The Price Comparison Websites You Need to Know About
What are the major price comparison websites?
When the time comes to choose which of the price comparison websites you want your business to be featured on, you should consider each shopping engine’s unique variations in management that you’ll ultimately experience. All of the following price comparison websites require CPC management (except Google can be cost per acquisition).
If I could, I would tell you that X CSE is good for Y product category, but sadly this is rarely an absolute thing. The key to your different campaigns will be finding the right product category and CSE combination, and this is unique to every separate retailer.
In case you’re curious how these different price comparison websites stack up against each other, check out our latest Comparison Shopping Report.
Google Shopping (a.k.a. Google Product Listing Ads, Google PLAs) has been converted into a CPC model, but also features a no minimum bidding model for your under-performing products. In terms of traffic, conversions, and overall boosts to revenues with the right management, Google is top of the class as a comparison shopping engine for all of these categories. If you have very limited staff and budget to put towards CSEs in general, then at the absolute minimum Google Shopping should be the engine you launch on. In many cases, it is also a retailer’s top CSE earner during the crucial Holiday Season.
Low margin products don’t do as well as other products on Google because it receives a HUGE traffic volume, but this is true for most other CSEs in general, so as a rule of thumb: Low margin products (ex. phone accessories, small office products, lighting) are going to be higher risk to your profit potential in a CPC campaign. BUT, I don’t mean to say that they can’t be successful and profitable with the right management, especially if you factor in the re-marketing potential you get from each new sale. Get started with Google Shopping here.
And oh, by the way we have a very comprehensive Google Product Listing Ads Guide.
Amazon Product Ads
Amazon Product Ads (APA) is a comparison shopping engine CPC program separate from Amazon’s Marketplace program. It receives A LOT of traffic because, well, it’s Amazon. The quality of traffic is very high because people rely on Amazon’s good reputation for comprehensiveness in terms of its product database as well as its reputed customer service. Amazon Product Ads typically ranks in the Top 4 overall comparison shopping engines when we compile our Comparison Shopping Report.
The CSE is pretty general in terms of which specific product categories sell well on the engine, so it’s good to have an Amazon Product Ad campaign regardless of what kind of products you’re selling. However, it should be noted that Amazon in general also has some very specific listing restrictions that you can view here. Get started with Amazon Product Ads here.
PriceGrabber (PG) is a very popular price comparison website that is great for all product categories. It features a no minimum bidding model, which means you can pay as low as 1 cent for poorly converting products. This makes PriceGrabber one of the best comparison shopping engines to start out on because of the low risk associated with setting up a campaign.
Additionally, PriceGrabber is affiliated with and powers Yahoo Shopping and AOL Shopping ads, and also submits its products to Google Shopping. This means that your listings on PriceGrabber will very often receive exposure from those larger co-brands as well. Get started with PriceGrabber here.
Note: You should be wary of when your price comparison website is affiliated with other websites because the traffic numbers you receive may not reflect the actual exposure you get from the specific CSE. You can find out how to tease out exactly what traffic source is sending you traffic through Google Analytics using this guide. It is not set up by default but implementing the filters described in that blog post (^) will give you a lot more insight into who’s really driving quality traffic and conversions. Another disclaimer with this is that affiliate traffic is often less qualified, meaning more people clicking on your product ads and not going through with the sale.
Additionally, unlike a lot of other price comparison websites, it’s free to include your company logo on Shopping.com, which usually costs a merchant around an additional 5 cents per click.
Shopping.com is also well-known for its value-based pricing program (VBP). This program is aimed to ensure that retailers will receive high quality traffic on Shopping.com and won’t be penalized for bad, or non-converting, traffic. A similar program is used on Shopzilla. CSEs often have smaller affiliate partners that send traffic to and through a large shopping engine like Shopping.com, and these affiliates can send poor quality traffic. The VBP program discounts merchants for clicks from lower quality traffic. Get started with Shopping.com here.
Shopzilla (SZ) has just recently partnered with Google Shopping, meaning your Shopzilla listings will show up on Google Shopping as well. This is great, especially if you don’t have a Google Shopping campaign, because then you receive traffic from both the Shopzilla and Google Shopping pool.
Shopzilla is also affiliated with Bizrate, a reputable shopping and merchant rating company. If you use Shopzilla’s survey pixel to collect merchant reviews, your ratings are pulled by Google Shopping and shown when compared against other merchants. Get started with Shopzilla here.
Nextag is another price comparison website great for all categories of products. It has consistently been the #1 paid CSE in our comparison shopping engine rankings for more than two years, but with Google Shopping’s switch to a paid comparison shopping engine, Nextag was bumped out of that in recent quarters. It still ranks in the Top 3, however.
Nextag’s quality of traffic is very good, which is probably thanks to the fact that it doesn’t have many smaller affiliate partners. All traffic comes directly from Nextag.com. Get started with Nextag here.
To learn about shopping feeds, the blueprints to your comparison shopping engine campaigns, continue on to Chapter 2.