We read with interest a post summarising the top 15 product comparison websites in the US (*). An excellent summary of the key metrics to which we’d like to add a little more depth on the sites in question and our take on its implications for e-commerce store owners.
Firstly the sites in question, ranked in order of Alexa popularity:
Site and Rank: Listing / advertising capability Model
1) Bizrate Yes CPC
2) NexTag Yes CPC
3) Shop Local Yes CPC
4) Slick Deals.net Yes CPC
5) Woot! Yes CPC
6) Coupons.com Yes Advertising
7) Pronto.com Yes Commission
8) Shopzilla.com Yes CPC
9) Shop at Home Yes Advertising
10) Smarter Yes Advertising
11) Pricegrabber.com Yes Commission
12) Fat Wallet.com Yes Advertising
13) Deal Time Yes CPC
14) Become Yes CPC
15) Deal News Yes CPC
Our assessment of this article raised some interesting points. The ranking order in particular was initially intriguing as it demonstrates several unexpected findings. Amongst the market leaders of price comparison in the UK Amazon controls 2% of the UK online marketplace alone, however with the U.S does not even rank within the 15 (that may just be the classification of Amazon in this respect)
What is also interesting is the relative strength of Shop Local. Clearly a major difference between the US and UK are the geographic dimensions involved. While in the UK, physical proximity to the source of an online sale is of less importance, it is understandable that in the US, this has a higher importance. Google’s own inclusion of availability for products in its Shopping results picks up on the same core theme.
Many of the above sites operate on a Cost / Pay Per Click model allowing you to list your products as you would ordinarily expect, which we have highlighted above. Interestingly a number of the highly product listing ranked sites are coupon/discount offer based. Whilst not allowing the merchant directly to list their products, these sites offer potential additional ways of generating interest for an ecommerce store as Groupon’s success in the UK has demonstrated.
What is most important to note is the clear difference between the three options of model specified in this blog:
All have a significant difference in the results they generate, and the purpose they serve. We know that there are material differences in traffic levels and visibility between the US and European popular product listing sites; some down to origin (US or European) and relative strengths of these websites as a consequence. However, as with most search marketing, test and trial will reveal their strengths to any particular merchant.