How Comparison Shopping Engines Could HelpMay 16
We have been using the free shopping engines the Google Merchant and The Find for a long time. They have been contributing traffic and conversion to the base of our eshop business. We are often contacted by the other paid shopping engines using their merchant service.
Different paid shopping engines have different CPC (cost-per-click) rate cards and some run on a bidding model. It has been a tough decision allocating and prioritizing resource to commit to their service. We have been referencing to the figures we accumulated from our experience with Google Merchant and The Find. Still it is difficult to justify a significant portion of our marketing budget basing on guesstimation. Today we got a newsletter from CPCstrategy in which they ranked the top ten comparison shopping engines basing on over 100+ of their clients data. The charts are making a good reference when budgeting for our ROI (return-on-investment) on using the shopping engines.
So let’s get started.
Amazon is our traffic leader here with Google close behind followed by the other four CSE’s that we consider to be in the top-tier.
This marks the 4th straight quarter that Amazon has topped our rankings in traffic, and it shouldn’t be terribly surprising that the largest ecommerce company (Amazon) and search engine in the world (Google) are also the two that send our merchants the most traffic.
While Amazon was our traffic leader for the 4th straight quarter, Google emerges as our revenue leader for the 6th straight quarter, a feat it has claimed since Q4 2010.
Nextag isn’t far behind while Amazon, Shopping.com, Pricegrabber and Shopzilla round out the top 6 spots.
Below the charts are broken into two parts, dark blue represents data from Q1 2012, and light blue reflects data from the previous quarter, Q4 2011.
Conversion Rate % (orders/clicks)
Google is once again in a class of its own, with the results very closely align in terms of ranking to what we saw during the last quarter, with slight drop offs since we’re out of the Q4 shopping season where buyers are the most motivated to purchase compared to any other quarter.
Still the decreases are minimal, with Pricegrabber actually seeing an increase of 0.11%, and Shopzilla edging over last quarter’s results by 0.02%.
COS (Cost divided by Revenue) %
Pricegrabber is our leader here amongst the paid CSE’s, while Nextag finishes in 2nd again.
The CSE’s here alternate between their performances last quarter, with three out of the 7 actually seeing a decrease in COS %.
Average CPC (Cost-per-click) Rate
Bing Shopping – Free
Google Product Search – Free
The Find – Free
Pricegrabber – 26 cents average CPC
Shopping.com – 32 cents average CPC
Amazon Product Ads – 33 cents average CPC
Shopzilla – 34 cents average CPC
Become – 37 cents average CPC
Pronto – 41 cents average CPC
Nextag – 42 cents average CPC
Being out of Q4 we see a decrease in CPC rates aside from a couple of CSE’s.
Pricegrabber saw the lowest CPC rates, which is due in large part to our ability to bid below rate cards, a very valuable feature for CSE management, and a good alternative to suppressing products.
Shopping Engine Responsiveness Rating (ranking from 1-10, 1 being best)
Our account managers here are constantly in touch with the shopping engines in an attempt to optimize our merchants’ accounts, and know first hand which engines are quickest to contact and who acts best.
Merchant Tools (ranking from 1-10, 1 being best)
In the end we ranked each 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:
Google is our leader again but the battle for second was close, as Nextag edges Pricegrabber by a point.
Shopping.com and Amazon round out the top half of the list, with Shopzilla finishing in 6th.
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