Do you know what is the purpose of comparison shopping?
We all love a good deal! Getting something at a great price or on sale always brings in the sense of joy. Whether buying from retail stores, shopping online or buying wholesale goods, we are always searching for deals, discounts and overall finding something at the best price. One way we find the best value for things while shopping is through comparison shopping.
What is Comparison Shopping?
Comparison shopping is comparing the price or quality of a product before buying it to ensure it is purchased at the best price or value.
Comparison shopping consists of comparing various available prices of a particular product. As shoppers, we usually do this to get the most out of the product we wish to buy for the least available price.
Whether purchasing vendors and sellers directly from physical stores or when we shop online, we usually compare prices of the same goods by either visiting other stores or checking other sites for the price of the same product to find the best deal or any available offers.
Comparison Shopping Online
Comparison shopping in recent years has become easier with the help of technology. Information about a bunch of goods of various product categories can be obtained with just a few clicks through comparison shopping websites.
Comparison Shopping Engine (Price Comparison Sites)
What Are They?
Comparison shopping engines (CSE) are search engine that allows shoppers to search for and compare the prices of a product they want to buy. They are also known as price comparison sites.
How Do They Work?
How comparison shopping sites work is that sellers and retailers will upload details of the product they sell. These details include features of the product, such as the material, size, and colour, along with other information, such as the name of the company, cost, shipping cost, and reviews from previous customers.
Comparison shoppers wanting to buy a product can use the available search engines to search for the product they want. Products are divided into categories on the
website as you would find arranged in the store, making purchasing easier.
On searching for a product, the shopper comes across a list of a variety of the same kind of product from different sellers and brands. This way, the shopper gets an overview of the brands, companies, prices and reviews offered, which they can compare.
If they like a particular product, clicking on one of the available products will direct the shopper from a link to the retailer, brand or business website, which gives even more detailed information about the item that the shopper is interested in.
Here, they can review the product in detail and make their purchase if they like it.
Available Comparison Shopping Sites
Google shopping is easily one of the most popular comparison shopping engines. The products are sorted by category. The photo, price and brand are shown for each item, along with the rating (number of stars).
Google shopping also allows shoppers to save products they like and track them, making the shopping experience more personalized.
Another popular comparison shopping engine is Pronto. Along with providing regular features on any price comparison site, Prono allows you to create an account and interact with other shoppers. You can like a brand or product, invite friends, send personal messages, and much more. Thus making the shopping experience so much more interactive.
Another online comparison shopping site frequently used by customers is Yahoo Shopping. Their tagline ‘We’ll track the prices for you’ clearly indicates what they do best. The products on the site are organized by category and stores and have options such as deals and price trackers.
The first page shows its users the available top deals by various brands. Companies offer coupons with codes that customers can use when they shop. Any product on sale or having price reductions has the new price shown in red and how much the online shopper would save.
Yahoo Shopping also provides other pages like ‘Shopping Inspiration’ with various articles, news stories and posts that either provide expertise on products or give inspiration and reasons to purchase them.
There are loads of other price comparison websites such as Amazon Sponsored Products, Shopzilla, Become, BizRate, ComparePanda etc. Each of these has similar terms and features but may vary based on the available vendors, deals and products.
It is up to you as a consumer to find the website that suits your shopping experience and gives you the best possible value for the items you wish to shop for.
What is the Purpose of Comparison Shopping
Comparison shoppers spend a good amount of time trying to compare a good they want to buy. Comparison shopping serves various benefits and purposes, which is why most people do it without realizing it.
1. Limits Impulse Buying
We have all done this where we see something that we like in a store or online and buy it immediately without putting much thought into it. Guilty? Well, this is exactly what impulse buying is.
As consumers, we have all bought something on impulse at least once. While this may bring us a temporary adrenaline rush, it is not necessarily pocket-friendly. This may lead us to pay more than necessary for a good or buy something that we didn’t need in the first place.
Comparison shopping allows the consumer to think about what they are buying and why before deciding they want it. Thus, it limits impulse buying.
2. Best Price
Consumers want to be able to buy a good at the cheapest price being offered. A business, retailer or seller has many competitors offering similar products, so they will try to offer the consumer the best price.
Consumers can get the best value for something if they spend a little time researching the available options and prices, thus helping them save while at the same time having a satisfactory shopping experience.
3. Good Quality
Comparison shopping is not only about getting the best price but also the best quality for something.
Brick-and-mortar businesses offer the physical presence of stores and products, which consumers can check and decide on the quality in person.
On the other hand, comparison websites allow a similar experience through product reviews given by other consumers who have used the website and bought the product.
Hence, it can be said that comparison shopping ensures that a consumer’s money is put to the best use and that they gain the highest possible value, i.e. best product at the best price.
Comparison shopping is shopping smartly. It is a part of the lives of most consumers and will most likely continue to be as it serves a great purpose and provides shoppers with a great shopping experience.