Online comparative shopping sites in India are evolving into something more than a site that only offers product reviews and price comparisons.
They have also started turning into platforms for buyers where the buyer has started getting competitive prices. Ashish Mehta, Head of Marketing at tolmol.com, one of India’s active comparison sites, says, “The price on our website is the already negotiated price, which could be as much as 5 per cent less than the market price in some categories.”
In a comparison site, the buyer may be able to view negotiated prices for categories like books and electronic items, whereas clothes and jewellery which are offered as per customer requirements may not offer such discounts, Mehta says.
Typically, a comparison website in India compares products of 7 or 8 sellers to help a prospective buyer to arrive on a decision to buy that product. The website usually evaluates prices and features of identical or very closely related products. These tools offer a wide choice to consumers to narrow down on the specific product that they find appealing. Neeraj Sanan, Head of Marketing, at Web 18, which runs compareindia.com says, “We have a decision support website that compares different products, features, brands and prices.”
The prices mentioned on the sites are usually market prices, which are not negotiable on the site. Product reviews and experiences shared by visitors to the site also help in making informed decisions. Some websites in fact reward product review writers. Comparison sites also help you compare air fares and rail fares for some destination and even prices of imported cars.
If you log into a website to compare a product with alternatives, look for the availability of product in your area, you can visit a dealer that you are comfortable with to close the deal. Some websites may offer reviews and price tags of a variety of products, but the product of your choice may not necessarily be available in your area of choice – though online ordering of many goods are increasingly possible these days.