Below 10 tips for webshops are shown on how to use comparison engines during the holiday season. These tips were just published by ChannelAdvisor:
1. Get moving
Let’s face it – we are already in the make-or-break fourth quarter and the holidays are right around the corner. Take time now to review what products sold the best last holiday season, what products are currently selling well, and anticipate what will be hot for the holidays this year.
2. Target the big CSE’s, but don’t forget the others
There are many great comparison shopping engines (CSEs) out there, but focusing on the big ones is a sure way to get your products in front of the most consumers. The big CSEs (top 5) account normally for more than 70-75 percent of all comparison shopping traffic.
3. Complete all merchant information
Each CSE has a section for configuring your information, logos (logo inclusion might be an additional cost) and shipping policies. Often, while
dealing with the complexities of pushing out a data feed, retailers overlook this “Merchant Information” section. Make sure you fill in all the
requested information. Without it, your listings may be incomplete, particularly if consumers use the CSE’s total price comparison features.
4. Achieve preferred merchant status
Most CSEs have a “Trusted Store,” “Certified Store” or something similar that designates merchants they consider to be in this category. Find out how to get in this category and have a plan to achieve this status on every CSE. This designation immensely increases your conversion chances by inspiring confidence in your brand.
5. Send all the data you can
Send a complete data feed to each comparison shopping engine. Keep in mind that the competition is likely sending its products to the same
engines. Sending a more comprehensive listing (better descriptions, attributes, etc.) makes your listing stand out in a crowd.
Most importantly, send a catalogued value like “Manufacturer Part Number” or “UPC” whenever you have an opportunity. Sending this value
guarantees your products are compared immediately beside your competitors’ products.
But remember, over all different CSEs are working on ways to differentiate themselves from the rest of the pack. Many aim for specific demographics that offer higher conversion rates or specific product categories. For this reason, experienced online retailers not only target the biggest players in the CSE market, but also test the specialty CSEs!
6. Leverage your promotions – in the right locations
During the holidays, most retailers are running promotions – free shipping, discounted shipping for multiple purchases, discounted shipping
on amount purchased, percent-off certain products, etc. Inform prospective customers before they get to your site by including a promotional
message in your CSE data feed. Remember only a limited amount of characters will display, so keep it brief and have a strong call-to-action.
Also, follow each CSE’s instructions closely, as failure might result in a placement penalty in the search results.
Since promotions often change, send new promotions daily. Consumers are shopping everyday; you want to extend your best promotions on the
day they make purchase decisions.
7. Keywords, keywords, keywords
A few CSEs accept a keywords field. To increase your relevancy, make sure you send this value to these engines. For engines that do not have a
keywords field, select 3-5 keywords that are relevant for your products and insert them into your title and description. Avoid sending duplicate
keywords as they will count against you in the search results. This practice will greatly aid in relevancy for those keywords and increase traffic
8. Shipping, shipping, shipping
Shipping is always at the top of the list for consumers, so inform them early about your shipping options and rates. If you ship overnight, include
this value for CSEs that will accept two or more shipping options. Also, include “Next Day Air” or “Overnight Shipping” in your descriptions or
keywords if you offer these shipping options. It’s always helpful to do everything you can to stand out from your competition in the shipping
9. Bid Up – but be smart about it
This may sound like a crazy idea, but as you may already know, most comparison shopping engines raise their rates 25-30 percent for the
holidays. Remember that conversion rates are traditionally higher during the holiday season and even better for select products. One way to ride his wave is to analyze your product set, identify which products perform well and bid up those products to get more clicks. You’ll realize even ore impact when an increased bid gets you into the “Featured Store” section (top five bids for Shopzilla or top three bids for Shopping.com).
For engines that perform well, raise category minimums to increase the chances for lower performing items. Be careful to review bid amounts
after holiday price increases go into effect. Each CSE adjusts bids differently, so be smart about this process. Also, watch your budget closely so
you don’t use your budgeted spend during the first two weeks of November. Save enough for the real rush beginning in the last half of November.
This process is all pretty simple – the key is if it converts, you want more clicks; if it doesn’t, you want less.
10. Drop Non-holiday products
Chances are products that don’t sell over the holidays won’t generate much traffic or sales. If you are on a limited budget, consider dropping
these products so you can reserve your budget for better holiday sellers. This helps you stay laser-focused during the holidays and generate the
most sales without excessive cost.
Hope this all helps to boost your holiday sales!