Google Shopping's shift to paid cost per click (CPC) listings shook the ecommerce world this year, and similarly affected its performance metrics compared to the other comparison shopping engines (CSEs), most notably Amazon Product Ads.
In CPC Strategy's 2012 Ecommerce Industry Report, which analyzed more than 6 million clicks and data from more than 200 advertisers, the two rival engines are broken down based on key metrics such as CPC, traffic, conversion rate, revenue, and cost of sale.
Amazon Product Ads vs. Google Shopping: CPC Rates
Q3 2012 marked Google Shopping first recorded cost per click in the program's 10+ year history, with a $0.30 average CPC. Although Google Shopping is now paid, it's still notably cheaper than Amazon Product Ads.
During Q4, Amazon Product Ads had an average CPC of $0.41 vs. Google Shopping which had an average CPC of $0.31. Google Shopping was 32.5 percent cheaper per click than Amazon Product Ads during this period.
All of the other CSEs excluding Pricegrabber and Become also saw an increase in CPC rates. CPC rates saw a general increase cross the board during the last quarter. Just like merchants, CSEs are now paying for traffic on Google which used to be free.
Amazon Product Ads vs. Google Shopping: Traffic
PLAs drove more traffic than Amazon Product Ads for Q4 2012.
PLA dominated traffic generation for Q4 2013, about 61 percent more traffic than the second highest traffic generating engine, Pricegrabber.
Amazon Product Ads came in fifth place for traffic generation, behind Nextag and Shopping.com.
In Q4 2011 Google Shopping was sending merchants 79 percent of the traffic Amazon Product Ads was sending. In Q4 2012, Google Shopping now sends merchants nearly double the traffic that Amazon Product Ads does, 96.08 percent more.
Amazon Product Ads vs. Google Shopping: Conversion Rates
Amazon Product Ads had the best conversion rates for Q4 2012, notably even beating its own numbers for the previous quarter. As Amazon trends upward, Google Shopping conversion rates are trending downward.
In Q4 2011, Google Shopping had a conversion rate of 3.1 percent. In Q4 2012 that dropped to 2.4 percent, a decrease of 22.35 percent in a year.
Amazon Product Ads, on the other hand, saw the opposite. In Q4 2011 Amazon Product Ads had a conversion rate of 1.8 percent. In Q4 2012 it increased to 2.8 percent, an increase of 57.5 percent in a year.
Amazon Product Ads vs. Google Shopping: Cost of Sale
Amazon Product Ads and Google Shopping are back to back in terms of cost of sale (cost divided by revenue) for Q4 2012, but Google Shopping beats out Amazon for this metric.
Google Shopping was, on average, 32.77 percent more cost-effective for merchants during Q3 and Q4 2012 than Amazon Product Ads.