If someone told you that you could advertise your products right along side some of the biggest retailers in the industry — and do it for free — you would probably think it was too good to be true. But comparison-shopping Web sites offer this very thing to e-business owners.
Comparison-shopping Web sites are quickly growing in popularity, and getting your products listed is easy. Most of these sites do not charge a listing fee, but will request a small fee for the referrals that are sent to your Web site — anywhere from $.05 to $1.00 per referral. With no up-front costs and the prospect of a steady stream of qualified leads, comparison-shopping sites are a perfect venue for e-commerce sites of all sizes and types.
Savvy Internet shoppers are most likely to use comparison-shopping sites. While less than 20 percent of online shoppers currently use shopping sites, that number is on the rise. And there is more good news: 62 percent of comparison-site shoppers are very likely to make a purchase, and they spend about 25 percent more than other online consumers.
Comparison-shopping sites work like a search engine: visitors type in search terms or keywords for what they want to find, and results returned contain product matches from the retailers who offer these particular prices. Shoppers can then sort results by price, and can view shipping rates so that they can get an idea of the final purchase value.
If you are familiar with cost-per-click (CPC) advertising, you will feel right at home with comparison-shopping sites. But comparison-shopping sites offer a distinct advantage over other CPC methods: shoppers who click on your listing already know what your price is, and are, in a sense, prequalified. They know how much the item is, and they have selected your site from among a list of other vendors selling the same thing. That means you are much more likely to make a sale, which means the referral fee you pay is more apt to lead to a sale than a typical CPC fee.
But comparison shopping will only work if your products are competitively priced. If your prices are too high, or if your shipping fees are substantially higher than your competitors’, you aren’t likely to make many sales. Keep an eye on what the other merchants in your product area are offering to make sure that you can stay on top. Learn How to Monitor the Effectiveness of Online Advertising.
If you have had trouble maintaining a top ranking in popular search engines, comparison-shopping sites can give help you make up some of that ground. Many sites offer the ability to upgrade to a featured listing for extra money. This will display your results to before all of the other search results, and will give you a real chance to compete against some of the biggest competitors in your product field.
Here are some of the major players in the comparison shopping game:
All the big search engines and portals also offer comparison shopping, including:
Try visiting several sites to see which one can best feature your product and allow you to reach the widest variety of potential customers.