May 29, 2009, 12:00 AM

Google gets top marks in a ranking of comparison shopping engines

The study by CPC Strategy, a firm that manages comparison shopping campaigns, puts Google Base at the top of its list of 10 major price-comparison sites, largely because it’s free to use and offers useful tools.

Online retailers can list their products on many comparison shopping engines. Among the retailers listed in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, Google Base is the most-used comparison shopping engine, and it’s also the one that delivered the best value to merchants in the first quarter, according to a study by CPC Strategy LLC, a firm that manages comparison shopping campaigns for e-retailers.

Google Base, also called Google Product Search, is used by 72.2% of the Internet Retailer Top 500 merchants, followed by Shopping.com at 53.8% and PriceGrabber.com at 50.6%, CPC Strategy says. In CPC’s rankings of the comparison shopping sites, Google took the top spot in the first quarter of the year, followed by NexTag, PriceGrabber.com, Shopzilla and Shopping.com.

CPC assigned each site points based on its performance in such categories as how much traffic a site drives to a retailer’s site, amount of revenue generated, cost per sale and usefulness of tools offered. The ratings were based on the experience of more than 40 CPC Strategy clients that sell merchandise in such categories as apparel, home and garden, appliances, health and beauty, pet supplies and sporting goods through comparison shopping engines.

“Our goal was to create a simple list that merchants can easily look at and get an idea of where they could get the most bang for their advertising buck," says CPC Strategy CEO Rick Backus, a former PriceGrabber executive who founded CPC in January 2007. “We hope that by providing quarterly rankings, more merchants will understand that the shopping engines are a valuable addition to any multichannel campaign.”

Google took the top spot largely because it’s free and because its free Google Analytics tool provides data that none of the other comparison sites offer, CPC says in its report. “With its cost-free structure and highly regarded Google Analytics tool, Google Base tops our list of shopping engines, and we see no reason at all why a merchant should not be listed on there,” CPC says in a blog posting reviewing the survey results.

Shopzilla led the way in driving traffic to retailers’ sites, and NexTag in average revenue generated. In terms of responsiveness and support, PriceGrabber led the way, followed by Become and Shopzilla. “Google is at the bottom this time due to their lack of having any true support system,” the CPC blog posting says. “You get what you pay for though, right?”

Following are the first quarter 2009 rankings of leading comparison shopping engines, according to CPC Strategy:

     

  • Google Base
  • NexTag
  • PriceGrabber
  • Shopzilla
  • Shopping.com
  • Microsoft Cashback
  • Smarter
  • Yahoo
  • Become
  • Pronto

     

 

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