By Actinic

Google Shopping, Twenga, Kelkoo, Ciao and Nextag are to name just but a few that come to mind when you hear the term of “price comparison sites”. These are just a few sites out of the hundreds offering to help boost turnover and attract visitors to your E-Commerce website.

Why is being present on these websites important for an E-Commerce website?

Follow shoppers’ natural behaviour
As the name implies, the goal of price comparison sites is to allow online shoppers to compare the price of a given product on different sites. Whether online shoppers are actually looking for the lowest price available or just trying to find an item. A great number of online shoppers check price comparison sites when searching for products, which makes it an important element to take into consideration whilst considering a marketing strategy.

Why be present?
Making products available on price comparison sites generates a source of highly qualified traffic, where almost all shoppers are actively looking for specific products with the intent to buy. Whilst this reason might seem pretty obvious, there’s another reason that’s even more important — Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). These price comparison sites have invested a lot of time and money to be within the top searches on search engines, like Google, Bing and Yahoo. This is a way for business owners to indirectly benefit from increased exposure, whilst they try themselves to get within the first pages of search engines.

How much does it cost to be on these sites?
Different sites use different models. The most common is PPC (pay per click) which means that just like a Google AdWords advert a business owner tells the comparison site how much they are willing to pay per click. The orders of merchants for the product in question are then set accordingly to the keyword bidding. The cost per click can vary from a couple of cents to several pounds, but like every campaign, keeping a foothold of the PPC budget and following its conversion rate closely is vastly important.

Having products on price comparison sites can increase turnover by up to 30%

Which sites should you use?
Faced with the hundreds of price comparison sites, there isn’t the need to be present on all of them. It’s important to consider the goals and areas of focus: click volume, turnover generated per click and conversion rate, to name but a few. Trialling different sites is often the best way to understand which yields better profits, therefore it’s essential to keep a close eye on your Return-on-Investment (ROI).

Tips for maximising profit whilst being present on price comparison sites

The importance of shipping
The biggest influence on price comparison sites is often linked with the price of a given product. In order to appear at the top of the search results, it is often wise to offer free shipping; this small difference can often have a large influence on the click-conversion rate. This strategy has to be closely monitored as it could have an impact on a select number of products, where small price differences determine the outcome of the purchase.

Cross-selling and up-selling
After having placed items on price comparison sites and attracting potential new customers, it’s important to think of up-selling and even cross-selling different products. As new customers approach a site, they might be tempted by other products that might be related to their purchase. Offering higher-priced alternatives or even similar complimentary products often works very well. Sites such as Amazon use this type of tactic in order to maximise revenue on each purchase.

Creating loyalty
This is very much linked with the above. Visitors coming from price comparison sites are often looking for a good deal, but it is also a way for business owners to build up brand loyalty. This is where the opportunity arises, and allows business owners to win over more customers by keeping them on their site, rather than losing them to competitors.