Listing your products with shopping oriented search engines

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.

Shopping search engines or search engines with a shopping feature allow users to comparison shop by providing lists of sellers and prices in response to a product Query.

These sites are for every online store owner, no matter how big or small you are you must add your products here and best of all they are Free. These are all Free traffic sources along with some backlinks pointing towards your site forever

Google, Yahoo! and Bing and other shopping engines all have their own shopping search engines that you can register your products with through our submitter. 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.

Shopping engine marketing is a proven marketing channel for online retailers, especially with the meteoric rise of Google Shopping. CSE campaigns are practically essential on the road to maximizing your business's online presence and are a big-time business commodity when it comes to the crucial and highly lucrative Holiday Shopping Season.

Getting Started with Shopping Engine Marketing

If you want to get started with shopping engine marketing, the first step is to assess your resources. Not all retailers are compatible with comparison shopping engine campaigns either because they don't have the time to manage them, the personnel to spare for management, the funds to allocate towards a CPC budget, or the expertise. Additionally, a given retailer must have a solid amount of products to list on CSEs, and this may be around 500 total but you may end up listing less, depending on the specific CSE. Take a step back and evaluate your business's readiness to undertake a significant marketing campaign by:

  • Assessing your budget: Can you allocate around $2000-$3000 a month for your CPC budget? You may find yourself spending significantly less if your product listings don't get a lot of traffic at first, or contrarily, you may exceed this when your product listings eventually blow up and attract a lot of shoppers.
  • Setting aside the time: To offer a cliched simile, a comparison shopping engine campaign is like a baby you must nurture regularly, but when it grows up, the results will be very rewarding. Ideally, you will manage your campaigns every day so you can make required alterations as quickly as possible. The more diligent and consistent you are with your management, the more efficient and cost-effective your campaigns will be.
  • Allocating the manpower: Since they're a time commitment, you need to dedicate employees to manage your CSE campaigns. The expertise will come with time and research, but typically one employee will probably be able to handle all of your campaigns (typically 2-6) if that is he/she's primary responsibility.

This may seem more like a burden than a financial boon, but the same criteria holds true for diving into any new marketing channel. You may question why to even bother with CSEs. Well, the reality is that many online retailers either neglect CSE campaigns or manage their existing campaigns poorly. This really leaves some valuable, rather open real estate for a given retailer to make a significant impression in.

On top of it, most CSEs, particularly Google Shopping, allow you to micro-manage your listings at the product level, and this allows you more control over your desired ROI. Most importantly, CSEs are a unique online marketing channel that, with effective management, will not only increase traffic to your website and attract new customer audiences but also directly function towards increasing revenues.

Create and maintain your product feed

Each engine requires a submission of product listings, most commonly processed through a feed. The required, accepted and recommended columns, along with the allowed values in each, vary from engine to engine; therefore, it is critical to check feed specifications at the engine level and comply as closely as possible.

Include as much information about each product as you can. This allows the engine to understand where and when to show your product and gives consumers a more complete description of the item before they click through your listing. Use the character allowance in the product title field to your fullest advantage; include the item size, color, manufacturer, etc. when applicable. Something as simple as changing color abbreviations to full words can make a huge difference. One of our clothing retail clients saw a 216% increase in sales over four weeks after making this adjustment.

The product information in the feed should be high quality and kept up to date. This is especially important with pricing and inventory. Showing consumers an unexpectedly higher price or out-of-stock message can cause a negative brand experience and lower the likelihood of converting. On the flip side, a stale price on a shopping engine that's higher than the product's current price is a missed opportunity to add further appeal to your listing.

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