Shopzilla.com is one of the Internet’s leading price comparison engines. The site can expose an online retailer’s products to more than 30 million price-conscience shoppers every month, making it a powerful marketing vehicle. But uploading products—particularly for smaller merchants—could be easier, and forms on the site lacked descriptions and basic instructions.
Registering as a merchant on Shopzilla and posting my first product took less than 20 minutes, which left me with a clear understanding of how the site worked. But some basic instructions, could have made the process even easier and saved some minor frustration. Overall, Shopzilla gets three and a half stars in this PeC Review.
It is important to note that we are not rating Shopzilla on whether or not a campaign was successful. There is a simple reason for that. A price comparison site is not responsible for your success. Remember they are allowing customers to compare similar or identical products head-to-head. If you charge twice as much as a competitor, you won’t see good results.
Shopzilla’s Low Trial Price, Simple Design are Great
Just $50.00 gets a merchant up and running on Shopzilla.com, and the money is not a fee all of it applies to pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. When a Shopzilla visitor clicks on a merchant’s listing, the cost of the click is subtracted from the $50. Plus, if you don’t like your results, the company promises a refund. I was also impressed with the site’s simple design.
Four Ways to Upload Products
Retailers can submit products to Shopzilla in four ways:
- Individually by filling out a form. Best for merchants with only a few dozen products or for those that only use Shopzilla to promote their most price competitive SKUs.
- Gang upload. This “FullList” feature uses a wizard to post hundreds or even thousands of products all at once. But keeping that list updated and assigning individual PPC bids will still be a challenge.
- Use a Yahoo! store feed. Ideal for Yahoo! store owners, but there could be better instructions regarding how to find Yahoo’s “Export of Store Contents” feature.
- Programmatic FTP. Great if you are accustomed to publishing your product catalog for search engines. But it’s overkill if you don’t update your catalog at least weekly.
Shopzilla offers a simple to use conversion-tracking script. Similar to other tracking scripts, just place a short bit of code on your product pages to follow the success of your comparison shopping campaign.
A Personal Account Manager
Shopzilla assigned a personal account manager, providing the manager’s name and contact email. It was a nice personal invitation to communicate with the company if I had questions or concerns.
More Instructions and Descriptions Required
Perhaps it is a function of Shopzilla’s spare site design, but I found the general lack of information frustrating. For example, when it was time to decide how I would submit my products there were no instructions about what would be required for each submission type. A link to an explanation of how to use the Yahoo! store feed before I had to click “Go” would have been great.
I also had a hard time determining how to change my product submission method. And once I had submitted my products, I had trouble finding them in the search engine.
Finally, Shopzilla should have told me what format they required in its forms. I typed “Idaho” for my state, but got an error when I submitted the form. Shopzilla required a two-letter state code, but didn’t tell me until after the form failed. I had to resubmit my information. I suffered similar form errors four more times during the registration process.
In the end, I am giving Shopzilla.com three and a half stars for merchant usability. The site does a lot of things very well, and I plan to use it for my own stores, but I still would have liked more descriptive forms and instructions.