They’re not simply browsing the (virtual) windows of a store, instead, they’ve already decided that they’re interested in a specific product and are at the stage where they want to look for great opportunities to buy at a decent price.
Top 11 shopping comparison engine (CSE) sites
- The find
Being the giant that they are, it makes sense that Google is one of the largest comparison shopping engines out there.
When looking for products their search feature is intuitive as it feels just the same as doing a normal google search.
Search results look like the photo above. One of the many benefits of using Google’s comparison engine is that buyable products are also shown on normal google searches. So even if someone was just looking for reviews wireless headphones, they’d also see shopping opportunities.
If you do decide you want your products to be featured on Google’s shopping engine, then you need to sign up for the merchant center and upload your products either manually or through an FTP.
Although they’re not specifically a comparison shopping site, it makes sense to include Amazon here.
Their business model is very similar to the other comparison shopping engines listed here.
As an eCommerce owner you can manually or bulk (through FTP) upload your products to be listed on Amazon.com or any Amazon in your country.
This is usually done through Amazon’s product Ads feature that allows you to set a budget and pay per each click through to your product page.
If you already sell your products on Amazon’s marketplace, Product ads can be a worthwhile and lucrative alternative.
Additionally, even if you don’t sell on the marketplace, you can still benefit from the tonnes of traffic Amazon gets to their site by linking your ads directly to your product listing on your own website.
To get started, all you need is an Amazon registered account which can then pull in all your product feeds.
One benefit of using Amazon is that their system generates the ads for you and will go live as soon as you’ve specified your budget.
Pronto is not the most popular comparison search engine, despite having tens of millions of products listings organised into specific retail verticals.
One of Pronto’s best use cases is for shoppers looking for low priced, budget items.
Therefore, if you’re trying to sell low-value products this could be a useful comparison site engine to use..
Although the search engine is not as popular as its biggest competitor, Google, Bing still provides eCommerce merchants with a good opportunity to generate sales through their platform.
Bing product search happens within the search engine (similar to Google) and is best used in accordance with their Shopping Campaigns feature.
Not only does Bing provide shoppers with comparisons for specific products, they also highlight previous reviews products have received, prices and product information so that shoppers have a complete view of what they’re looking at when considering a product.
Become is a comparison shopping site that allows users to compare products and prices and write their own reviews right within the platform.
It’s known as a site that encourages shoppers to look for the best deals available.
As an eCommerce merchant, getting started on ‘Become’ is easy and simple as there is no upfront fee. Like many other comparison shopping engines, merchants can bulk upload their products or manually upload specific ones.
Shopzilla is huge and is a perfect solution for eCommerce vendors looking for extra sales. However, keep in mind that because their product selection is so large, so is the competition.
You can make use of their “shop by department” feature or simply search for the specific products yourself.
For consumers, their platform is intuitive and similar to others they may have come across. One important feature to note is the shipping feature.
You’re able to enter your zip code to find specific shipping costs for your area.
This is crucial as for many shoppers, their final purchase decision is based on how much it’ll cost them to have the product shipped to them.
NextTag is a comparison site that generates a lot of traffic. For eCommerce vendors, this is a positive as it means they’ll be an increase in people who are shown your product.
Their traffic numbers are likely down to the fact that they offer products in a wide number of different categories.
However, one thing you do need to be aware of when listing your products on this site is to be as concise and accurate as possible with your product descriptions. Often, when you complete a search, the user is shown irrelevant items – as seen in the image below.
Although we searched for wireless headphones, we were also shown a listing for an adjustable height laptop stand.
Bizrate is a platform that goes beyond simply searching for specific products. They allow their users (consumers) to set specific alerts for products they’re interested in.
If you use dynamic pricing as a strategy, Bizrate could be a good tool to use as it will alert interested customers when your product reaches a certain price.
PriceGrabber has millions of different products listed on their site amongst many categories.
You can either search by category or head straight to the item you’re looking for.
When you land on the search result page, you’re presented with a number of relevant products. Here you can look through the range of options, filter your results to get a tailored experience or read the reviews.
One of the great things about PriceGrabber is the ability to click further onto a specific product and find the cheapest place to buy that specific item.
In this example, say we’d picked the Apple Airpods to be the best wireless headphones, we can now decide which store we’d like to purchase them from.
Shopping.com is owned by eBay. And has multiple versions of the site, depending on your location.
Not only do they have a category search filter but they have automated search suggestions. This means as you’re typing, Shopping.com will show you potential ideas you might be looking for. It’s a great UX trick to help people find what they’re looking for quickly.
One of the benefits of using this site over some of the other shopping comparison engines listed here is the fact they have a wide range of filter options making it easy to find what you’re looking for. As well as that, they show the reviews right on the page meaning you immediately get a glimpse as to which products you’d like to investigate further.
The find is a great search comparison site if you’re looking for a free alternative. You don’t need to pay for any submissions. All you need to do is allow “TheFind bot” to crawl your product pages and they’ll do the rest of the work and showcase your products on their site.
They input specific details like product details, special offers or coupons as well as allowing consumers to search for local listings.
Because of their personalization aspect, consumers are more likely to discover your products based on their previous searches.
Comparison shopping engines tips for success
We’ve outlined a range of different comparison shopping sites you can use to list your products. Please note, that most of these sites will charge you. In most cases, the charge will be based on how many people click through to your site or complete a specific action.
You will have to evaluate your own business model to see whether it makes sense to go for a click-through or action-based pricing model.
Think about the goals of your business and align those goals with the benefits of each shopping engine to work out which one(s) will be most lucrative for your eCommerce store.
For both shoppers and vendors alike, comparison shopping engines are great. For shoppers, they provide multiple options for customers to buy.
They’re also a great way for vendors to see how their competition is pricing their products as well as get in front of a complete and entirely new audience ready to buy.
Look at the sites listed above and see if it makes sense for your business to list your products there.
What are you waiting for?