Saturday, 28 October 2006

Frugal living: Comparison shopping

Online shoppers are increasingly using comparison shopping engines (CSEs) to compare the offerings of many merchants side by side in order to obtain the best possible price. Indeed, its been reported that between 25% and 75% of online purchases are influenced by comparison shopping.

For shoppers, websites such as and allow you to easily compare prices available for particular items. For online retail companies, software such as ShopTracker can be used to build, manage, categorize, and optimize products within shopping feeds at comparison shopping engines.

Using extremely comprehensive search engines, online comparison shopping sites allow shoppers to research and make purchasing decisions using information such as product descriptions, reviews, total price and product availability. Tools such as ShopTracker allow retailers to optimize product placement within the CSE's. For instance, the retailer can check if he/she is setting prices too high, effectively removing their products from the first page of results, or if the products are under priced compared to competitors, costing them revenue.

Basically, online shopping allows consumers to find a vast selection of merchandise and use the internet to find the lowest prices by searching multiple Websites and comparing offers. However, as more and more retailers have come online the amount of information, products and choices has become overwhelming. This has driven the next evolution of online shopping - online comparison shopping, and the growth of retailer tools such as ShopTracker.

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