The Comparison Shopping Report – Q1 2010




Author | Tien

Our quarterly rankings of the comparison shopping engines started a year ago, and this marks the 5th edition of our comparison shopping report.

For a more in-depth look at our methodology, take a look at our original comparison shopping report from Q1 2009 which goes into much further detail as to how the numbers were derived.

To reiterate, the purpose of this comparison shopping report is to compare the major comparison shopping engines and see how they rank based on the following criteria:

  • overall traffic driven
  • average amount of revenue generated
  • COS (Cost of Sale) % or return on spend
  • average CPC (cost-per-click) rates
  • responsiveness rate among the engines
  • quality of merchant tools

Since we started the rankings, Yahoo! Shopping has since become a co-brand of Pricegrabber, so in lieu of them we have added in Amazon Product Ads, which has proven in its short existence (relative to the other engines) to be capable of driving a good amount of quality traffic to our merchants.

Once again, Google finished at the top, and the rest finished as follows:

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Below we’ll quickly sum up the graphs–for more details you can view our previous rankings for a deeper explanation of each category.

For the first two categories, the results are based on an index of 100, with the rest expressed as a percentage of the leader.


Traffic (average clicks per month)

comparison-shopping-traffic-q12010

Shopping.com leads the way here but it’s Google that’s close behind, further earning their merits since all the traffic received from them is free.

Amazon holds its ground nicely as well, as the chart transitions out of the top-tier engines.


Revenue (average per month)

comparison-shopping-revenue-q12010

Nextag and Shopzilla flip places here, with Google remaining in the middle and the rest falling into place according to their ranks in traffic.


COS (Cost divided by Revenue) %

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Google/Cashback(Bing) top the list here since both traffic sources are free (Cashback charges on a per acquisition basis), while Nextag tops the list when it comes to the CPC/paid engines.


Average CPC (Cost-per-click) Rate

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Responsiveness Rating (ranking from 1-10, 1 being best)

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Here we rank how responsive the account managers from each comparison shopping engine respond to our requests, and it goes to show that size doesn’t matter.

Become.com despite being a smaller engine has great responsiveness, while the rest of the rankings are dispersed with no bearing to size of the engines.


Merchant Tools (ranking from 1-10, 1 being best)

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Conclusion

In the end we ranked each comparison shopping engine from each of our metrics from 1-10 and assigning a point value for each category (higher being better).

We doubled the COS % value making that out of a possible 20 points, and weighted traffic + revenue as 1.5 each for a maximum of 15, summed it up, and got the following:

Engine Traffic Revenue Cos % Avg.
CPC
Responsive-
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Merchant Tools Total
Google Shopping
13.5 13.5 20 10 1 10 68
Shopzilla 15 12 12 8 8 9 64
Nextag 12 15 16 3 9 8 63
Shopping 10.5 10.5 14 7 2 5 49
Pricegrabber 9.0 9 8 4 7 7 44
Bing Cashback 4.5 4.5 18 9 4 2 42
Amazon
7.5 7.5 10 6 3 1 35
Become
6.0 6 4 2 10 6 34
Smarter
3.0 3 6 5 6 3 26
Pronto 1.5 1.5 2 1 5 4 15

Google Shopping finishes at the top of our comparison shopping report, followed by the other top-tier engines, with Cashback close behind and Amazon making its first appearance right below them.

If you want to check out the comparison shopping engines for themselves, take a look at their sites here: