Price comparison shopping search engines enable buyers to shop around by comparing merchants and products by price, feature, shipping cost, tax, and product availability.
Price comparison engines are basically pay per click search engines that online shoppers. The major difference is that products are typically ranked by price, as opposed to bids.
Product listing fees vary, and typically cost from 5 cents to one dollar per click through, depending on the product category.
I would definitely recommend submitting your products to price comparison engines, especially if your products fall into the popular categories such as books, health and beauty, home and garden, toys, etc.
I have tested e-goods, such as independent software and ebook listings, on price comparison engines, without much success. It seems e-goods buyers generally don’t use price comparison engines to shop for those types of products.
Here's a roundup of the most popular, general purpose shopping and price comparison search engines.
Founded in 1996, BizRate is one of the oldest and most popular price comparison engines on the web.
In November 16, 2004, BizRate changed its corporate name to Shopzilla, Inc. and unveiled Shopzilla.com. Both BizRate and Shopzilla continue to operate as separate services, supported by the same underlying technology.
Shopzilla offers over 28.7 million products, from 52,000 merchants, at the time of writing; December 2004.
BizRate attracts 13.2 million unique visitors a month. Merchants can get their products listed on BizRate and Shopzilla for as little as $0.05 per click thtough.
Ciao claims to offer a multi-million-strong online community that critically reviews and rates millions of products and services. The service is available in local-language versions in 5 major western European countries. Ciao doesn’t have as many products as some of the other price comparison engines, but it still attracts a healthy 12 million visitors a month, generating 2 million leads per month.
Launched in April 2003, Shopping.com is the combination of DealTime; a price comparison engine, and Epinions; a consumer reviews and ratings website.
The Shopping.com network consists of over 200 websites, including Shopping.com, DealTime, Epinions, and AT&T. They claim to reach more than 15% of online shoppers, each month.
Shopping.com offers “millions” of products from over 5,000 merchants. The website attracted 15.8 million unique visitors in October 2004, according to comScore, and generates 20 million leads per month.
Merchants can list their products for between $0.05 and $1.00 per click through.
Froogle is Google's price comparison engine. Google attempts to crawl and include as many online products as possible, but it encourages merchants to submit product feeds for accurate listings.
Unlike most other price comparison engines, Froogle does not charge merchants a fee for product listings, though merchants can bid on Google AdWords which are included in Froogle result pages for product-related queries.
Froogle was recently promoted with its own link on the Google.com search engine homepage, replacing the Directory link. In October Google also launched a UK version of Froogle, with other country-specific versions to come.
Kelkoo is Europe's leading price comparison engine. In April 2004, Kelkoo was acquired by Yahoo! Inc and is now a wholly owned subsidiary. They operate in 10 European countries and receives over 32 million unique users per month. Kelkoo offers over 2 million products, from more than 2,400 UK merchants, including 80% of the top 50 UK retailers.
The minimum cost per click is 15 pence (approx. $0.29), and there is a minimum spending cap of GB£500.00 (approx. $970.00) per month.
http://www.msn.be/eshop/ (Belgium - Dutch)
http://www.fr.msn.be/eshop/ (Belgium - French)
MSN Shopping is part of the MSN Network, offering more than 4 million products, from over 200 stores.
Microsoft claims that MSN Shopping includes more Fortune 500 retailers than any other online shopping portal, including Blue Nile, Circuit City, Dell, and JC Penney, Target, and Wal-Mart.
Unlike the other websites in this list, it doesn’t offer a price comparison service. MSN Shopping attracts 12 million visitors a month. The big drawback with MSN Shopping is that they require a minimum budget of $40,000 for product submissions.
MySimon, owned by CNET, was one of the early online shopping search engines. It was created by Yeogirl Yun, a Stanford University student, who later founded Wisenut, a crawler-based search engine now owned by LookSmart.
CNET don’t provide specific figures, but claims its MySimon database offers “millions” of products from “thousands” of merchants.
http://www.pricegrabber.com (US - English)
http://www.preciomania.com (US – Spanish)
PriceGrabber, a popular price comparison engine with over 13 million visitors each month, offers 5 millions products from over 5,000 merchants.
PriceSCAN’s database consists of publicly available product and pricing information, gathered from magazine ads, vendor catalogs, web sites, etc. PriceSCAN doesn’t charge merchants for listings in its database.