Since the internet was born, retailers were gifted with a new way to connect with consumers. The ability to engage online through websites and social media, meant retailers could now communicate exclusive deals and therefore drive feet through their doors.
Inevitably, the Internet grew into an expansive landscape that required tools to help those retailers competing for consumer’s attention and ensure they could still be noticed.
Enter the age of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). Armed with the potential to influence purchase decisions through the use of keywords that determined rankings on search engines, retailers were now able to affect their prominence in the online landscape as a result of how much time, effort and expenditure they allocated to SEO. This tactic became crucial as consumers began to use their smartphones to identify the best prices and deals while shopping.
Like the Internet itself though, SEO has continued to change over time and with that change, it has become more and more difficult to maintain a high ranking on search engines. Competition for the best keywords and ensuring SEO strategies are in-line with the constantly changing techniques mean it has veered towards being a costly endeavour.
The need to cut through all the clutter birthed by SEO though, has given rise to the next frontier in the form of Price Comparison Engines. While price comparison engines cannot replace SEO entirely, it is definitely an option to consider in conjunction with SEO efforts.
Around the world, Price Comparison Engines have sprung up and proven themselves indispensable to the consumer’s ongoing mission of finding the best prices and deals. While the general websites and engines like PriceGrabber and the local PriceCheck provide valuable assistance to consumers looking for an array of products and prices, niche price comparison engines give certain retailers a more focused approach.
A well-structured, well-managed price comparison engine that focuses on a niche like Smartphones can be a direct channel to an audience that is already established as being receptive to marketing messages. In the UK there are prime examples of this concept in action in the form of Carphone Warehouse and WhistleOut.
Carphone Warehouse has been in operation since 1989, back when car phones were emerging as a must have in mobile technology. Over the years, the company has managed to keep evolving and adapting and remains one of the most popular price comparison marketplaces. The same can be said of WhistleOut who have managed to carve out their spot, with an international presence to boot.
Locally, Phonefinder has lead the way as the most comprehensive Cell Phone Contract Comparison Engine, boasting contract deals from all four of the major Network Providers in South Africa (Cell C, MTN, Telkom and Vodacom). By opting to be present on Phonefinder, these four Network Providers have demonstrated their optimism in using Price Comparison Engines as a channel that works hand in hand with their current SEO strategies.