The Rules & Shopping Platforms eCommerce Sites Need to Know

Giant hand protruding from computer screen and pushing a shopping cart

If you are an eCommerce company, more likely than not you are running Google Shopping Campaigns, Bing Product Ads, and comparison shopping engines (CSE) like Shopzilla, or all of the above. With Black Friday kicking off the holiday shopping season this Friday it’s never been more important to use these platforms to their fullest potential. With that being said, providing as much data for your products is key to reaching that potential.

Required vs. Recommended Attributes

When providing the attribute fields for each product required or recommended by the individual CSE, put yourself in the mind of the customer. When you’re shopping what’s important to you? If you’re shopping for shoes, size is a big part in your decision to buy. Age group is important to determine whether something is appropriate for a child or an adult.  Having a visual, especially an accurate one, is important because you’re rarely going to buy something if you can’t see what you’re getting. Not every black high heel looks the same.  It’s critical to go beyond doing the bare minimum (like Jennifer Aniston’s flair) and provide as much information for each product as possible.

 

Accurate Data Feeds

As important as it is to provide enough information, keeping it up to date is even more crucial. If a product’s price changes or you’re out of a particular style of jeans, you need to let your customers know. False advertising isn’t something you want to get caught up in. Google Shopping has a built in filter that will disapprove products that don’t match what’s listed on your site, but many CSE’s will keep running what you give them regardless of what’s actually in stock. Using FTP or software that will pull your products with updated information at least once a day can eliminate the hassle of uploading the updates manually. Regardless of the method, it’s vital your products display the most up to date information.

Top CSE’s for 2014

bagsWe do a lot of eCommerce research to ensure our clients are showing on the most profitable shopping platforms throughout the year and especially during the holiday season. The following lists from CPC Strategy’s The Comparison Shopping Report Q2 2014 rank the top shopping platforms based on different performance measurements or KPIs.

 

Best CSEs by Conversion Rate

  • Pronto
  • Bing
  • Google
  • Become.com
  • Amazon
  • Shopzilla (now Connexity)
  • Nextag
  • Shopping.com
  • PriceGrabber

Best CSEs by Traffic

  • Google
  • PriceGrabber
  • Shopzilla (now Connexity)
  • Shopping.com
  • Amazon
  • Nextag
  • Become.com
  • Bing
  • Pronto

Best CSEs by Revenue

  • Google
  • PriceGrabber
  • Amazon
  • Shopzilla (now Connexity)
  • Shopping.com
  • Nextag
  • Bing
  • Become.com
  • Pronto

 

It’s important to understand that not every CSE platform is going to produce results for you. This is where testing comes in. The list above is just a guide to help you get started and provide insight on platforms that may work for your company. Regardless of which comparison shopping engine or shopping platform you use, be sure to provide as much up to date information as possible.  Besides hurting performance, no one wants to be misled when it comes to shopping, especially during the holidays.

 

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