U.S. eCommerce touched $260B in 2013 (Forrester), represents 10% of all retail sales, and is growing at double-digit rates. Search remains the largest driver for eCommerce, accounting for 30% or more of Shopping traffic (Internet Retailer). Helping consumers find the lowest price matters, but equally important is the quality and depth of search results.
These past few months have brought dramatic changes to consumers’ eCommerce experience on major search engines. Google initiated the shift by moving from a free Product Search experience to a new form of advertising called Product Listing Ads (PLAs). These changes have clearly impacted consumers’ shopping results and experience. There is a growing disparity between search engines. Consumers are increasingly noticing the difference, and shifting their usage to search engines that provide the best results and experience.
To see just how much the consumer’s experience has changed, we created a microsite – Compare.TheFind.com – to compare the consumer’s experience and results of the major Search Engines and Comparison Shopping Engines (CSEs). How does Shopping.com stack up against Bing? TheFind against Google? NexTag against Shopzilla?
We did the same thing. Inspired by the folks at SearchEngineLand who did a similar head-to-head comparison of shopping search engines, we used Compare.TheFind.com to run dozens of product searches across all major shopping categories through every engine to answer key questions like:
Which finds me the lowest price?
Which provides the best selection of stores?
Which offers unbiased product reviews?
Which points out physical stores closest to me?
We tried this with 50 search strings. Here are a few sample Searches:
- CanoScane LIDE110 Flatbed Scanner
- Beats by Dre Pill Speaker, Silver
- Rowenta dg5030 Steamer
Here’s what we found…
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