The Comparison Shopping Report – Q3 2009




Author | Tien

A few months ago we released our Q2 rankings as a follow-up to our Q1 rankings of the top ten comparison shopping engines based on data we’ve accumulated along with our own experiences with them as well as the feedback we’ve gotten from merchants.

Here we’ve recalculated the comparison shopping report based on data from Q3.

To revisit, the purpose of the comparison shopping report is to compare the major comparison shopping engines (or CSE’s) and see how they rank in terms of size/volume, cost, return rates, and overall service using in-house data using the following categories:

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

For those who can’t wait until the end, this was how the engines ranked this time around:

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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.

Traffic (average clicks per month)

comparison-shopping-traffic-q32009

In this instance we’ve ranked each comparison shopping site on an index of 100, with Shopzilla being the highest and the rest following in proportion to how much traffic they get in comparison.

Pricegrabber made a huge leap this month, as well as Google. Shopzilla/Nextag remain at near the top when it comes to traffic.

Revenue (average per month)

comparison-shopping-revenue-q32009

In addition to a spike in traffic our merchants found that Google Product Search spiked as a revenue source as well, with Google’s Product Search jumping from 3rd in our last rankings to 1st this time around.

COS %

comparison-shopping-cos-q32009

Average CPC

comparison-shopping-cpc-q32009

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

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

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Become.com recently relaunched their merchant center with a great array of new tools, leaping them to the fifth spot in our rankings.

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-
ness
Merchant Tools Total
Google Base 9 15 20 10 1 10 65
Shopzilla 15 13.5 14 4 8 9 60
Nextag 12 12 10 6 7 7 59
Shopping 10.5 10.5 10.5 8 3 5 57
PriceGrabber 13.5 9 9 5 9 8 43
Cashback 1.5 7.5 18 9 4 2 36
Become 7.5 6 4 1 10 6 33
Smarter
3 3 12 7 6 3 32
Yahoo 4.5 4.5 6 3 2 1 30
Pronto 6 1.5 2 2 5 4 25

(click on each column header to sort)

Once again, with its cost-free structure and highly regarded Google Analytics tool, Google Base tops our list of comparison shopping engines, and see no reason at all why a merchant should not be listed on there.

Numbers two through 4 were extremely close in the race, though generally we recommend all our merchants list on the “big-4″ paid engines in order to diversity themselves among all comparison shopping sites.

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