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March 9th, 2010, 12:14 PM #1Building and Offering a Small On-Site Product-Price Comparison "Engine"
Now that my daughter and I are building our first product specific website (a tasty breakfast item, for which I snagged the generic domain name years ago) I am coming to grips with a certain reality of affiliate marketing: IF we, as affiliates, attempt to market a mass produced product, the harsh reality is that many/(most?) people will - as a last step - "shop price". (Do I assume too much here?)
Assuming it's true that many will check prices it seems that THE BIG price/shopping comparison engines have a BIG leg up on the competition, i.e., us little affiliates.
HOWEVER, I'm wondering - since I'm targeting a specific product - what's the chance of building a small price comparison engine of my own?
I guess, basically, I'm pulling a small, product-specific chunk, from the large feeds of a few major suppliers (Amazon, Cooking, whomever sells the product), encoding a certain number of this-brand-model queries of the price and outputting the data on my site, likely in the form of a small table.
Soooooo . . . Since I'm all new to this . . . I've got to ask:
IS this hard to set up? Do I go to RentACoder or some place like that? Any idea of costs involved to build your own little price comparison system?
Do the merchants that offer affiliates feeds "for the product" disapprove of such on-site "utilities" - as price comparisons?
It's one thing to read about affiliate marketing. It's quite another the enter the fray and see the armies and arsenals arrayed against the little guys and gals. Wow. The Google SERP's are getting increasingly cluttered: Yellow top ads, below are "Shopping Results", to the right are more ads . . Wow! This is going to be . . . fun.I'll get the hang of it eventually. :0)
March 9th, 2010, 12:18 PM #2
- Join Date
- January 18th, 2005
There are some existing scripts (e.g. Price Tapestry, DataFeed Studio) that might be useful; use the "search" function here on ABW to see feedback on these [search with and without spaces], and to find other comparable products. You might also find it helpful to read through my datafeed experiences (see the link in my signature, below).
Most folks here will warn you that you should start with a niche or focus -- you're unlikely to find much success unless you have a unique angle. Ask yourself: how exactly will your web site be more "relevant and useful" to consumers than the existing sites?
March 9th, 2010, 12:31 PM #3
I definitely agree with Mark; if you're selling something that's already available everywhere else, you're going to find it hard to sell it unless you either:
- Have an unlimited advertising budget, or:
- Do something different.
While price is a good way to get customers from existing merchants, the fact is it will only go so far. To be honest, in a lot of cases I've bought a more expensive product I know I can get cheaper elsewhere, simply because of the reputation or size of the market a business has. It's people like this you'll come up against as well.
Without fully knowing what your product is it's hard to give suggestions, however there's always a way to increase the marketability by seeing how you can go above and beyond the existing expectations of the customer, or simply by just being downright quirky, or having an unusual spin.
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March 9th, 2010, 12:45 PM #4
Thanks for the suggestion Mark. Will work on that search and reading tonight.
Dani, this project will be highly focused/niche. I'm not covering all breakfast foods/meals (cereals, egg dishes, etc.) just one (a popular type of waffle) for which I own a/the generic domain - which I picked up a decade ago because . . . I really like 'em.
There's a limited number of companies that make the related waffle irons, waffle mix, etc. Ergo, I'm hoping this is "niche enough" and, at the same time, there are competing products so I raised the question about a comparision engine.
Do merchants frown upon affiliates that offer price comparisons on their sites? Anyone ever get booted for offering price/product comparisons - amongst their competing merchant-product feeds?I'll get the hang of it eventually. :0)
March 9th, 2010, 06:41 PM #5
- Join Date
- January 18th, 2005
I can't think of any reason that a merchant would not be happy with a price comparison site. The problem arises when a product is unique and there isn't any comparison possible.
But you never know what some merchants don't like and won't know until they contact you. If it is few merchants, just ask them.Deborah Carney
TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com
March 13th, 2010, 07:25 PM #6
New affiliate needs advice...
- Join Date
- March 13th, 2010
Brand spankin' new affiliate needs advice on what is the easiest (as in I'm not tech savvy), most customizable and most reasonably priced comparison shopping software/program, etc.? TIA
Last edited by sallybee; March 13th, 2010 at 07:26 PM. Reason: further explaination
March 19th, 2010, 10:26 AM #7
I guess this isn't exactly the same thing, but people have be doing comparison charts in the hosting affiliate world for a long time. In fact, I think it's probably the most common web hosting affiliate site. The affiliate takes the list of 10 merchants and does a quick review for each of them and ranks them in a top 10 chart.
March 21st, 2010, 08:24 PM #8
A very focused site would be easier to support and might be reasonable for hiring someone to do the scripting or learning how to do it yourself. You could stumble through the Amazon and other API's building on the sample scripts and merging the output together.
It would be easier to price check 20 stores for the prices of say "ham sandwiches" versus 20 stores for every product under the sun. You might even set up a system where it looks at the 20 stores for just the product codes you want, or product names.
However you might also try to build a community around "ham sandwiches" to draw people to your site. People might like to talk about upcoming brand availability, new concepts, how good they are for their child and such, well at the same time finding out where to buy them online.
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