Chapter 1: Introduction to Comparison Shopping Engines
You’re an online retailer with the goal of maximizing revenue and minimizing expenses. One way to do this is through your comparison shopping campaigns. This series will teach you how to launch your campaigns as well as how to optimize them through effective and strategic shopping feed management.
This is the first chapter in a series of 5 that will introduce new retailers to the world of comparison shopping and clarify minute details for more experienced retailers. Let’s start with the basics.
What are comparison shopping engines (CSEs)?
Comparison shopping engines (CSEs, a.k.a. price comparison websites, comparison shopping websites) are sites where online retailers can display their products side by side next to other merchants’ products. When shopping, consumers can browse a CSEs database of products, each of which link back to an individual retailer’s website for the transaction to take place. Merchants advertise their products by sending the CSEs a shopping feed, a.k.a product or data feed, which contains their products’ info. Here are some merchant listings on PriceGrabber:
Are comparison shopping engines worth my time?
The short answer is yes, if you’re an established retailer. Not every retailer can be effective on CSEs, but from our personal experience working with over 200 online retailers in nearly every product category and product count, we can say that they are indeed profitable ventures. Note the qualifier “established” because you have to be the right fit for CSEs.
If you have a product mix of more than 500 and do more than $1 million in yearly revenue, CSEs are definitely worth your time to at least consider as a supplemental source of revenue. CSE campaigns make up anywhere from 5-50% of our clients’ total online revenue. Indeed, they can make a sizable impact to your business.