Shopper Sites Beyond Compare

Discussion
Nov 25, 2003
George Anderson

By George Anderson

Consumers are increasingly turning to comparison-shopping Web sites such as Shopping.com, BizRate.com, NexTag, and PriceGrabber to find the best deals on everything from airfare
to wireless services.

According to ACNielsen/Net Ratings, about 21 million Internet surfers checked out at least one comparison-shopping site in August, a 34-percent increase over the year before.

The largest of the comparison-shopping sites, Shopping.com, is expected to generate roughly $70 million in revenues from the commissions it receives from online merchants, reports
Business Week. The merchants will do approximately $1 billion worth in sales from referrals coming from the Shopping.com service.

Jupiter Research analyst Patti Freeman Evans says Shopping.com and others are popular because they save consumers time and money.

“With shopping comparison engines, you type in coffee maker, come up with 1,000 coffee makers, all of which have all the specs listed, including the price,” she said. “You take
a shopping cycle from a day in the bricks-and-mortar world down to 10 minutes online.”

Moderator’s Comment: Will comparison-shopping Web sites fundamentally change the way consumers approach making retail purchases?

Ultimately, this puts more pressure on retailers to find means beyond price to differentiate themselves from the competition. If you don’t have the lowest
price online, you’d better have something that makes up the difference if you want consumers to spend with you.
[George
Anderson – Moderator
]

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