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With the Christmas season just around the corner, how can you as a consumer find what you need at the best possible price and where can the online retailer make the most of their online sales in this season?

One of the fastest growing and popular Internet trends for shopping online over the past couple of years has been in the shopping comparison sector. As the name implies, shopping comparison websites (a.k.a. price comparison engines) provide product listings from a wide range of online retailers, together with product prices, product descriptions, product features, consumer reviews all in one location. This allows the consumer to compare same or similar products from different retailers side by side and thus make the most informed purchasing decisions, thus saving time and get the best possible deal. The consumer would simply click on the product that represents the best possible deal, which would transfer the consumer to the online retailer's website, where the purchase can be made. Below is a list of the most popular shopping comparison websites on the Internet, where shoppers can search for either a specific product or by category. They can also search by product name, manufacturer name, part number, ISDN, UPC #, and other product-related keywords. An increasing amount of consumers are using shopping comparison engines to find ball park figures from these sites to stay informed about their planned purchases but then go and purchase offline.

Popular Price Comparison Websites:

www.shopzilla.com (used to be called Bizrate)

The benefits to the online retailers are huge using comparison engines. Not only has there been a tremendous amount of growth and prevalent use among Internet shoppers using comparison shopping engines to buy products. The shoppers also use them with a specific purchase in mind, which usually means a higher conversion. In order for the online retailer to list the products, a file which contains a product title, description, and other necessary information (aka product data feed) has to be submitted to the comparison website. How well the online retailer optimizes the product data feed will determine the product rank positions (or it will be based on a cost per click fee). Since many online retailers usually don't have the experience or knowledge how to gain better placements and manage the listings, an outside online marketing company usually optimizes their product feed for optimal placements.

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