Shopping Comparison Redeux

December 4, 2006

The International Herald Tribune has an article on a new breed of shopping comparison sites, competing against Shopping.com, ShopZilla, and PriceGrabber. From the article:

Jellyfish, TheFind and MyTriggers … are taking advantage of what some executives say is increasing discomfort with the pay-per-click model, which has grown more expensive as marketers bid more aggressively for premium space alongside search results. On these new sites, advertisers typically pay only when someone actually buys something or when users view an ad, as will soon be the case with TheFind.”

Instead of cost-per-click, these new shopping comparison sites charge per conversion. Jellyfish, in particular, is doing something very cool: merchants bid for placement for specific products (like iPods or snowshoes), and a significant part of their bid is credited to the shopper as a discount on the item they purchase. It’s a good deal for merchants because they can control exactly what their conversion costs are, and it’s a great deal for shoppers because they save a little extra cash.

http://www.iht.com/articles/2006/12/04/technology/btecom.php

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3 Responses to “Shopping Comparison Redeux”

  1. Jordan Says:

    The cashback system existed a long time ago. You heard of ebates.com?

    Jellyfish is clever to integrate that with search. Once its search engine is up to speed, it would be viable. But, why can’t Shopping.com just merge its ebates program with it to remain competitive?

    Bidding for replacement is a great idea, but isn’t this the same thing as just the retailer charging a lower price?

    Cost per conversion is a good model but that causes a lot of bad sellers to flood the market with high prices.

    Jellyfish’s best product is definitely its one-day deals with dutch-style auctioning.

  2. Peat Says:

    Hey Jordan,
    You’re right that there isn’t any one thing that’s particularly new about these services — but, as you say, the clever part is how they’re put together.
    In the end, it’s all about how much a retailer is willing to spend to get those customers. That said, cost per conversion is much more attractive to retailers because it doesn’t cost anything unless they sell something … and when they do sell something, they know exactly how much it will cost. It’s a predictability issue, and a merchant won’t loose their shirt if they make the wrong estimates; they just won’t get any sales.
    The biggest problem with the new comparison sites is that they’re fighting for scraps. The big sites, regardless of cost model, are pretty entrenched.
    Cheers!

  3. Jim Duffy Says:

    There’s another one out there too following this model. The difference with shopwiki.com is that they show everyone, regardless if they pay or not. It’s kinda like google (you can see everything even if they aren’t an advertiser). Plus, the really cool thing, is that they crawl every store out there, so you can find everything, and some things at prices you wouldn’t be able to find on any of those sites. it’s well worth checking it out. I did this search for a sony digital camera: http://www.shopwiki.com/search?q=sony_digital_camera&sb=1&grid=t
    and got more results than anything else.

    just my 2 cents.


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