What’s The Top Comparison Shopping Engine?

The Comparison Shopping Report – Q1 2013

Author | Tien

Update 5/7/2013: We just released the most awesome Product Listing Ads Guide ever. At more than 15,000 words it’s the most comprehensive guide on the planet. Best of all, it’s completely free. 

comparison-shopping-poker-q12013As an eCommerce retailer, advertising online can often feel like stepping into a huge poker room.

You’re surrounded by a bunch of people of varying skill levels who all have one goal in mind: turning their hard earned money into much greater amounts. And if you don’t have a good strategy coming in, you’ll likely be going home with empty pockets and broken dreams.

As the saying goes, if you can’t spot the one who has no idea what they’re doing, then it’s probably you.

In the last edition of The Comparison Shopping Report, we saw the second place comparison shopping engine provide less than 2/3s the amount of traffic to each merchant that Google did. All the others drive a smaller fraction of the revenue than Google did.

Will this trend continue? We’ll find out in the 17th edition of our quarterly comparison shopping report below.

How We Measured Google

We repeated what we did last time (Q4 2012) and separated free and paid traffic out to demonstrate the differences between not only the amount of traffic of free vs. paid traffic a merchant was getting, but the performance between the two as well.

So let’s get started.



Last quarter, the closest CSE to Google in terms of traffic drove about 60% of what Google did. This time around it’s Shopping.com, driving just a hair over half the amount of traffic that Google did.

As we noticed last quarter, Shopping.com, Pricegrabber, and Nextag are close to each other in traffic because they are listing products their on Google PLAs, whereas Shopzilla is not. Amazon Product Ads manages to sneak its way in the group as well.

The gap between paid Google traffic and free Google traffic has widened this quarter as well.



The gap between Google and number two, Amazon Product Ads, is shortened up here, but the others fall further behind when it comes to comparison shopping revenue driven.

Free Google traffic is near the bottom.

Conversion Rate % (orders/clicks)


We see here just how qualified paid Google traffic can be with a conversion rate that’s 1/2 a percent higher than its next highest competitor, Nextag.

Amazon Product Ads barely trails Nextag, and Shopping.com is not far behind.

COS (Cost divided by Revenue) %


Once again, Google PLAs are the best here when it comes to the paid comparison shopping engines, with Amazon Product Ads not far behind.

Responsiveness Rating (ranking from 1-9, 1 being best)


Our account managers here are constantly in touch with the comaparison shopping engines in an attempt to optimize our merchants’ accounts, and know first hand which engines are quickest to contact and who acts best.

Merchant Tools (ranking from 1-9, 1 being best)


In the end we ranked each comparison shopping engine from each of our metrics from 1-10 and assigning a point value for each category (higher being better).

We doubled the COS % value making that out of a possible 20 points, and weighted traffic + revenue as 1.5 each for a maximum of 15, summed it up, and got the following:

  1.  (paid)
  2.  (free)

While there were initial concerns that removing free Google traffic would hurt a retailer’s bottom line, it actually now has the potential become more profitable than ever before since now there is so much more room for strategy.

As a result. they remain our top comparison shopping engine with the amount of traffic and revenue that it drives, while being of very high quality.

Nextag and Amazon Product Ads round out the top 3, and Pricegrabber + Shopping.com finish out our top half.

One should note however, that unlike before Google is only a viable channel through proper management and is no longer a set it and forget it type of channel.

Make sure you have the strategies in place to take advantage of all that Google can provide you and your bottom line.

If you want to check out the comparison shopping engines for themselves, take a look at their sites here:


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