The online holiday shopping season is coming soon, and its peak is expected on Cyber Monday, just after the Thanksgiving weekend. Although online shopping will be a key tool for saving money this season, the quest for an awesome pair of shoes, or the perfect wrist watch can turn out to be quite a chore. I was so proud to have launched our new shopping engine lately, but thought it’s only fair to show what other “smaller” players are doing first:
3. eBay has a new shopping interface
A known secret is that eBay has been operating a new search experience interface, in parallel to its traditional one. You can find it here: www.playground.ebay.com
Evident changes include an enhanced auto-suggestion module, more search refinement options, and in some cases eBay brings to front the main results as shown above in my quest for Wii. Personally, I prefer the new interface, but I leave it for eBay to decide when to make the switch.
2. There are automatic ways to get better prices
A few of us know that the first shopping engine started as client software. Over the years the industry settled on target sites that make you do the work of searching for an item. Nevertheless, recently I’ve noticed 2 new ‘flavors’ that have been gaining momentum. The first is Smartshopper,, a browser add-on that will pop up with a shopping side bar while a buyer is looking for goods online.
The other is Winbuyer. These guys have a rather unanticipated business model: they have managed to talk online shops into presenting comparison engine results of other shops on their own sites! In both cases online shoppers can just shop freely while they do the work and pop up with savings options.
1. You can do your Shopping Visually
Online shops have already realized that text search can only take them that far, slowly but surely they’ve been adding visual shopping features to their sites. Picitup shop goes ‘the whole nine yards’. It offers all the standard shopping information and, on top of that, a complete visual catalogue where you just point and click. It looks and feels as if you are in real-life shopping mall.
I typed “High Heel shoes” and went for a test ride:
A left side bar has appeared and has shown a variety of shoe styles and the selection of available colors. I clicked the Jessica Simpson style and got 144 items:
Got back and clicked on the red color to get 91 red items. Further refinements by shape or similarity were available as well, just like in a huge shoe store.
Shopping made Easy
Shopping online can save a great length of leg work, but has remained a time-consuming effort. These new tools can make it much more fun, by doing the jobs we used to do: they rearrange the product selection for you, do the shopping comparison themselves, or even work through hundreds of thousands of product photos to find the right one for you...