Comparison Shopping Engines (CSE's) are great tools for consumers that like to compare products and prices before they make purchasing decisions. These engines also have the power to drive a lot of traffic to websites because of the volume of unique visitors they obtain making them attractive to e-commerce merchants.
While the big names of comparison shopping (Google, Amazon, Ebay) dominate most merchants’ attention, there are quite a few other popular destinations that are worthy of the time and investment of Internet retailers. Let's look at a few today in Website Magazine's E-commerce Express e-newsletter. Did we miss one (or two)? Let us know by commenting below.
This comparison search engine provides its service with no set up fees. A merchant will only pay for clicks that are directed toward their online store. Online retailers can list their products in Shopzilla’s comparison shopping search engine. These products show up in a consumer’s related search— giving the consumer various choices of the desired product. When the consumer clicks on a product it will link the consumer to that merchant’s website. To use Shopzilla, a merchant must create an account, fund the account with a refundable $50 deposit and submit their product listing through Shopzilla’s product listing manager. The merchant’s listings will appear across Shopzilla sites, including BizRate and InStore.com, reaching an audience of more than 40 million shoppers a month.
This shopping search engine shows the top products on the first page of results in a consumer’s search. The products are found by a crawler that navigates the web and indexes products from online stores. Then, TheFind’s product ranking engine uses algorithms to identify the most popular items and stores for shopping-related searches. Although TheFind “crawls” the web for products, it also offers a merchant program that helps merchants gain more visibility in TheFind’s search results, as well as more impressions, higher clicks and conversions. To join TheFind’s merchant program, a business must set up an account with store information and site verification. A valuable feature of the merchant program is the merchant dashboard, which provides tools for setting up a product feed, uploading a logo and setting up sales and promotions. Another feature of TheFind’s merchant program is UpFront, which is a button that shares a store’s key information with shoppers. Currently, merchants that use UpFront experience an average of a 10 percent increase in clicks on their site.
This comparison shopping engine provides 25 channels of products such as clothing, babies and kids, books and magazines and computers and TVs. The site brings in more than 24 million unique visitors each month, providing featured merchants with a large audience. Merchants can list their products with PriceGrabber by signing up for the CPC merchant services. Merchant’s pay by CPC, and like Shopzilla, when a consumer clicks on a product it will take the consumer to the merchant’s website. For merchants that do not have an online store, PriceGrabber provides a storefront service that allows businesses to sell on PriceGrabber. With PriceGrabber storefronts, the merchant will pay commission instead of CPC.
There are in fact many hundreds of comparison shopping engines all clamoring for the attention of users and merchants. Here are a few of the other second tier comparison shopping engine platforms.