To CSE or not CSE- that is the question.

Why implementing Comparison Shopping Engines as part of your e-commerce campaign is the smart thing to do.

Creating and maintaining a user friendly online business, while still maintaining profit can be quite difficult.

Maybe not so hard as life on Jersey Shore(Imagine that tanning bill!), but difficult nonetheless.

Merchants must be aware of the influence of social media, visually friendly and easily navigable pages, and numerous other challenges which can arise in ecommerce.
The strategy behind the design of items as small as the checkout button are vast.

Why then, among the many avenues through which retailers generate sales, are Comparison Shopping Engines(CSEs) a pivotal weapon for retailers ?


Why getting seen is so important.

Although not as appealing from underneath an old man’s trench coat, exposure is a

key element of any successful online business.

Website optimization, Paid search, and  landing page optimization, are among some of the many avenues retailers pursue to get their product out there- exposed.

Although retailers can get a lot of exposure through Google and Amazon, more exposure is always valuable. Additional avenues to your website mean more potential customers, and more conversions.

Google and Amazon are great tools, but they also have their individual drawbacks.

Although a great source for exposure, Google limits the relevancy of some products and sites, based on size. Smaller  companies will often appear lower on the search results, obscured by larger retailers.

Amazon likewise gets quite a lot of traffic, but eliminates any interaction a customer might have with that retailer, as all transactions are performed on Amazon, and no link to the customer website is ever made, rockin’ it Hammer style.

Customers can view the merchant’s information, but no tangible brand loyalty is established, and a valuable opportunity to continue to advertise(through email etc) to that potential returning customer is lost.

Simbiotic relationship of Google and CSEs

BFF's forever!

Google links:

The Remora in a Shark’s mouth eat and get protection too!

Although technically in competition with Google, CSEs maintain a symbiotic relationship with their online sister. Most CS’s purchase ads on Google, and appear near the top of many pages.

Amazon also allows merchants to advertise, but will not allow both advertising and merchant transactions to exist simultaneously.

In searches Consequently, a merchant who has listings on CSEs has more exposure on Google, increasing their overall exposure on both sites.

As an added bonus, it can often be difficult for shoppers to determine what are Paid Ad’s on Google, as advertisement labels are small, and often gray. Luckily for you, products aren’t shy- and won’t mind

Overexposure in CSEs can be dangerous

all this  exposure.

Qualified Traffic:

Wait, I didn’t want to see that…

Ok maybe I got a little carried away here- no one wants to be hounded by the Paparazzi. Although getting exposure is a good thing, too much exposure can also be harmful.

This is where CSEs swing into action, Spidey senses tingling.On hands elements of CSEs

The great thing about CSEs is the hands on element of managing accounts.

Merchants have the ability to modify where products show on  searches,  by changing bids, or cutting items  at the  product and category level, and maintaining a campaign strategy.

Which means controlling where and how much exposure categories and products get. A little modesty can go a long way in ensuring turnover rate is high.

This way, traffic which is headed to your sight tends to be closer to the buying stage in their shopping process.

Account Management:

Why CSE’s have that special something.

Not only are CSEs easily modified to increase product or category relevancy, they also provide an important outlet for giving customers coupon information.

Unlike Google, which only links customers to websites based on content, CSEs allow merchants to advertise sales and coupons in search results.

So why aren’t you on a CSE already? Comparison Shopping Engine’s are a great opportunity to expand your online campaign, and attract a larger client base.


Learn MORE about CSE’s and account Management, download CPC Strategy’s FREE CSE Handbook.

You might also like:

Comparison Shopping Basics

Comparison Shopping Examples

Manage Your Comparison Shopping Campaign


About the AuthorMary Weinstein is the Director of Content at CPC Strategy, and an expert in Retail Search, Google Shopping and Digital Marketing. A NY native, Mary spends her time educating online merchants, hiking and drinking copious amounts of coffee. You can also find her work on SEW, SEMRush, MOZ and Practical Ecommerce. See all posts by this author here.

  • http://optimum davidweinstein

    nice,good to see you have a grasp of what you are to

  • Bizerkeley

    For many small companies this seems like it would be a great tool.

    • Mary Weinstein

      Absolutely! This can be a great tool for small or large companies alike.

  • CSEChampion

    Shopzilla does not provide qualified traffic. Their traffic should be censored. ;) However, now that they’ve been under new management for some time maybe they’ll change.

    • CPC_Andrew

      CSEChampion – you must be doing something wrong! No shopping engine sends all qualified traffic so part of the management should be analyzing that traffic and finding out how to limit the unqualified part.