Toys R Us Mission Report

How Retailers Can Manage Their Presence on Comparison Shopping Engines

Comparison shopping engines are often the first step on the purchase journey for many shoppers. The most popular one is Google Shopping, which is currently competing against Amazon as the most popular starting point for online shoppers. If a retailer takes full advantage of their comparison shopping platform, they can find themselves reeling in new relationships with online shoppers on a daily basis.

Comparison shopping engines present retailers with a platform to easily promote their products and prices. The only problem is that this is widely known throughout the eCommerce industry, and therefore these engines become a little overcrowded with online sellers. Shopping engines are easy to use for shoppers, but from a retailing point of view, they can be a little more difficult.

Standing out on comparison shopping engines (CSEs) can be a challenge, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. There are just a couple of steps and strategies you need to take into consideration in order to get the maximum exposure you and your brand deserve. Below we have the 5 best strategies you can implement to get the most out of your comparison shopping engine experience.

Keep Your Titles and Descriptions Clear and Concise

Shoppers are using CSEs to find products by using keywords and search terms, so don’t you think you should keep your titles full of terms that are relevant to your product? Avoid fluffy keywords that don’t directly relate to your core offerings, as they’ll only be a waste of characters. At the same time, you’re also going to want to pump as many relevant keywords into your title as possible to make sure it shows up in all relevant searches.

Beyond titles are your products’ descriptions. They should be clear and explain what makes your product unique from the competition. Start titles and descriptions with your brand name, and leave the details at the end of the description.

Use High-Quality Images

Would you rather spend all day reading about a product, or would you rather just see it? If you’re like most people, you’d probably like more than just a description of what you’re about to purchase. That’s why it’s the retailer’s job to add clear images of their products, especially on CSEs.

You wouldn’t post a sloppily-taken picture of your item on the product page, so why wouldn’t you treat your comparison shopping engine listing the same way? On CSEs your competition is to your left and your right. You have to take every chance you get to look more appealing, especially since transparency is at an all-time high. If your image is not as clear or as large as your competitors’, there’s a solid chance you’ll lose the sale.

Don’t Lose Sight of Your Budget

There are plenty of things you can do to rank well on a comparison shopping engine. However, you can have all of that hard work yanked from under your feet if your budget is depleted. CSEs are often pay per click, meaning you have to set a budget to make sure you aren’t spending too much money. But what happens when you go over that budget?

When you run out of money for your listings on CSEs, they can be taken down. This can reset your listings’ popularity and put a major damper on visibility. To keep this from happening, track your spending periodically. If you see that you run out frequently, maybe increase it. If your conversion rate from the engine is high, it’s definitely worth the investment.

Map Your Categories

If you carry a lot of different product types, you should keep an eye on your engine provider’s categories. Make sure the appropriate products are in their respective categories, as an error could promote the wrong product to the wrong audience. Not only is this inefficient, it can be costly and produce an inaccurate ROI for your presence on that comparison shopping engine.

But if you’re like most sellers, you’re probably listed on more than one CSE. You have to keep tabs on what categories you’re involved in on each to ensure uniformity across all media. That way if a shopper uses two different CSEs, your item will be present both times. If you find there are discrepancies across multiple engines, try to make changes accordingly.

Take Everything into Consideration

There’s a lot that goes into your shopping engine’s search algorithm. Each engine carries different weights for various algorithmic factors, but there are a couple of aspects that are fairly uniform across multiple platforms. You have to continuously optimize these aspects of your business to make sure you have good visibility.

Store rating, price, UPC presence, and keyword relevance are almost always taken into consideration by shopping engines’ algorithms. You have to make sure you’re constantly optimizing these areas of your business to improve and sustain your visibility on your CSEs. If you don’t see good results with your current title and description, rewrite it to better accommodate your search terms.

One of the most important factors every consumer takes into consideration is price. Make sure you have the most accurate pricing information on the engine you appear on. You don’t want a consumer to see a price on your listing and then find a different one on your product page. It’s also important to reprice regularly to stay competitive. A dynamic pricing strategy can help you maintain better prices than your competition’s.

Using CSEs as platforms to promote your product is an effective way to draw shoppers into your store, but you have to manage them accordingly. With the help of these tips, all of your bases will be covered and you can have a successful presence on CSEs.

Contributing Writer: Brian Smyth

Angelica Valentine

Angelica Valentine is a Marketing Consultant with several years of expertise in the retail sector. Her work has appeared on VentureBeat, Business Insider, SAP, and more. She holds a BA from Barnard College of Columbia University.

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