One of the recent accusations was that Snooth was a shopping comparison site not a social media site which has left me wondering what a “social media” website is? Also, what’s Snooth’s place in the wine internet ecosystem? I try and predict what will happen.
Wine Comparison Shopping Engines
A ‘Comparison Shopping Engine’ (CSE) is a website that lists specific products at specific prices purchasable at specific online wine stores. CSE websites are also called a price comparison service, price engine, shopping sites, and various derivations of these.
Websites, such as pricegrabber, shopzilla, shipping.com, and nexttag, service the general retail industry and often attempt to provide wine information. Shopping.yahoo.com and the Amazon Marketplace are two of the more prominent Comparison Shopping Engines that sell wine. However, the wine industry is lucky to have some very effective specialist CSEs called Snooth and Wine-Searcher. Google Product Search used to be a CSE, but they have relaunched this service as an Adwords ‘Extension’, in effect changing it from a CSE to another form of Adwords.
Although comparison shopping engines may have smaller amounts of traffic than social media sites, such as Facebook or the search engines, their traffic is worth more given the purchase propensity of visitors and their higher conversion rates.
Wine-Searcher is a large search engine of wine stores, winery, and wine auction, price lists and catalogues. According to wine-searcher it has almost 4mn products listed from about 18,000 wine shops. But it’s claim to fame is really the ability to compare wine prices. Here’s a review from a US consumers perspective.
Say your customer is at your competitor’s wine store browsing the aisles. They see a wine they like so they use their mobile phone to take a picture of the label and send it to Google Goggles. Google then compares the picture to all the pictures on it’s database through something called “visual search technology”. It determines that it is a wine label for Duckhorn Napa Merlot 2005 and sends a query to Google Product Search. The customer gets shopping comparison results from online websites sent to their phone while standing in the retail store aisle.
A review of snooth.com – a very interesting wine comparison shopping engine. How big it is, how to sign up, easy ways to upload products and maintain them and how to get traffic. Certainly worth a look.
This part of the internet ecosystem has it’s own peculiarities and optimization techniques. Your first port of call is the Google Merchant Center. You’ll be asked to submit your products by file or feed. Here’s how
Wine shopping comparison websites is a seemingly dry topic but as you dig into it you see just what an opportunity and threat it is. You could now have a Google search results page for XX brand wine with the first 1-2 listings being for the winery, next 3 spots for shopping results with an image, 2 spots for other comparison shopping engines, 1 spot for videos with thumbnails, and finally 1 spot for an organic result. On the Adwords side you may have images in the ads for those merchants who use the Google product search service as well as Checkout badges.
I’ve been doing some research into wine comparison shopping engines and have come across some eye opening changes in getting more traffic to your wine retail website. This post outlines that insight mainly using a graph that combines traffic with conversion rates for the top websites.