Comparison (Shopping) Sites
People increasingly shop at comparison websites. They don’t only use it to compare prices but also see it as a portal to start shopping. Shopping on a comparison website is very handy because you can directly find the best price of a product.
Imagine you want to buy a new bag. You can either browse through dozens of online stores until you found the perfect bag or you can search for bags on a comparison website. You directly get an overview of hundreds of bags and you can easily look if there is something of your liking.
Advantage of comparison sites
A great advantage of advertising via comparison websites is that it doesn’t take much time. Once you have configured everything you will get a continuous stream of interested visitors to your online store.
You have to invest your time once when you send a product feed to the comparison website and after that you only have to tune the campaign every now and then.
The advantage of advertising on these sites is that visitors are very often looking to buy something. They already know what product they want – the only step that they still need to take is finding the right deal. The customer is in the last phase of purchasing a product and is therefore ready to buy something.
The advantage for customers is that suppliers can be compared very quickly. Just enter a product in the search box of a comparison website and you will right away find out where you can buy it and which suppliers have the best price. Many comparison websites also offer reviews of the supplier.
Are there also disadvantages of advertising on comparison websites?
However comparison sites are a marketing must for most online stores, there are a number of disadvantages of advertising on these websites.
You normally pay a fairly high Cost per Click (CPC) without the guarantee that visitors will actually buy something. Therefore, you need to be sure that your online store has a good conversion. Otherwise you will have a lot of visitors but not enough sales!
You also have to pay quite a lot for extra possibilities. If you, for example, want to be mentioned in popular categories or add a logo to your ads, this will often lead to extra costs.
Besides, a comparison website is built up from thousands of different feeds from online stores and numerous categories. Because everything is executed automatically, a lot can go wrong – and it regularly does. Many products are for example not in the right category or the product features are not mentioned correctly. Do pay attention to this and check whether your products are shown properly after starting to use these services.
Should you start advertising on comparison websites or not?
Many companies consider that comparison sites cost too much money. This is often related to still having too low conversion rates, which often leads to low amounts of money being generated per click. This is because you pay per click on comparison websites, so you pay per visitor, even if they buy nothing!
Once the budgets become tight some marketeers choose to avoid the comparison sites. I think that you shouldn’t economize on marketing in such times. Do make sure that your conversion rate is ok before getting a lot of visitors!
A few reasons to advertise on comparison websites anyway!
You don’t want to bet on just one horse
It is of course nice when you have a successful SEO or SEA campaign for your online store but you don’t want to bet on just one horse. When things are going a bit worse with organic traffic from search engines you will still get relevant clicks from comparison sites!
Don’t underestimate recommendations
The internet is full of forums, social media and comparisons where consumers look for information. Don’t underestimate a recommendation of such websites. Many consumers also consider some comparison website as experts on ecommerce and will be more inclined to think “those online stores are probably trustworthy”.
Consumers are looking for deals
Especially in the holiday season when people are buying gifts they are looking for deals. Comparison websites are happy to help with that. On such a website a consumer can quickly see which online store offers the best deal.
Your competitor is also there!
This may be the worst reason to advertise on comparison websites but for many online stores this is the reality. When you biggest competitors are on a comparison website you want to be there as well because you don’t want to give away that market share!
You get relevant clicks
Advertising on comparison websites is effective, because they do generate good traffic for you. Visitors can already filter products they like when browsing the comparison website. If everything works correctly the click will bring the visitor to the right product page. The visitor can directly buy the product without having to search for it in your online store.
Enough choice of comparison websites
There are many comparison websites around.
Although there are many comparison websites, you may start looking at the following ones. They are popular and are generally well set-up.
At megashopbot.com you can actually look in multiple comparison websites simultaneously.
In the Netherlands there are a small number of really big (mostly local) players, and I hear that some get most of their traffic from one of the comparison sites while others get more traffic from
another one. I recommend you to start with two comparison sites at first, so you can find out more about which works best for your online store and your market.
Costs comparison sites
For most comparison sites you pay per click. Depending on the category you pay between 10 and 40 cents per click. In a category with much competition the price per click will be higher.
Don’t forget that this is qualitatively good traffic. They already saw a picture of the product and are definitely interested. The only thing you have to do is to turn this potential customer into a real customer!
Starting up costs
Some comparison sites invoice starting up costs. I actually never paid these costs. They always gave me a “new” offer not having to pay the subscription fee for this month 😉
For the starting online store comparison websites are a very interesting marketing option. Compared to Adwords you don’t pay as much “tuition fees”. It is easier to use and you will have direct sales!