Online retailers report increase in price comparison usage

New research suggests consumers are becoming more price savvy when shopping online

Online retailers are being encouraged to market their products via comparison sites as new research reveals a recent increase in consumer use.

Around 43% of online retailers said the proportion of sales coming through from price comparison sites had increased over the last 12 months, according to a survey by online research firm E-consultancy and DoubleClick.

Online retailers said, on average, 10% of sales were referred to them via price comparison channels.

“The period of austerity we have entered is driving more people to comparison engines so it makes sense for most retailers to make sure they are visible on these sites,” said Linus Gregoriadis, head of research at E-consultancy.

“Retailers are making hundreds of millions of pounds in sales as a result of comparison engine traffic and the proportion of sales attributable to this channel is increasing.”

However, despite reported success with sales being driven from price comparison sites, many retailers are still having trouble managing data and measuring exact values, the research found.

More than a third of retailers reported difficulties in keeping feeds updated and tracking return on investment.

According to the survey, over a fifth of online retailers are not currently using price comparison sites, while 16% use just one. The most popular site among retailers was Google Shopping, followed by Kelkoo and PriceRunner.

© Crimson Business Ltd. 2008

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