Who started the rise of product comparison websites in the UK?

Product comparison sites have become increasingly popular over the last few years. They help consumers to work out who’s offering the best deal and they help retailers reach a wider audience.

The comparison website industry has a long history and comparison shopping websites have been around on the internet in some form or another for over 20 years. The first comparison-shopping website was BargainFinder, which was created in 1995.

BargainFinder was an experiment and it was published without advance warning to the e-commerce sites that were being compared. Thankfully, the industry has come along way since the days of BargainFinder. Continue reading this article from Pathwwway Igaming to find out the how comparison sites work, how to list your products and the best comparison sites for consumers as well as the best for businesses. 

What are Product Comparison Shopping Engines?

Comparison shopping engines collect information about products from participating retailers. Consumers are then able to put in a search query for a product and then view results on product pricing across the web. The benefit of this is that shoppers can compare each retailer’s price, postage options, and service fees all on a single page. Consumers then select the merchant that offers the best overall value.

Advantages for Businesses

When it comes down to it people searching on product comparison websites aren’t window-shopping. Typically they are using these websites because they have already made the decision to buy and are simply looking for the best deal.

Comparison shopping engines give merchants the opportunity to attract new customers, increase sales, and go head-to-head against the competition. For ecommerce merchants, comparison shopping engines give the opportunity to put products in front of very interested buyers.

How Do Comparison Websites Work?

Comparison websites usually make their money either when a consumer clicks on a retailer they feature or by taking a small percentage of the sale. Unfortunately, none of them cover every single high street and online retailer. If you’re looking for a great deal then you’d still be wise to check several of them as well as scouring Amazon and eBay too. Here are our top UK based comparison search engines for consumers.

  1. Ciao.co.uk

Currently one of the most popular comparison sites, Ciao – which is now a part of Microsoft – is a comprehensive comparison site of more than 2,600 online retailers. A great feature for consumers is that members of the Ciao community offer reviews of products they have tried so you can make the best decision.

  1. Kelkoo

Founded in 2000 after mergers with Zoomit, Dondecomprar and Shopgenie. Kelkoo is another popular comparison option that’s incredibly simple to use. Unusual in the industry Kelkoo allows you to refine your search and details delivery & fee information. What’s more is that it has just launched a new cash-back service if you buy through the website.

  1. Shopping.com

Shopping.com is another of the great Pathwwway Igaming recommended options and with a name like shopping.com where can you go wrong. Shopping.com allows you to compare prices of hundreds of different products. This product comparison website is known for having a great user-friendly design and is a firm favourite across the UK.

  1. MoneySavingExpert.com

Martin Lewis, a journalist and celebrity savings pundit writes the Money Saving Expert website. This site is packed full of useful money-saving advice and tips. Martin covers everything from avoiding 0870 numbers to protecting your savings and he also includes detailed explanations of how comparison sites work. The website features a ‘Mega Shopbot’ which compares all the big comparison sites in one click. You can also sign up to a free weekly email telling you about the best deals around the UK, plus free vouchers and money-off coupons to reduce your shopping bill.

How to get your products Listed on Comparison Shopping Engines

If your interested in getting your products in front of thousands of eyes then continue reading as we explain how to go about getting listed and which product comparison websites are the best to use.

Most comparison websites require that as a retailer you submit a formatted product feed. The product feeds vary from site to site and you must make sure to meet the defined specification. Once submitted and approved you’re then responsible for updating the information frequently.

With the product information in hand the comparison search engine then uses scripts to parse and ingest the data from the feed, displaying the information on results pages as appropriate.
The Cost of Comparison Shopping Websites  

Although some of the comparison websites are free to list your products, most are going to charge you per click-through or per action. With pay-per-click, sellers pay a set fee or bid each time that a potential customer clicks on that merchant’s link. In a pay-per-action model, retailers will pay a percentage of the value of a sale made as a result of being listed. The trick here is to choose the option which works best for you and your business.

Still interested in getting listed?  Here’s a run down of the top five most popular Comparison Shopping Engines and how to use them as a merchant.

1.Google Shopping

Search giant Google has its own comparison-shopping engine, Google Shopping. Google Shopping is probably the largest and best known comparison-shopping engine. The advantage of Google Shopping is that the products you submit are also displayed on standard Google search results and are integrated with Google’s pay-per-click platform, Adwords. 

  1. Nextag

Perhaps one of the oldest comparison search websites, this platform has been in operation since 1999 and sees as many as 30 million visitors each month. Nextag is consistently a top performer for traffic and conversions. With Nexttag you can also list event tickets, real estate, and even travel bookings.

  1. PriceGrabber

PriceGrabber is different to other websites because in addition to presenting products on its site it also has a market research tool. The tool is called Market Report and it allows you as a retailer to track consumer purchase and product pricing trends. An added bonus to listing your products on PriceGrabber is that you’ll also be listed on Yahoo Shopping too.

  1. Amazon Product Ads

Amazon isn’t technically a comparison shopping engine, but they work in a similar fashion. You can register for Product Ads and upload your products to be showcased. After you list your products Amazon then creates ads using the information you  provided. When you set your budget, your ads will go live and you’ll pay-per-click.

  1. Bing Shopping

Bing’s product comparison option, Bing Shopping, offers retailers free product listings that appear on Bing search results pages. With Bing Shopping you need to upload your products early as they don’t accept new product listings during high-traffic shopping seasons like Christmas. Bing Shopping is a consumer favourite and  has earned a lot of consumer praise for doing an excellent job.