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Comparing the Top Comparison Shopping Engines

Posted on 1.16.2011

The upcoming March issue of Website Magazine includes an article on optimization strategies for comparison shopping engines, still a largely misunderstood category and thus a market with a lot of unrealized potential by merchants. There are now hundreds of comparison sites on which retailers can list their products, and the article provides a helpful analysis of the metrics to consider and the best practices to follow when entering the CSE arena.

Each quarter, CPC Strategy ranks the comparison shopping engines (CSEs) based on the following criteria: overall traffic, average amount of revenue generated, conversion rates, cost of sale percentages, average cost-per-click (CPC) rates, responsiveness rates and quality of merchant tools. The CSE management solutions provider has released its rankings for the fourth quarter of 2010, and below are some of the most interesting points of data.

The dark blue bars represent the fourth quarter of 2010, which included the record-setting holiday season, and the light blue represents Q3 2010:

TRAFFIC

Comments: Google Product Search posted a higher volume of traffic during the holiday season than the rest of the CSEs, likely due to the fact that many shoppers began and ended their product searches on Google. Amazon was next in terms of traffic, meaning that holiday consumers using CSEs elected for the best-known names in search (Google) and e-commerce (Amazon), taking traffic away from some of the other engines during Q4.

 

REVENUE


 
Comments: Google Product Search dominated the Q4 results while almost every other engine among the top 10 dropped off since Q3.

 

COST DIVIDED BY REVENUE PERCENTAGE


 
Comments: The first three engines on the graph have no cost for merchants, so among the paid sites Amazon provided the best return on investment for merchants in the fourth quarter of 2010. From these selected sets of data, however, Google Product Search appears to have provided the most benefits for retailers during the holiday season.

Be sure to keep your eyes out for the March issue of Website Magazine for a closer look at optimizing for CSEs, and for a deeper analysis of CPC Strategy’s fourth-quarter rankings.

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