Wikipedia defines comparison shopping agents/engines as:
Web-based intelligent software applications that can help online shoppers find a lower price for commodities or services. Also called shopbots.
My definition of comparison shopping engines, or CSE’s, are sites where customers can view similar items for sale at multiple retailers to see who has the best value. Example: You want to buy a new television so you go to Google and sony bravia tvs. The results page you get might look like this:
If you look at the red box in the image above, you can view a variety of sony bravia televisions from different retailers. The hope is that by showing consumers a variety of ready to purchase items they will find something that fits their needs and quickly make a purchase.
Benefits of Comparison Shopping Engines
In order to list the items you have for sale on comparison shopping engines you typically need to set up a product feed. A lot of smaller business find this confusing and often omit CSE’s from their plans because of it. However, comparison shopping engines have many benefits that might make the setup worth your while.
- You Get Exposure to a New Audience
- The people that find your products through comparison shopping may not have found you through other online channels. Your offerings are now right in front of people who were looking for exactly what you are selling.
- The People Who Find Your Items Have Making a Purchase in Mind
- Chances are, someone who is looking at items on a comparison shopping engine is more likely to make a sale than someone who has just started preliminary research on a product or service. People searching on CSE’s are looking to see what is for sale and who has the best value.
- Your Competitive Pricing Can Really Make a Difference
- If your products are priced competitively in comparison to your competition it is automatically noticeable in comparison shopping engines. People can instantly see that you are $20 cheaper or have free shipping where other retailers are more expensive.
Have you used comparison shopping engines? What was your experience? Share it in the comments below!