Shopping Feeds for Zen Cart

By Melanie Prough on Thursday, June 18, 2009
Filed Under: Zen Cart Marketing

In the world of ecommerce marketing, shopping feeds and comparison shopping sites are a large part of the marketing you will do. Zen Cart luckily has some great modules for integrating and generating the feeds for these traffic providing shopping sites.

Not all shopping sites and indexes are created equally… Some are free, some are pay per lead (PPL) and some are even pay to be included. No matter the platform some truths exist for all:

  1. You will need some sort of integration to easily use these services with your Zen Cart
  2. Each site delivers their own consumer profiled traffic and will not be successful for every product line
  3. Each feed needs to be managed and your product optimized for click through
  4. You will need proper stats and analytics to be successful on shopping sites

The Free Shopping Feed Sites

Many of these shopping sites and product indexes are in fact free… Yeah! Below are some of the free ones you can use to get started and get your feet wet so to speak, before moving in to a paid shopping environment.

  • Google Base or Google Shopping is likely the most popular and can be quite successful for you. Just like anything else, there exists both free and paid modules for your Zen Cart products to be exported to Google Base. The free Google Base feed generator availiable in the Zen Cart contribution index is a Beginner Level installation, but lacks some very important metrics we need… Such as click tagging for our analytics. We use a paid Zen Cart module from MagneticOne to generate these feeds with great success.This module is an Intermediate Level installation, but will deliver click tagging for analytics and the ability to export your attributes as additional products. The investment is small and the rewards and benefits very good.
  • TheFind is one of the few you can have good traffic from w/o using a feed or generator. I strongly suggest that if you have more than 100 products that you contact The Find and submit a feed, or the will tear up your bandwidth crawling your site with many different IPs all day long.
  • Shopmania is another free shopping listing opportunity. Beware they require a link from ALL of your site’s pages. We have never had much success with Shopmania for any store, but this may interest you in any case. There is a free module availiable for creating the feed, but it is an Intermediate Level installation as it rquires some tweaking.
  • WillyFogg is another free shopping index using a feed to supply your products… Koodos to WillyFogg as you can supply them your Google Base feed and no additional feed generation is needed. WillyFogg will only accept International shippers. To use their services for free they will require you install their logo/linkon your site. Their paid options are flat monthly rates which are very reasonable.
  • ShopWiki is yet another free shopping comparison index. We have had some very successful experiences with some sites. ShopWiki will crawl your Zen Cart products and no feed generation is required.
  • Vast is another free shopping index for International shippers. While their product categorization is rather limited, listing is free and they are wonderful to work with. They will require a feed to list your products (MagneticOne), but will not require any links to them from your site in return.
  • Yahoo SearchMonkey (Update 7/1/09): Yahoo has announced they are accepting Google Base formatted feeds via Site Explorer for free display in Yahoo enhanced search results. How to submit your products to Yahoo.

There are also many paid shopping listings you can check out. All will require some sort of feed or Zen Cart integration. Most of these will be pay for lead, which simply means they will display your products and when a shopper clicks in to your site, you pay for the click through. I have compiled the following list to help you get started… Its far from complete, but will help you get going. I strongly suggest you try one at a time with a very small investment to fund your account, as these are really hit or miss depending on the consumer profile and your products. MagneticOne is the best choice for the integration and if you intend to check out quite a few, try their 10 in on or all in one to save money.

Paid Shopping Sites for Zen Cart

Are just a few to get you started with your Zen Cart marketing adventure. Fact is any of these shopping sites is likely to perform better than your standard PPC pay per click. Face it, by the time you pay for a click the consumer has seen images, price and description… The click to your site is less impulsive and more commited to begin with… Oh and generally speaking the click will cost you at least .40c less as well!

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