What’s The Difference Between a Comparison Shopping Engine & Marketplace?

Knowing the differences between a comparison shopping engine (CSE) and a marketplace will ensure you make the correct choice when advertising your products. Though they both present your product to a mass audience, there are crucial differences you should understand.

What is a CSE?

A CSE uses cost per click (CPC) and includes sites like Google Shopping, Shopzilla and PriceGrabber. Products are grouped according to keyword searches, which means products with the same sku may be listed on the same pages, allowing for comparison shopping of alike products. When a shopper clicks on your ad and is sent to your website to see further details about a product, only then are you charged a fee by the CSE.

What is a Marketplace?

A marketplace, like Amazon or Rakuten, is a single location that provides shoppers with a variety of products and charges merchants a percentage of each sale (cost-per-acquisition or CPA). When a product is purchased, the checkout process occurs on the marketplace site. Unlike a CSE, shoppers will not be taken to your website. A marketplace – like Amazon – has a huge reach and a trusted reputation that can offer a loyal customer base.

Which is right for me?

Both CSEs and marketplaces offer advantages and advertising on both can be beneficial. Things to keep in mind include the lower upfront cost of a marketplace because you only pay when you get paid (sell); with a CSE, you pay whenever someone clicks, even if they do not make a purchase. Marketplaces generally offer a higher traffic volume of shoppers ready to buy; but when advertising via CSE, customers visit your web site, increasing your traffic and remarketing capabilities.

When considering a CSE or marketplace, analyze your budget and the needs of your business and understand that both provide plenty of opportunities and can bring you success.

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