A new breed of web search engines with cool names like Froogle , Nextag , Pricegrabber , and Shopzilla , have become increasingly popular with online buyers in recent months. Unlike their better-known, search-the-entire-web colleagues, these specialized comparison shopping engines focus on listings from online stores, and they include key product details such as price right in the search results. Product information is often placed side by side in a grid-like format, which helps shoppers easily compare features and pricing from multiple vendors.
As an online store owner, if you’re not already leveraging listings in one or more of these comparison shopping engines to help drive new (and interested!) buyers to your site, consider this statistic: one in three Internet users now visits a comparison shopping site in a typical month.
A boon for merchants
The benefits of getting your products listed in these engines are two fold. First, they provide increased visibility and brand recognition for your online store. After all, having your items featured side by side with major web properties looks impressive! The second and perhaps greater benefit is that they tend to bring highly focused customers to your site who are looking for something specific and are often ready to purchase that item. According to one Forrester Research study, around 18 percent of America Online’s shoppers are using comparison search engines, but the comparison shoppers spent a 24 percent more than those using traditional search methods.
Popular Comparison shopping engines
For online store owners wanting to get listed in comparison shopping engines, the number of engines and choices can be overwhelming. While a few shopping engines allow merchants to list their sites for free, each engine uses its own algorithm for ranking and displaying search results, and most charge merchants fees for prominent listings.
To help you decide which engines may be right for your business, a comparison of several major engines is provided below. Remember that fee structures and policies are updated regularly, so you’ll need to stay on top of these to maximize your return on investment.
|Search Engine||Pricing Policy||Product Update Method||More Information|
||Merchants register through a Google e-mail (Gmail) account and upload products through a comma separated value (CSV) product data feed file.||Froogle FAQ|
||Contact Nextag for details.||Nextag.com|
||Members can update one product at a time; bulk update through CSV files also available.||Help Section|
||Contact them for details.||Contact them for details.|
||Complex Integration of your catalog with there system.||Shop.com FAQ|
||Register and Submit the products through feeds (CSV files).||Shopping.com is a GoECart partner. Contact us for details on the program.|
||Update products through Product Feed (CSV files).||ShopZilla.com is a GoECart partner. Contact us for details on the program.|
||Update products through Product Feed (CSV files).||Yahoo Shopping Search Engine FAQ for details on the program.|
More than a fad
There’s no doubt about it, comparison shopping search engines are here to stay. Be sure to watch future issues of this e-newsletter for analysis of additional engines, more tips, and advice about how to leverage the benefits this new medium can bring for online store owners.