Wonder how many of us remember the traditional art of bargaining or price comparison as we hunt for the best deal. As technology invades all aspects our lives and shopping too gone increasingly online, it could make sense to use the same technology support for a better shopping experience, irrespective of whether it is online or offline (traditional brick and mortar roles).
The click is the way we move our way around the internet and just as one can shop online, provided one if familiar with the products, the features, the prices and more important for our psychology ---- whether we are getting the best deal --- one could also perhaps compare prices and features online.
This then seems to be the idea that led to the website and app, Zopper.com that offers price comparison of products on online stores and the offline formats (nearby retailers too), either using the app or the traditional site.
How does one know whether the prices are genuine and are not put there just to attract footfall, as certain sites have been accused of doing just recently?
"Well, our technology crawls all registered sites with us for their prices every 30 minutes and lists these. This is what Google also does, but on the scale of the world-wide web. For offline retailers, we put up the prices they offer. There might be a slight tendency to play around with the concept, but we don't host retailers who constantly list low and then refuse to sell at that price," says Vaibhav Garg, chief marketing officer, Zopper.com, clarifying that the company on its does not sell anything.
The business model for the site tends to blend technology with the traditional sale model as the site offers reviews on prices, features of products at both the online sales portals as well as the traditional retailers. The company makes it money when an online site gets an order (commission basis) and for the traditional shops, the price list is hosted for free as of now, but could get paid very soon.
The status and the future
So, as it stands right now, price comparison online for sites and also for offline retailers seems a good idea and has appealed to some of the best business brains as the venture has found funding.
The idea seems to be to bridge the digital divide virtual and the brick-and-mortar world and also trying to offer a clear choice to the customers without limiting the discussion to either offline or online.
It also recognises the principle that at the end of the day, the customer just wants the best deal.