A product feed is a structured, automated text file that involves the technical specifications of a product, including condition, description, ID, sample image, price and other information.
A Comparison Shopping Engine, also known as CSE, allows shoppers to see essential product information in an easy-to-understand grid format when they enter search queries for specific products. CSEs usually return price comparisons, sample images, brands, manufacturers and, in some cases, even consumer reviews and buying guides. CSE is gaining ground as it fine-tunes search results to cater to the needs of billions of online shoppers.
While search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing continue to play an essential role in seeking information, CSEs are designed with customers' shopping needs in mind. Solely focusing on product merchandising, CSEs have eliminated the academic and informational aspects of general search results. Thus, they target serious shoppers looking to compare product features, prices and more to easily make purchases online.
Search engines such as Google and Bing also have shopping engine functionality. By submitting properly formatted product feeds to Google and Bing, your product listings have the opportunity to appear when a searcher designates they are looking for products. Also, product listings are integrated into the general search results, presenting even more opportunities for traffic. Feed formatting and submission to Google and Bing Shopping is included in each of our CSE Management plans.
Utilization of CSEs typically benefits online merchants in a way that complements SEO and PPC efforts. Increasing exposure online using various channels gives a business more opportunities for traffic, brand awareness and sales. While SEO and PPC can be used to improve your site's visibility in organic search results and sponsored results to attract quality traffic, CSE Management service is tailored to e-commerce merchants to push their inventories to various online marketplaces and ultimately, serious shoppers.
When your e-commerce website achieves a leading presence on CSEs, you'll be displaying your products to online shoppers who are seriously interested in making a purchase. Also, CSEs redirect interested shoppers to your website where they can learn more about your business, products and services. In addition to quality traffic, you stand to gain desirable conversion rates and increased brand awareness.
Yes, but bear in mind that leveraging CSEs to push sales is a very involved job that requires solid technical understanding and lots of patience. Each Comparison Shopping Engine has its own set of policies on feed format and updating inventory. Additionally, they often change the rules and taxonomies. Our professional CSE management services will spare business owners the trouble of monitoring and making adjustments accordingly. Inventory spreadsheets, product feed optimization and technical troubleshooting - we take care of everything for you.
Since their innovation in the late 1990s, CSEs have been revolving in quantity, quality and specialty. Shopping engines vary greatly in size, algorithm, product categories and how they charge merchants. Chances are your site could receive a huge ROI on one CSE but not as much on another, so the best approach is to test your products in different venues, and adjust your strategy according to performance.
Google, Bing Shopping, and TheFind are good starting venues for small and medium-sized businesses. Google is a paid CSE which brings in a lot of traffic, while Bing Shopping and TheFind do not charge per click. Businesses with larger marketing budgets may benefit from adding other paid engines such as Amazon, Nextag, Pricegrabber, etc. When you purchase a CSE Management plan that includes cost-per-click engines, we will make budgetary adjustments as needed to maximize performance.
Thanks to the Volusion software, you'll have a hands-off experience once you sign up with a CSE Management plan. However, we need your help to accurately list your product information because no one understands your offerings better than you.
Please make sure that the following fields are populated in your store backend: Product Name, Product Description, List Price, Product Code, Product Manufacturer, Vendor Part Number and that all products have a proper product landing page and product image. Each merchant should also ensure that their tax and shipping settings are set up in the Volusion store, as well. Please also note that product images should preferably be a minimum of 400x400 pixels to ensure optimal feed performance. We cannot guarantee the inclusion of all of your products in each shopping engine, but ensuring that your products meet these minimal requirements should increase the number of products that will be accepted in each CSE.