Since the COVID-19 outbreak, the world has changed dramatically. Where consumers shop, what they spend their money on and how they choose the products and brands they purchase from have shifted. The pandemic upset the usual consumer behavior balance, and experts anticipate these behaviors will continue to change long after the pandemic ends. For agile marketers, this means there’s an opportunity to re-evaluate shoppers’ needs and adjust their strategy to capture new market share. For example, almost half of U.S. shoppers say they will be celebrating the holidays on a smaller budget this year than in previous years according to CommerceNext. So smart marketers will look for ways to make consumers feel like they’re getting a deal this season. For ecommerce marketers, advertising on comparison shopping engines may be a good fit. Find out more about these ads and if they make sense for your brand in our FAQs below:
What are comparison shopping engines?
Comparison shopping engines, also known as price comparison websites, showcase similar products or offerings from multiple retailers on the same page so consumers can evaluate the options side by side. Shoppers on these sites – like PriceGrabber, Bizrate and Shopzilla – are actively looking for a good deal, so brands list their products and pricing alongside competitors’ items to give buyers a clear apples-to-apples perspective.
For advertisers, this means they can upload product data feeds and set their bids by product or product category. Because most comparison shopping engines operate on a cost-per-click (CPC) basis, the advertiser doesn’t pay unless a user clicks on their product listing.
How are these ads different from selling my products on an online marketplace, like Amazon or eBay?
Once a user clicks on your ad on a comparison shopping engine, they’re sent directly to your website to complete the purchase. However on most online shopping marketplaces, the purchase takes place on the marketplace’s website.
What’s needed to advertise on comparison shopping engines?
Because comparison shopping engines rely on the brand’s product feed, advertisers must have a well-organized inventory system and data feed already set up. Each site will have different feed specifications, so it’s crucial that you monitor your feed regularly and ensure it stays up-to-date with the engine’s requirements.
In addition, advertisers must have online shopping capabilities already set up on their website since the final purchase will take place there. This means you should optimize your site’s mobile layout, page load times and checkout processes to prevent cart abandonment.
What are the benefits of comparison shopping engine ads?
While your core audience demographics may not have changed significantly in the wake of the pandemic, consumer attitudes, consumption trends and buying behaviors are very much still in flux. Plus, temporary layoffs and economic uncertainty may cause some shoppers to purchase with more caution than ever before. Comparison shopping engines let you expand your reach beyond your website to find new customers who might be interested in your products and a good deal more now than in the past.
Comparison shopping engines only redirect customers to your site who have seen your product and price details and actively clicked on the ad. This means you’re only receiving high-intent consumers who have a greater chance of converting into a sale. What’s more, because the purchase happens on your site, you can more easily remarket buyers to generate repeat sales and stronger lifetime value.
What types of advertisers are a good fit for these ads?
This is a very niche tactic only recommended for advertisers with a detailed product feed and competitively priced products. Also, it’s important to only drive demand for what’s in supply and closely monitor your shipping cutoff dates, so this tactic doesn’t work well for products that quickly run out of stock or that require long production and shipping timelines.
Always remember if you allocate your budget across too many efforts, you won’t win at any of them. Instead, align your ecommerce advertising strategy to the channels most relevant to your goals and stay flexible.
To check out other advertising tactics that might be an even better fit for your ecommerce brand, download our full Ecommerce Advertising Playbook now. Or let our experts help you find the right advertising solutions for your business – reach out to us to schedule a complimentary ecommerce advertising analysis today.