Comparison Search Engines Tested

How To Capture More Traffic And Win More Sales | Section 1 (Research)

Test Number: #040102-SE

Word Count: 4000+

Focus: 6 Questions

  1. Just how effective are comparison search engines?
  2. What items can you sell on the comparison search engines?
  3. Which comparison search engines have the best conversion ratio?
  4. How do the comparison search engines compare with one another?
  5. Which products can you list on which comparison search engines?
  6. How can you get the best results from the comparison search engines?

Credits:

  1. Editor – Flint McGlaughlin
  2. HTML Designer – Cliff Rainer
  3. Contributors – Jimmy Ellis
    Jalali Hartman
    Brian Alt

Test Summary

We analyzed seventeen different comparison based search engines to determine the most effective ways to increase sales.

Test Product

Pricegrabber
PriceScan
NexTag
Price.com
Ibuyer
Dealtime
MySimon
Priceworld
Buy Buddy
VendorbaseDirect
Amazon.com
Bizrate
Dealnews
AOL
StreetPrices
CNET
MarketBoy
Yahoo

How did our test site, in just 25 days, earn a 750% return on cost-per-click, with just 30 listings on a single comparison search engine?

These were real dollars and this was a stunning return, but it only came at considerable risk.

Nothing epitomizes the real-time possibilities of the Internet more than the comparison search engines. With a single click, buyers can access a side-by-side comparison of a given product’s features and prices.

Such knowledge evokes a shift in the balance of power that should terrify many retailers.

If your value proposition does not reflect a distinctive advantage for the buyer, the comparison search engines are a scourge, BUT if you truly have value to add to the marketplace (even if you do not offer the lowest price) the comparison search engines can truly catapult your sales.

More and more shoppers are turning to these aggregated marketplaces: BizRate.com, surveyed 3,254 US e-shoppers between 20 and 21 February 2002 and found that 74% say they feel guilty if they do not conduct comparison shopping. Additionally, 52% think that comparison shopping is the way to get the best deal. (*1)

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Our bleary eyed team of researchers, have been “jolted” by the lessons learned in this experiment. In the course of this study, we have seen more than $10 million in revenue. I suspect these findings will impact our strategy for a longtime to come.

Just how effective are comparison search engines?

In a recent experiment conducted by our Research Partner, MarketplaceManager.Com, Jalali Hartman tested the viability of just one Comparison Search Engine: Nextag

Here is what we discovered:

AVERAGE COST PER CLICK
Day Clicks Daily Cost Average Cost Per Click
Day 1 2 $0.50 $0.25
Day 2 28 $7.00 $0.25
Day 3 43 $10.75 $0.25
Day 4 38 $9.50 $0.25
Day 5 33 $8.25 $0.25
Day 6 31 $7.75 $0.25
Day 7 32 $8.00 $0.25
Day 8 31 $7.75 $0.25
Day 9 21 $5.25 $0.25
Day 10 37 $18.50 $0.50
Day 11 32 $16.00 $0.50
Day 12 26 $13.00 $0.50
Day 13 27 $13.50 $0.50
Day 14 36 $18.00 $0.50
Day 15 25 $12.50 $0.50
Day 16 6 $3.00 $0.50
Day 17 2 $1.00 $0.50
Day 18 5 $1.25 $0.25
Day 19 1 $0.25 $0.25
Day 20 5 $1.25 $0.25
Day 21 3 $0.75 $0.25
Day 22 5 $1.25 $0.25
Day 23 4 $1.00 $0.25
Day 24 16 $4.00 $0.25
Day 25 10 $2.50 $0.25
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Total 499 $172.50 $0.35

 

TOTAL SALES GENERATED
Days 1-25 Items Purchased Price
Intel Pro PC Camera $105.00
Black Cartridge for Lexmark Printer $21.00
PenCam Vr Voice/Camera/Camcorder $85.00
Intel Pro PC Camera $105.00
Intel Pro PC Camera $105.00
Intel Pro PC Camera $105.00
Ink Cartridges for Lexmark Printer $41.00
Canon PowerShot A10 Digital Camera $259.50
Canon PowerShot S30 Digital Camera $487.90
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Total $1,314.40

 

AVERAGE REVENUE PER CLICK
Total Clicks 499
Average Cost Per Click $0.35
Total Revenue $1,314.40
Average Revenue Per Click $2.63
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The Nextag engine returned 750% on its finial investment. And if this number seems impressive, bear in mind that we gleaned data on the conversion ratios of 13 different comparison search engines and Nextag was only ranked in 9th place…

Jalali Hartman talked with Nextag directly and they suggested that the results could be further improved by implementing the following:

  1. Include UPC or Manufacturer Numbers.
  2. Add more products. Large volume sellers get an icon next to the listing.
  3. Use loss leaders to drive traffic to your website where they can purchase items with a better margin.
  4. Study the items that are most popular: You can use this link.
  5. Make sure that you only pay more per click on the items for which you have a competitive price.

What items can you sell on the comparison search engines?

Here is a list of categories that we have discovered across 20 different comparison search engines:

Computer hardware
Computer peripherals
Books
Electronics
Movies
Music
Software
Toys
Video Games
Home and Garden
Office Equipment
Sporting Goods
Watches
Apparel
Auto
Health and Beauty
Finance
Home Improvement
Jewelry
Travel
Food
Wine
Wireless
Cameras
Luxury
Weddings
Insurance
Long Distance
Mortgages

The Comparison Search Engines have proven to be one of the most effective ways to market your products, but like any other marketing tool, they require research, testing, and solid strategy.

Section 2 (Continue…)

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