When Your Prices Can’t Compete: 5 Shopping Feeds Tactics

Are competitors overshadowing your comparison shopping engine campaigns with predatory pricing? Here are 5 shopping feed tactics for success when your prices can't compete.

The beauty of comparison shopping engines is that, more so than any other media, they remove barriers between supply and demand. Shoppers can quickly command the information they need to make an informed decision, and it is easy for merchants to supply that information.

Unfortunately, it is just as easy for their competitors to do the same, and product price frequently takes the lead as a determining factor. How are merchants to compete with larger operations that are capable of surviving on smaller margins?

1. Nurture your ratings and reviews

Even a fraction of a star can mean the difference between you and your nearest competitor. If a channel is worth the time and budget that it takes to maintain a quality data feed, it is worth taking the time to cultivate a dedicated following. Ship your items promptly and follow up with customer contacts as quickly as possible; product ratings often have as much to do with the vendor as they do with the performance of the product itself.

2. Write descriptive product titles

Keep in mind that Google Shopping and other comparison shopping engines are still search engines. Product titles should be sensitive to the needs of the customer and should remove barriers between that customer and their decision. While it may be tempting to treat product titles as advertising headlines by using promotional language, follow shopping feeds best practices and stick to descriptive details.

3. Showcase appealing product photos

If there is anything that impacts shopping engine users as much as price, its imagery, and most of your competitors will rely on the same set of stock images. Invest time in taking your own photos to set your product offerings apart. This will take time if you have a large lineup of products, but every stock image that you substitute is a step towards creating a better identity for your brand and what it offers.

4. Offer free shipping

All of the greatest factors in abandoned cart rates center around a core component: shipping. How long has it been since you have delved into your average order size to find a sweet spot where you can offer free shipping on certain products while still maintaining a profit? However long ago it was—and let’s face it, it was probably too long ago—recent price reductions in Priority Mail should give you cause to consider it again. Free shipping compels conversions in ways that rival pricing, branding and reputation, and anyone can offer free shipping if they take the time to examine their orders and plan accordingly.

5. Remember your greatest competitor

It is easy to get drawn into the competitive nature of comparison shopping engines and envy the success of the other merchants selling their wares in the same digital space. Those merchants, however, are not your primary competitors. Your success has to be measured against your previous performance, not their current performance. It is not important that another merchant is killing it, so long as you are seeing steady improvements in your listings. Do not worry about someone else getting a bigger piece of the pie; the pie itself grows all of the time as new waves of customers find new channels and new interests, so it is perfectly within your grasp to have a bigger piece of the pie as well. Tailor your bidding strategy towards the performance of your own products compared to each other and to their past performance.