So, your local business has decided to take its products online with a new e-commerce store, but sales haven’t been exactly what you were hoping for. You’ve tried everything, but you just aren’t getting the visibility of some of your competitors.
Have you submitted your products to any of the many Comparison Shopping Engines (CSEs) that are available?
CSEs allow you to add information – including price, description and size – about your products so that they appear in shopping queries within search engines. These also include blended search results that appear in certain queries such as, “golf shoes,” seen below.
If you are not submitting your products to CSEs, you are missing out on maximizing your revenue and increasing your visibility – for free! Here is a comprehensive list of the top free CSEs available and some of their features.
Google Merchant Center piggybacks off of Google’s brand dominance and pulls your products into universal search results. Along with being free, Google Merchant Center allows you to include many product attributes including:
- Basic Product Information
- Availability and Price
- Product Variants (Size, color, etc.)
- Tax and Shipping charges
Their Product Feed Specification page lists all of the additional attributes you can include, as well as the required values for each. You can also check on the amount of daily clicks your products receive in the “Performance” tab of your Merchant Center account and track sales through Google Analytics.
UPDATE: Google announced yesterday afternoon that Google Shopping will be transitioned into a commercial model built on their existing Product Listing Ads. For more information, check out their Google Commerce blog post.
Bing Shopping is another great free CSE you should be listing your products on. Similarly to Google, you can list many product attributes, with six being required for your product feed to be approved and posted.
- Merchant Product ID
- Product URL
- Image URL
Additionally, one newer feature allows mobile device users to scan a product barcode and retrieve merchant results for people using a Bing mobile app. This feature requires a provided UPC code in the product data feed.
Bing has a great “Getting Started” guide on their site to help small businesses set up their account.
TheFind is another free CSE that has seen some growth in previous years, but has been negatively affected by Google’s Panda update. While listing your products is free, they also offer a program called Upfront, which is a paid program. By placing a branded button on your site, TheFind will boost your products in their results sending approximately 10% more traffic (according to their information) to your site.
At Fathom, our team of e-commerce experts can optimize, implement and monitor feeds for these free and other paid shopping engines as part of our SEO and PPC programs. This can in turn increase the amount of visitors, and thus conversions, on your site!
Forrester Research has stated that e-commerce sales are projected to grow by 10% annually through 2015 – topping out at $279 billion (with a b!). Are you doing everything necessary to get a slice of that pie? If not, the list of free resources above can get you off to a good start. What additional e-commerce tools has your business seen success with?
Executive survey: Learn what NE Ohio’s retailer decision-makers say about using social media for marketing in Fathom’s executive survey.