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Catering to Comparison-Shoppers

Will listing your products on comparison-shopping sites boost business?

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This story appears in the January 2005 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Comparison-shopping websites are a great marketing vehicle for online merchants who want to grow their businesses. These sites let e-tailers display product information in a simple format, allowing web buyers to make comparisons and choose the best product from a list of products from different retailers.

The stakes, though, have changed now that an increasing number of large e-tailers have entered the fray, making it more difficult for the smaller players to get noticed and driving up the placement fees that companies pay for better spots in search results. "Over the past 12 to 15 months, we have definitely seen a flow of larger retailers into the comparison-shopping site space," says Sean Behr, director of program sales at Shopping.comin Brisbane, California. Large retailers are realizing they need to be where the buyers are, he says, "and most shoppers start out at [comparison sites] like Shopping.com or other search engines when they are starting their shopping process."

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