About one-half of Internet users resort to price comparison websites in order to save money and find the best deals online. These sites rank available offers of the same product from different online and physical stores. It’s a fast and easy way to save money, as well as a reliable source of information to shoppers.
The trustworthiness of some of them lies on the fact that they don’t show products only from retailers who pay to be on their site. They also display products from websites that don’t pay, and they always show the cheapest offer first, regardless of commercial agreements with other companies.
Since these are the rules, is there anything you can do to improve your products’ performance on a price comparison site, other than lowering your prices?
Should you consider to become a paying client?
Price is important, but according to a study by Experiencematters, its relevance as purchase criteria can range from 65% to 22% depending on the type of product. There are other factors to consider.
Assess whether price-comparison websites are valuable for your business
Of course, one of the main appeals of being on comparison sites is that you are placing your products in front of qualified shoppers, who know what they are searching for, and who are ready to buy. Most of these platforms work on a cost-per-click basis, not cost-per-conversion, but considering what you’re getting it isn’t a bad deal.
Try to find out how many of your potential buyers use price comparison websites before purchasing a product. If you find out that many of them know these sites and use them, then you can get a competitive advantage and gain some branding by just being there.
You will find there are many options available: PriceRunner, Shopping.com, Kelkoo, Pricegrabber... Even specialized price-comparison websites. If your products don’t seem to fit into the categories of the big ones, there are pages focused on very specific types of products, such as books or wine.
The first thing to consider might be the different areas in which each platform operates. Then, the kind of customers you can reach through them, and the type of products they will be searching for. For example, Kelkoo operates in more countries than Pricegrabber, and each of them features products from categories not available on the other one, such as industrial supplies (Pricegrabber) or products for adults (Kelkoo).
Check the “about” section of the website or contact them if you would like to receive more detailed information to make a well-informed decision.
Some best practices to get started
1. Keep track of the competition
Price-comparison sites are fantastic for retailers who want to know what competitors are offering. You can use them as tools to keep track of trends and changes in levels of service and prices in your industry.
2. Read price histories and use price alerts whenever available
PriceRunner has a graph called the “price history”, which shows how the average price of a product has increased or decreased during a certain period of time. These can be useful to your business for two reasons:
- First, it is a quick and visual way to know the general trend for that product’s price.
- Second, users set price alerts which let them know when a product’s price has dropped.
You can use that knowledge to your advantage and make sure interested buyers are notified by making irresistible offers at the right time. Shopping.com and other platforms also have the option to set price alerts, so use those every time you can.
3. Get customer reviews
Happy customers will leave positive reviews on the site, so make sure to create positive experiences for them. A high rating and positive reviews will increase your chances of reaching new clients.
Think of your own process when you are buying something online. Do you read reviews left by other buyers? We all do. Most shoppers who are unfamiliar with a retailer will regard other shoppers’ reviews as a reliable source of information.
4. Learn about discount vouchers and other special deals
Some price comparison websites promote curated content from their paying clients, send specific offers and discounts to customers based on their preferences, and even run contests and campaigns on social media in coordination with marketers. Learn about the options available on the platform of your choice.
5. Optimize your product feed for better performance
Each platform is unique. What is the most relevant information that customers see when the listings appear? If the availability of the product and its price with and without delivery are displayed, make sure your product feed has updated information on those fields. Prepare some excellent copy text for your products' descriptions and titles if it's possible, considering how many characters will be displayed on the listings.
6. Price isn’t everything: Focus on everything else you can control
Price is the most important factor to consumers, but it isn’t the only reason why they pick a shop over another. The aim of these sites is to help shoppers make well-informed decisions, and they advise to keep other aspects in mind before making a purchase.
The real difference is service quality, reputation, and overall experience. This is good news since it gives you control over many other variables other than price. Clients like some pages and some stores better than others because their landing pages are clear and easy to use, because the checkout process is quick and smooth, they offer quick delivery service or a convenient return policy.
What makes your service better than others? Why should clients pick your product? How can you improve your website to make a shopper who lands on your page want to stay and finish the purchase? If you can’t beat a competitor’s offer in terms of price, do it some other way.
7. Advertise your products on the website's banners
In some cases, this is something the website will do automatically, but get some further information and learn about the possibilities available to promote your brand. It is true that customers tend to disregard banners, and rarely click on them, but it can't hurt to get a little more exposure.
Using PriceRunner from Feedeo
Using Feedeo, you can send your product feed to PriceRunner and synchronize it with he flip of a switch. Here are some specs about the platform:
PriceRunner operates in the UK, Sweden, Denmark, France, Germany, and Austria. They include a very handy map feature which can recommend your physical store to interested shoppers living in those areas. Still, this doesn’t mean that businesses outside of them can’t use the platform.
Its users include men and women aged between 25 and 65 years old, interested mostly in technology products and home appliances. You can check their "about" section in your own language for more detailed information.
If you want to create a curated product feed for PriceRunner, click here to read the product feed specifications. If you are sending your product feed from Feedeo, you can skip this step.
What does PriceRunner offer to their paying clients?
PriceRunner charges a small fee for each click linking to your site, so it’s a CPC type of deal. They feature products from non-paying websites too, but these miss some appealing advantages.
Paying clients (also known as "verified retailers") get their company’s logo displayed on their listings, as well as a “Go to store” link and a blue check mark next to their logos, which indicates to shoppers that the shop has been checked by PriceRunner and can be trusted.
When shoppers hover over the logo, they will see relevant information about your service, such as a special offer, the last award you won, or if you offer free deliveries… Hovering over unverified users simply informs buyers that the price might not be accurate since PriceRunner doesn’t work directly with the brand.
Just like positive reviews, this can make the difference between your offer and a cheaper one. Verified retailers can also promote their brand by getting their products and special offers featured on advertising banners, e-mails and campaigns on PriceRunner’s social media channels.