Competitive Pricing Is Key for Showing Up In CSE Searches

Online consumers frequently buy based on price; that’s why it's pretty logical for them to use Comparison Shopping Engines – whose results predominantly are based on competitive pricing. Sites like Price Grabber, Nextag and Shopzilla take product data feeds and match up the products offered by each store, allowing customers to compare prices in their searches.

CSEs have grown rapidly over the past decade as significant tools to get consumers to retail websites. As pricing becomes more competitive, and more shoppers are flocking to CSEs, more retailers might want to consider using CSEs to their advantage.

Comparison Shopping Engines


Because people who use CSEs are found to be buyers more than browsers. The statistics on CSE only encourage the fact that this trend is growing even more:

  • CSE traffic increased 56% in 2012.
  • 94% of online shoppers invest time in finding the best price when making a purchase. In fact, 65% of online shoppers spend over 15 minutes comparing products on shopping engines.
  • Customer-viewing-results on a comparison shopping engine are twice as likely to convert into a sale.
  • There was a 67% increase in CSE transactions from July to December that happened on a mobile device; 31% of smartphone owners use their phones for shopping.

If you price competitively, they will come

Getting your price right has always been critical; retailers must regularly monitor competitors’ prices and adjust accordingly. However, getting your pricing right to compete in comparison search engines is now essential.

That means that you might have to price some items low in order to get that initial visit from the consumer. Then you have a chance to draw them into other purchases when they visit your website. If low pricing -- or using some loss leaders to get customers to your site -- is the pricing strategy you have chosen, make sure you're found near the top of the CSEs.

If you don't have the right price when the consumer looks for your product, the consumer isn't likely to find you. And if you're not tracking and comparing prices competitively, you may not have any idea how much business you may actually be losing.

Seller Beware!

There's a difference between "the right price" and "the lowest price." Both are conscious pricing decisions, but in the case of competing for a place on CSE's, it's all about lowest price.

Use a pricing and assortment intelligence software solution for accuracy, timeliness, and action. Be sure the software solution checks as often as possible, has the best matching capabilities, gives you email notice of changes, and provides the capability to make changes in your pricing as fast and effectively as practicable.

Here some basic pricing tips which retailers can adjust to compete for space on CSEs:

  1. Research your competitor's pricing using real-time intelligence gathering.
  2. Analyze what other businesses are offering and at what prices.
  3. Review and adjust your own product assortments and inventory.
  4. Understand how customers perceive your brand.
  5. Know what your customers are willing to pay and price accordingly.

Gilon Miller is a VP and Chief Marketing Officer at Upstream Commerce, a leader in Pricing Intelligence solutions for retailers.