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Shopping Search Around the World

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Although U.S. based shopping search and product comparison services receive the lion's share of traffic, other services are emerging throughout the world that serve specific regions and countries with more localized information.

The trend is most prominent in the U.K., with five of the top ten shopping and product comparison services being U.K. based, with two others being U.K. versions of U.S. based services.

Other parts of the world still tend to favor U.S. based services over homegrown originals. While most countries have prominent native online merchants that tend to garner a lot of local revenue, local or regional shopping search and comparison services have yet to emerge as a powerful force.

Expect this to change over the next several years, however, as native services that can handle localized transactional issues such as tariffs and duties, shipping rates and other costs that the global services either cannot or will not cope with. I expect to see a whole new cast of players that handle these on-the-ground logistical issues teaming up with the major services who will provide the editorial and comparison tools for products—sort of a local meets global hybrid approach.

Here's a look at the leaders in four markets around the world. All data provided by Hitwise, current as of November 24, 2004.

UK Shopping Search Leaders

Yahoo-owned Kelkoo is the front-runner in the U.K., even as parent Yahoo shopping appears in the number nine spot. Although Yahoo Shopping is significantly bolstering its efforts to be a player worldwide, Kelkoo continues to operate as an autonomous organization and will continue to do so going forward, according to Glen Drury, Managing Director of Kelkoo U.K.

Expect a lot of jostling for position among the U.K. shopping search services over the next year, as the current players continue to make improvements, and newcomers like BizRate and PriceGrabber push ahead.

Here's the current list of shopping search leaders, according to Hitwise:

  1. Kelkoo
  2. Dealtime UK
  3. MSN eShop
  4. Pricerunner
  5. Ciao
  6. NexTag
  7. NexTag UK
  8. Compare Store Prices
  9. Yahoo Shopping
  10. Shop Genie

Notably, despite Google's popularity in the U.K., neither Froogle nor the U.K. version of Froogle have yet cracked the top ten in terms of traffic.

Australia Shopping Search Leaders

Australians tend to favor the U.S. based shopping search services, though Kelkoo and Ciao, both based in the U.K., are prominent players.

Shopping.com is a notably prominent player in Australia, with its Epinions, Shopping.com and Dealtime sites all appearing in the top ten.

  1. MSN eShop
  2. Yahoo Shopping
  3. BizRate
  4. PriceGrabber
  5. Epinions
  6. NexTag
  7. Kelkoo
  8. Shopping.com
  9. Dealtime
  10. Ciao.co.uk
  11. Froogle

Hong Kong Shopping Search Leaders

As in Australia, MSN's eShop and Yahoo Shopping are the #1 and 2 players among the shopping search and comparison services in Hong Kong. All of the other top-ten services are similar, with slightly different positions on the list.

  1. MSN eShop
  2. Yahoo Shopping
  3. NexTag
  4. PriceGrabber
  5. Kelkoo
  6. Shopping.com
  7. BizRate
  8. Dealtime
  9. ePinions.com
  10. Ciao.co.uk

What About the Rest of the World?

Although online retailers thrive elsewhere in the world, there are few players, let alone clear leaders yet to emerge in the shopping search space. There are promising up and comers: "Nacho" Hernandez, president of iHispanic Marketing Group, offers a closer look at players catering to the Hispanic markets in North and South America in this Search Engine Watch forum posting. If you have knowledge of the non-English speaking shopping search arena, I encourage you to join Nacho and post your comments to the Shopping Search Arrives as an Important Vertical discussion in the Search Engine Watch forums.

Shopping Search Week

Monday: Shopping Search 2004 Overview
Tuesday: Shopping Search Update 2004, Part 1
Wednesday: Shopping Search Update 2004, Part 2
Today: Shopping Search Around the World

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