The other day, I was looking to get a new laptop. As is the case with an urban lifestyle, the first choice was to check online, rather than step outside and check out multiple shops. However, when going through the motions, I realized I made one small change to the way I shop online (as compared to a few years back). Earlier, the first place to go to would have been known names such as Amazon, eBay, or Flipkart. Now, I bring up my favourite price comparison site and see which e-retail store sells a pre-selected laptop model at what price. It helped me get a savings of Rs. 2000 on an Rs. 18000 laptop – a good buy, you would say.
However, this wouldn’t have been possible if it hadn’t been for the advent and massive popularity of price comparison sites. With this introduction, let’s delve deeper into the mysterious world of price comparison sites and what goes on behind the scenes.
Price Comparison Sites – The background
Price monitoring and comparison sites really burst into the scene in 2006. The initial style of working was that sites used to manually look up information and feeds and store them in a central database. The monetization too was different back then. Advertisers did not pay for being listed. Rather they paid when there was a click from potential buyers. Later they started to fetch data from the sites’ data feeds getting information on crucial parameters such as price and availability.
Today’s times have seen price comparison sites utilize technology like never before. With help of Price scraping from websites, the data crawlers extract useful and targeted information in real-time. This adds amazing value when presenting the price comparison to users.
How do Price Comparison Sites work?
Price comparison sites take the requirement details from your side and then returns results based on your requirement. They are usually sorted by popularity, price, or key features. The user can then lock on his/ her selection based on the information, all presented in one place.
One approach to collect the data from multiple websites is through a data feed file from multiple merchants. This information is then sorted and organized by the price comparison sites. Then there are affiliate sites that supply this information to the price comparison sites. The revenue sharing applied here is based on the click-through rates.
However, the one popular approach that has delivered immense value in today’s times is Real-time price crawl services offered by specialist companies. Rather than going with a supply-collect form of revenue sharing, price comparison sites now enlist web crawling to automate the entire process of fetching the right amount and the right kind of targeted information.
Advantages of price comparison sites for customers
Get a great deal – Price comparison sites don’t just provide the lowest priced products. They provide the lowest priced products as per the criteria and filters you specify. This is the biggest value proposition of Price monitoring websites.
Convenience – You do not need to know which all product suppliers or eCommerce platforms are there that deal in your chosen product. Price monitoring websites give a ready listing of all such suppliers and e-commerce portals all in one place, saving you a ton of time and effort in your search for great deals on the product you want to purchase online.
Better coverage – Flipkart, Amazon, Snapdeal – the list of big-ticket e-commerce players in India can be counted on your fingers. But did you know that there are many smaller yet equally exciting e-commerce stores that can offer you a much better deal? Well, price comparison sites do know about these smaller players and bring them to the forefront with their amazing deals.
Variety – Many price comparison sites have come up in India owing to the immense value for money USP for customers. Some of them are SmartPrix, CompareRaja, and PriceDekho (for B2C e-commerce) and BankBazaar (for financial products). This variety spells all the more convenience and options available to the customer for comparing a product across multiple e-commerce stores.
Benefit from the crowd – Are you confused about whether your chosen product will serve you well? Worried about whether the product will live up to your expectations and give you full value for your money? No need to buy first and lament later. With help of the reviews of past buyers available on price comparison sites, you can now make an informed decision of whether to go for a product or refine your search to include other products. This kind of crowd assistance from helpful reviews aids business insights and promotes data-backed buying decisions.
Advantages of price comparison sites for business owners
As is obvious above, the value offered by price comparison sites is incredible from an end customer’s point of view. They get accurate listings about a particular product available in multiple e-commerce stores, thus saving them the time and effort to go through each and every online shop.
However, what might be interesting to note is that price comparison websites do a fabulous service to e-commerce business owners as well. Want to know how? Then let’s find out –
More leads – I had never heard of Tradus when I was looking online for a pair of earphones. But a Real-time price crawl from a price comparison brought up Tradus to my screen. Its deal was just too good and I grabbed it. This is the biggest advantage for smaller players. Previously where they had very less visibility, thanks to price comparison websites, now they get equal footage with bigger names such as Amazon. Their lead generation gets a tangible boost when they feature on a price monitoring site’s list
Better conversion – Shopping through an e-commerce site sees a lot of traffic without the intent of buying. When a user is logging in to a price monitoring site, it means that he/ she already has an existing need. Most of the time, the user would’ve already decided to go for a product when he/ she visits a price comparison website. If your store manages to attract the user’s attention, a conversion will be highly likely. This way, price monitoring sites helps a business to accomplish a better conversion potential.
Market intelligence – With a price comparison site, you can easily find out who is selling a product at what price. This kind of pricing intelligence is made possible by expert price scraping from websites across the e-commerce landscape. This way you can see if you are out on popular products leading to revenue leakages.
Better coverage – Price comparison sites often tie-up with select suppliers and manufacturers. Sellers get better coverage and additional marketing avenue. On top of this, buyers get better deals with these sellers listed on the price monitoring sites. With help of online price comparison sites, web traffic can be effectively redirected to the site. This not only helps increase sales but also lower prices.
Customer servicing – This is the primary metric that every company strives to ace on the online ecosystem. By looking at the competition, small business owners can easily figure out gaps in customer servicing and see how they can introduce a new pointer that no one else is currently offering in the market.
As is evident, the immense popularity of the price comparison sites means that these sites are here for a long and continue providing amazing cost savings to potential buyers on the e-commerce ecosystem. If you operate in this domain then it will make complete sense to get a professional level data crawling expert that can do a remarkable job of wide coverage and return results in a quick time. This will give your business users the convenience of knowing about prices for a given make and model of a product across multiple sites in one single place.
Such incredible user experience is the one factor where companies like PromptCloud can deliver with its targeted, relevant and real-time specialized data crawling services. Schedule a quick consultation with our team at a time of your convenience and we will make sure to provide custom crawling services to suit your data gathering needs.