nicolas leroy France is testing a new default ranking

March 25, 2008

An interesting (and surprising) move by on the French market: on product pages, now displays results sorted by total price as the default sorting.

As part of this move, the results for free merchants are now displayed in grey, and not clickable anymore. A disclaimer explains:

Pour vous offrir le service de comparaison de prix le plus complet, France liste des marchands de partout sur le web. Toutefois, seuls les marchands payants ont des liens cliquables redirigeant directement vers leurs sites web.

Which means in English:

To give you the most comprehensive price comparison service, France lists merchants from all the web. However, only the paid merchants get clickable links redirecting to their web sites.

It’s clear tries to please consumers rather than merchants with this change. As a consumer, it’s good to get results sorted by price by default, as it gives the feeling the results are non-biased. However, still as a consumer, I don’t like the idea of having some results that are non clickable!! Very very weird.

From a business perspective, I wonder what business model is experimenting with this change… Sure it’s now hard to convince paid merchants to pay higher than their competitors… Same CPC for all merchants per category? CPA?…