Merchants often list their products on Google Shopping, but they don't know which other shopping channels to pick. We have created a checklist for you, to find the channels that work best for you and we have also listed the most popular ones.
The Best Channel is different for every merchant. Any channel may work well for one merchant and not for another. Your choice depends on the channel type and the product types.
What type of Channel do you prefer?
If you list your products on Search Engines or Comparison Shopping Channels, you pay a fee for every click to your shop. On Affiliate Networks and Marketplaces you pay a fee (fixed or percentage) for every sale. There are quite a few differences between the various channel types. First, decide which type fits your needs best. We have described the differences between affiliate networks, marketplaces, and comparison shopping engines.
What type of Product do you sell?
Some shopping channels offer all products you can think of; others are specialized in certain categories. There are a few things you can do to figure out which is best for you.
Check the categories per Channel
Some Channels are specialized in certain product categories. Check out a few channels and see what categories they offer. If they have a category for your products, they may be a good match.
Do they sell your Competitor’s Products?
You can go a level deeper: enter a few of your products in the search bar of a shopping channel and check out the results. Are they selling your products? Are your competitors advertising on this channel?
If few competitors are offering your type of products, it may be that they already found out that it does not work. Vice versa as well of course!
Trial and Error
The proof of the pudding is still in the eating. Pick a few channels (start with no more than 3) and start advertising. After a while, you can see which channels get you more sales and less cost. Then replace the worst channel by another one and see if it does better.
The Most Popular US Shopping Channels
To get you started, we have listed the 10 most popular US shopping channels with sample feeds and data feed specifications.
Creating and optimizing feeds for all those channels can be done in a matter of minutes using our data feed software.
1. Google Shopping / Product Listing Ads (CPC)
Google Shopping is both a Search Engine and a Comparison Shopping Engine. If you advertise on Google Shopping, your products are listed on both.
Product Listing Ads (PLAs) are the picture-ads that you see on Google’s SERP (Seach Engine Result Page). The ads include a product image, title, price and merchant name. These ads do not require keywords or text ads.
Google PLA dominates the market when it comes to traffic volume and revenue. Moreover, they also boast the lowest Cost per Sale. Google Shopping campaigns are set up in Google AdWords – a pay-per-click platform – and requires a feed upload in the Google Merchant Center.
2. Amazon Marketplace
Amazon is one of the most popular destinations for consumers to search for and buy products. Amazon will not generate a click to your web shop.
Listing your products on Amazon means that the sale is actually done on Amazon and the merchant only gets to ship the product - unless he chooses to use Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA). The merchants pay a commission to Amazon for each sale.
3. Facebook Ads
Facebook is a social channel on which a merchant can advertise. It is also CPC-based. Advertisements created through Facebook ads appear on Facebook user’s newsfeeds.
The merchant can target a specific audience (based on location, age, interests, etc) and he can run a re-targeting campaign to reach Facebookers that visited his site earlier.
Facebook is growing rapidly as an eCommerce channel, because of the extensive targeting and attractive CPCs. Facebook Ads provide insight and analysis tools for advertisers on their site:
4. Ebay Commerce Network
In 2013, Ebay relaunched Shopping.com as the Ebay Commerce Network, which today remains one of the major CSEs in play. In addition to an easily recognizable name, Ebay Commerce Network boasts 800 million live listings and 162 million active buyers.
5. Connexity (Shopzilla, Pricegrabber, Become.com)
While Shopzilla still exists as a website, its parent company was rebranded and renamed Connexity in mid-2014. Connexity subsequently acquired Become.com later that same year and Pricegrabber in June 2016.
On the consumer side, all three channels still function as separate entities. However, retailers can operate combined feeds for each.
Connexity claims 175 million listings and 30 million shoppers across all of its channels, and based on its size and reach is poised to exert a large influence on the future direction of comparison shopping.
They have also recently introduced a targeted CPC program, similar to Google Shopping’s bid system.
6. Nextag (CPC)
Nextag, which has been around since 1999, remains one of the only truly independent CSEs. Because of its long history Nextag has built up a reputation among consumers for reliability, and provides a trusted seller program.
In addition, they offer their own version of a free ROI tracking system to help merchants analyze and optimize their campaigns.
7. Bing Shopping (CPC)
Bing works exactly like Google: They list products in Bing Shopping and on Bing’s search result pages. Google is by far the most important Search channel, but if you are happy with Google Shopping, you might as well list on Bing Shopping as well, to attract some extra customers that have Bing as their favorite search engine.
Bing fields descriptions | Bing feed specification | Bing feed sample