Shopping.com Does Not Want Your Money

Well everyone knows that the holiday season is coming upon us, especially if you are an e-commerce merchant, this should be the most important time of the year for you. And if you are an e-commerce merchant and you do not know what the Comparison Shopping Engines (CSE) are then you are really behind the curve. I am referring to sites like Shopzilla, Shopping.com, PriceGrabber, NexTag, etc. Submitting your products to the CSE is a very profitable business because th traffic that you get from them is highly qualified and usually looking to purchase. And you can get this traffic for a pretty low cost-per-click (CPC).

comparison shopping engines

Of course during the holiday season the CSE increase their minimum CPC rates because there is a higher conversion rate during the holidays. Brian Smith, an industry expert and the man behind LoveYourFeed.com and ComparisonEngines.com has post noting all of the holiday CPC increases from each CSE (parts 1 and 2). So that makes the holiday season the most profitable time of the year for the CSE.

Well I guess the eBay owned Shopping.com does not want your products or your money. It appears as though they are no longer accepting new merchants into their index.

It just boggles my mind when merchants are not prepared for their busiest times of the year. But for one of the most established and well backed CSE in the world it is just disgusting. They will lose out on so much money this season because of this. Although they have been making many efforts to improve their program lately, this is pretty terrible. Honestly, the traffic from Shopping.com has not been performing too well for the handful of shopping data feeds that I run and submit. And I also hear that they are now requiring a $700 minimum deposit to get started with them, that is ridiculous! I remember last year they could not accept one of the credit cards, can’t remember if it was Visa or MasterCard, but it was a big pain in the but since the merchant I was submitting did not have another card to put it on.

So maybe this is a blessing in disguise. Maybe they are making more strides to improve the quality of their traffic? Or maybe the are all just on holiday? Feel free to leave comments and feedback regarding your experiences with Shopping.com, good, bad, or ugly.

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8:18 pm CSE

7 Responses

  1. ComparisonEngines.com » Blog Archive » Shopping.com - Tales from the Absurd Says:

    [...] SingleFeed friend, Miguel Salcido points out on the eVisibility blog, Shopping.com is no longer accepting new [...]

  2. Autumn Looijen Says:

    Wow, how embarrasing. Someone must not have bought enough disks.

    If you’re looking for alternative places to spend that money, you might look at smaller shopping search engines like StreetPrices.com.

    At StreetPrices we have no minimums, accept feeds in most formats, and are very quick to get merchants up and running, so it’s very easy to list your products with us.

    I imagine other small comparison engines are similar.

  3. Brian Says:

    Based on experience, I can easily see that trying to add new stores at the same time as preparing for the holiday rush is possible, but it is a risk they don’t need. They figure they better use their IT resources to server the stores they have now as best as possible rather than risk even small problems. Even a little server slow down could cost them lots of money.

    I can imagine, that from a business perspective, they figure that any new stores aren’t are unlikely be worth very much money within a short period.

    Furthermore, its not like they automatically get more money by having more stores. Most products are going to have several stores. And most customers aren’t going to click on more than one or two links per product usually. So after a certain threshold, its not really that important to a CSE to have yet another store selling a given product. The exception would only be stores that covers a range of products not well covered by other stores.

    Still, I agree that it is a weakness in their company. But, the way I look at it is, where there is weakness in one company, it is just an opportunity for another… maybe yours… maybe mine ;-)

  4. Anonymous Says:

    While it is unfortunate that Shopping.com has closed enrollment, but shame on you if you didnt plan to be on the CSE’s well before October. You can’t reasonably blame them for focusing on running their business during the busiest time of the year.
    I advised people all year long that regardless of their actual marketing plans, they should open accounts and fund them minimally. This both would insure access and count towards being a ‘trusted store’.

  5. Miguel Salcido Says:

    Anonymous - Not all merchants are prepared or even know about the CSE. So yes, if you were aware of them and were not already with SDC then shame on you. But if the CSE were JUST now brought to your attention then you cannot be blamed for SDC’s shortcomings. And yes, you can blame SDC for not being prepared to accept new merchants, they are backed by eBay and should have the technical and financial resources to be prepared!

    Brian - You are wrong in assuming that CSE shoppers only click on one or two links. The CSE would all be broke if that were the case. Their entire business model is built around that fact that they can pay $5 per click in Adwords and get that visitor to click on multiple merchants links in that one $5 session. While the turn around and charge the merchants $0.40 per click. So from that aspect it is VERY important to have more merchants and in essence more options for the end user. And yes, you are correct in that it only opens more doors for the competitors because that $5000 or $40,000 in budget that I would have spent with SDC this holiday season will now go to other CSE. That being said, SDC is completely blowing it this year.

  6. Anonymous Says:

    @ Michael
    If you are responsible for driving traffic or revenue for a site (either as owner, in marketing etc) then yes, shame on you for not knowing about CSE’s prior to this.
    Don’t get me wrong… I am not an apologist for the CSE’s by any means (and certainly not for Shopping.com) and I do think they should be prepared to accept merchants year round, but as technology backward as they are…yes, I can see value in focusing on maximizing the experience for existing merchants than to dilute resources by having to deal with bringing new merchants up to speed in Q4.

  7. Shopping.com - Tales from the Absurd | ComparisonEngines.com Says:

    [...] SingleFeed friend, Miguel Salcido writes out on the eVisibility blog, Shopping.com is no longer accepting new [...]

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