Each quarter, CPC Strategy releases their Comparison Shopping Report, a compilation of data from more than 4 million clicks and more than $8 million in revenue. The Report ranks the industry’s top comparison shopping engines (CSEs) for online merchants based on significant metrics like overall traffic, revenue, conversion rate, cost of sale, average CPC, and merchant response ratings.
Ecommerce merchants can use this data to tailor their marketing budget to make more sales and increase product exposure on the sites that online shoppers frequently use to find great deals on products. Here are the 10 best comparison shopping engines.
1. Google Shopping (CPC)
Since Google Product Search became the paid Google Product Listing Ads / Google Shopping program, it has been the top-performing shopping engine in nearly every significant ecommerce KPI. It's only getting better, too, with overall traffic growing 82 percent from Q4 2012 to Q1 2013 and another 40 percent from Q1 to Q2 2013.
Compared to every shopping engine over the last three quarters, Google Product Listing Ads has generated the most traffic and revenue while maintaining the lowest cost of sale for ecommerce merchants.
Merchants can manually upload feeds or use an FTP to upload in bulk.
2. Nextag (CPC)
Nextag is a paid comparison shopping site that allows businesses to list physical products, event tickets, real estate, travel plans, sales, and more.
Ranking in second place for the last two quarters, Nextag used to be the top paid shopping engine before Google PLAs kicked into gear. It generated the second highest amount of traffic and revenue in Q2 2013 as well as achieved the third lowest cost of sale for merchants.
Nextag has a nice CPC bidding model too, allowing merchants to bid at the product, brand, and category-level. Nextag also supports bulk product imports.
3. PriceGrabber (CPC)
PriceGrabber is a paid comparison shopping site that features many deals, coupons, and weekly specials. PriceGrabber has a no-minimum CPC bidding model, which allows retailers to penny-bid, or bid as low as $0.01 on a product.
Last quarter, PriceGrabber had the second lowest cost of sale for merchants. Merchants using Pricegrabber also have the added advantage of sending their product listings to Yahoo Shopping.
The shopping engine also allows for a bulk data feed upload through an FTP.
4. Google (Free)
This is the lingering presence of Google Product Search and no one should count on Google's free clicks heading into the near future because they are significantly decreasing.
Nevertheless, Google Shopping and Product Listing Ads, Product Search's replacement, is a highly profitable marketing channel that now makes advertisers pay to play.
5. Amazon Product Ads (CPC)
Amazon Product Ads (APA) benefits from the huge traffic pool of Amazon's Marketplace program. Unlike Amazon Marketplace, Amazon Product Ads links shoppers to a merchant's external web store to make a transaction.
This is a great option for retailers who already have listings on the Marketplace or even just for retailers who want to list on Amazon without subscribing to the Marketplace program.
APA had the fourth lowest COS, sent the fourth most traffic, and generated the third most amount of revenue in Q2 2013.
6. Shopping.com (CPC)
Also known as the eBay Commerce Network, Shopping.com is a paid comparison shopping site. Its CPC bidding model allows for only category-level bids.
Shopping.com finished third in overall traffic in Q2 2013, and this is partly due to the fact that merchant listings on Shopping.com also receive exposure on Google Shopping.
The shopping engine allows for bulk uploads via an FTP.
7. Bing (Free)
Bing Shopping is a free comparison shopping site that is similar to how Google Product Search functioned when it was free. Merchants need to have a Bing Ads account to list products on Bing.
Bing had the second highest conversion rate in Q2 2013. A paid Bing Shopping program isn't an unrealistic prospect in the next couple of years.
8. Shopzilla (CPC)
Shopzilla is a paid comparison shopping site that, like Shopping.com, also offers high product exposure through listing on Google Shopping. For merchants, Shopzilla features one of the easiest bidding tools and it allows retailers to zero-bid, or bid nothing on a poor-converting product.
It is partnered with BizRate, so merchant ratings are easily distinguished for shoppers to look at when considering purchases. Shopzilla featured the fifth highest conversion rate among studied shopping engines in Q2 2013.
Shopzilla also supports bulk product feed uploads via an FTP.
9. Become (CPC)
Become is unique because they aggregate research on products (expert reviews, consumer reviews, articles, buying guides, forums, etc.) to provide all the relevant information for shoppers to make a purchase.
For merchants, Become has the highest engine responsiveness ratings among all the shopping engines, so problems with your feed or campaign will be addressed quickly.
Become supports bulk product feed uploads via an FTP.
10. Pronto (CPC)
Pronto makes it easy for shoppers to find current sales and facilitates buying popular products (e.g., HDTVs) with buying guides.
For merchants, Pronto was third in conversion rate among studied shopping engines in Q2 2013.
The comparison shopping site allows for whole feed processing via an FTP.
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