The Cost per Click (CPC) Bid Process
Bidding on Comparison Shopping Engines
The bid process is how big CSEs like PriceGrabber and Shopping.com make money, and it’s your money. You, as the retailer, pay to have your products featured on a CSE through a Cost Per Click (CPC) system. As the merchant, your goal is to convert clicks (when you get them) into sales.
To put it in allegorical terms, think of CSEs as the lake where you go fishing. They’ll provide the fish, all you have to do is throw your lines out and make sure you reel in the fish that do bite (except that you pay the lake for every bite…). Following this reality, some fishermen and fisherwomen are lucky. Some are skilled, and others are just plain terrible.
We can teach you how to be a skilled fisherman/woman, but we can’t teach you to be lucky (due to the multitude of factors that affect whether a shopper clicks or not). Lucky or skilled, you’re paying a lot more than an annual fee to fish on these shopping engines so you’ll want to get the most out of these campaigns.
In the merchant section of comparison shopping engines, you get to set how much you want to bid for each of your products, or sometimes just whole categories (ex. 70 cents for electronics, 25 cents for apparel), and these are often guided by each CSE’s specific rate card. Once these bids are set, you get charged any time “John Smith consumer” finds interest in one of your products and clicks on your CSE listing and is linked back to your own company’s website.
Once he/she reaches this point, the consumer has the opportunity to decide whether or not to go through with the transaction. This is where your site’s ability to sell comes in. If the consumer does buy it at this point, the product converted.
This is very general overview. Continue on for a more in-depth look at CPC bidding.