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Price Comparisons Under Axel Springer to End Due to Low Visibility on Google

Axel Springer, one of Europe's leading publishing groups, will discontinue the operation of its shopping line-ups and shop-alikes by the end of this month. The closure is largely due to reduced visibility on Google.

Price Comparisons Under Axel Springer to End Due to Low Visibility on Google
Source: Depositphotos

Background and context

  • Ladenzeile is a price comparison engine founded by Rocket Internet in 2008. It plays an important role in the German and Austrian e-commerce scene. Rocket Internet is also behind brands such as Zalando, Delivery Hero and HelloFresh.
  • Idealo is also a German price comparison site that operates in several European markets. It has been operating since 2000 and has become Europe’s largest shopping and price comparison platform.
  • Shopalike also operates as a price comparison site, but is also an online shopping platform focusing on categories such as clothing, shoes, bags, jewellery and sporting goods. Shopalike’s business model is based on aggregating products from multiple online stores. It is not a marketplace in the traditional sense where multiple sellers list their products, but an online shopping platform that aggregates products from different online sellers and allows customers to compare prices and find the best deals. It operates in ten European countries.

Axel Springer acquired Ladenzeile in 2011 and integrated it with its existing comparison site Idealo. However, Ladenzeile and Shopalike will cease operations on 30 June. The decision affected 70 employees, who received severance packages.

Strategic changes

A significant factor in the decision is the reduced ability to attract traffic from Google. Comparison sites have experienced visibility issues on this platform, affecting their traffic and revenues. The platforms have commented in the past about their disadvantage on Google.

Source: Omr.com

The OMR portal has published the evolution of Ladenzeile.de’s visibility in Google according to the SEO tool Sistrix.

Axel Springer has now decided to focus its efforts on Idealo. The company hopes that the upcoming Digital Markets Act will help level the playing field and increase the profitability of comparison services.

What does this mean for domestic e-commerce?

The closure of foreign comparison services is unlikely to have a direct impact on other European e-commerce. However, the importance of diversifying traffic sources is illustrated by this example.

Axel Springer’s decision to focus on Idealo suggests a strategy of concentrating on core, profitable businesses. There is still hope for price comparison sites with the European Digital Marketing Act (DMA), which could open up new opportunities for comparison sites.

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