Comparison Shopping Engines: goals, recommendations & opportunities to boost your ecommerce sales by 16%
09/21/2009 | In: Product Comparison Shopping Engines
Why Shopping Search Engines?
According to Econsultancy.com Comparison Shopping Engines Survey, retailers spend approximatively 11% of their online marketing budget on shopbots while agencies say that on average their clients spend 14% of online budget on this channel respectively representing 10% and 16% of online sales.
Top 3 reasons are:
1/ Place your products in front of browsing consumers during the exploratory phase, just before purchasing becomes intentional.
2/ Effectively present a unique value proposition (brand identity) to shoppers exploring buying options (pay per click based)
3/ Ensure consumers see your products on every available channel including Search Engines (SEM or SEO) or marketplaces (eBay, Amazon).
Who are the Comparison sites users?
According to a study from Forrester Research, they are savvy, trusting buyers. Search engines and Comparison Search Engines (CSE) users differ from the average consumer in behavior, spending more time online, sending and receiving more emails. These consumers trust their sources – both peer-generated content and commercial messages – more and are less price-sensitive.
They research complex products. Hardly any consumer used search engines or CSE as information sources for simple products like cosmetics – they just go to the store for those. The heavy traffic on these sites comes from consumers researching complex products like mobile phones, audio equipment, etc. Adding up the info sources, it is clear that consumers use multiple sources to research complex products.
Which Comparison Engines to consider?
According to a study published in May 2009 by the CPC Strategy LLC among Internet Retailer’s Top 500, Google Product Search leads in market penetration with 72.2%. Shopping.com and Pricegrabber follow with rates of 53.8% and 50.6% respectively with Microsoft’s snagging 30.2% of the top 500 market.
In US, 25% of internet audience (50 millions) passes through a shopping engine. Close to 75 % of traffic goes to the TOP 7 shopbots (please refer to the spreadsheet below). According to tailor-made data aggregation originated from Comscore, Nielsen and Google AdPlanner, the US Top 5 list considered among all sources of information is:
1/ Yahoo! Shopping
2/ Shopzilla / Bizrate
5/ Google Product Search
Amazon & bing.com opportunities
To drive traffic, we should use our XML feed for:
1/ Amazon.com – in December 2008, by surveying more than 500 online consumers, Channel Advisor found out that 93% of online shoppers are Amazon buyers; 80% of these buyers also use Amazon as their most trusted product research destination. There are 2 ways to integrate your products:
a) Marketplace: merchants list products with final checkout by Amazon (CPA: $0.99 + 6% sales net)
b) Product Ads: merchants list products on Amazon and drive consumers back to their sites as opposed to having to buy through Amazon (CPC: $0.7 – daily budget).
2/ Bing Shopping - allowing advertisers to sell on a cost-per-acquisition (CPA) basis and Cashback offers. Direct customers are rewarded by having a % amount of cash on every transaction & Microsoft is also keeping a fee on these sale. See example below with AT&T (35%), eBay/Paypal (8%), TigerDirect (7.3%), HP (3%), etc.