Listing your products with shopping-oriented search engines can be a great way to attract new customers. Many shopping search engines are free, but some require a fee and come with varying levels of control and interaction with your products and with customers that buy through the shopping engine.
What many of these services have in common is discounted merchandise. To therefore take advantage of some of these portals, your company may have to mark down its products to compete with the similar discounted items on the site. Alternatively, these services can be good way to sell excess stock at a lower price.
Large-Sized Search Engine Solutions
Google, Yahoo! and Bing all have their own shopping search engines that you can register your products with. They vary from being free to flexible fee-structures, depending on items sold. If just starting out, you may want to focus on a free option. You may also want to focus on a search engine that you don’t get a tremendous amount of traffic, to help build awareness of your brand with a new group of potential customers.
- Google Product Search. Google’s product search is a useful way to expose your products to more shoppers on one of the most popular search engines on the web. Your products will appear in the Product Search engine but also may appear on Google’s standard search results depending on the relevance of the product to the search being performed. Price: Free.
- Yahoo! Shopping. Submit your products to Yahoo! Shopping, provide a detailed description, and Yahoo! will do the rest. Each submission will be listed on Yahoo! Shopping in both the general product search and product comparison pages. All you need is a Yahoo! Search Marketing account. For Yahoo! store merchants, use the merchant solutions service to publish your catalog. Price: Submitting products is free; Search Marketing plans vary from free to a one-time $99 fee; Additional fees for purchases on Yahoo! Shopping also apply, including its bidding service, which affects the placement of the product in-search.
- Bing Shopping. A free service from Microsoft that gives access to your products to one of most widely used search engines on the web. You have to contact a Microsoft Advertising representative to get started and once you sign up, all you have to do is send your Bing Shopping data feed to Microsoft. Price: Free.
Comparison Shopping and Shopping Directories
These are shopping destination sites that offer thousands of popular brands and products, usually at a discounted price. I’ve tried to focus on general and popular shopping sites and comparison sites. If you are interested in the dozens of niche online marketplaces, check out my previous article, “How To Set Up Shop on Niche Online Marketplaces,” for more information on that process.
- Amazon. It’s one of the most costly sites to list your products, but it is also has high traffic and could be worth the cost for the right merchant. Price: Structure varies on amount of items sold – 40 items or less monthly, $.99 per sale plus 15 percent referral fee and variable closing fee per item starting at $.45 to $.05 per pound; 40 items or more monthly, flat $39.99 for unlimited sales plus the same referral and closing fees.
- PriceGrabber. A price comparison search engine, PriceGrabber gets roughly 24 million unique visitors monthly looking for deals. Merchants can list their products for free and then only pay when a shopper clicks on their product. The merchant then pays a cost-per-click fee. The nice thing here is that once the shopper clicks through on PriceGrabber, the shopper finalizes the sale on the merchant’s website. Price: $.35 – $.90 per item clicked, depending on category of product.
- PriceScan. Any merchant can list a product here, but you need extremely competitive prices or PriceScan will not list your product if it is higher than the similar products that it already lists. Price: Free.
- Shop.com. Another shopping comparison directory that merchants can list products on with two payment options: Cost-Per-Order (CPO) and Cost-Per-Click (CPC). CPO means merchants pay a negotiated commission to Shop.com and comes with some additional benefits when selling with them. CPC is a per-click fee program with varying rates that depend on the product and category. Price: Varies with product and product listing program in use.
- Shopping.com. Owned by eBay, Shopping.com has a large following in the comparison-shopping world with an average of 20 million unique visitors monthly. Price: $.05 – $.90 per item clicked, depending on category of product.
- ShopWiki. A shopping search engine that crawls for products and stores and lists them in their search results. If your store is not already listed, you can simply type in your store’s URL and add it to ShopWiki’s index. Once your URL has been added, your products should start appearing in ShopWiki’s search results within 3 to 4 weeks. Price: Free.
- ShopZilla. A widely used shopping comparison directory that merchants can take advantage of. Shopzilla is free to register and list products on, but it uses a similar cost-per-click (CPC) fee structure as many other comparison sites. Register a Shopzilla merchant account and pay a minimum of $50, which will all go towards the CPC fee for each item purchased through ShopZilla. Price: $.05-$.90 per item clicked, depending on category of product.
- TheFind. TheFind is a powerful comparison shopping service and has probably already found your store’s products with its search bot, but merchants can play a much more active role by setting up a merchant account with The Find. Once you are registered, you can submit a comprehensive product feed to the service of all products available, update that feed as often as desired, and control your store’s brand and logo as seen from TheFind. You can also pay to have your products featured and increase traffic to your own site. Price: Free – $299.