shop wiki - Comparison Shopping - the Flip Side of Searching
by Chris Malta
Search engines like Shopzilla.com and Froogle.com are great for increasing your web store's exposure, as well as doing your own product market research. But according to Kevin Ryan, of ShopWiki.com, his new company is NOT your typical comparison shopping search engine. It offers some cutting edge attractions that e-tailers and consumers alike should love:
1. It has an exhaustive selection of stores - about 120,000 - and 60 million different items. Enthuses Ryan, "That's more than Shopping.com and PriceGrabber.com, [two popular comparison shopping sites] which only list about eight or nine thousand stores each." ShopWiki crawls the entire web, giving you more choices, more small stores, and better prices.
2. It has innovative new search functions:
- • Rather than narrowing your search category by category, new technology enables the engine to decipher lengthy, specific text searches. For example, instead of searching for "baseball cards", then for specific players, then for years, simply enter "Ken Griffey Jr. rookie baseball card". Or type in "diamond ring less than $10,000 more than 1 karat", and the engine understands the numbers and the concept of "more than" and "less than".
• It offers a patent-pending color wheel. Instead of entering "red pants" and seeing hundreds of shades of red on various slacks, you can enter "pants" in the search line, then click on the color wheel to select one of 50,000 different colors.
The engine will only bring you trousers close to that shade.
• The price slider lets you easily set the parameters on what you're looking to spend.
But How Does It Help My E-Biz?
ShopWiki is a wonderful resource for market research - you can check out other retailers, and see who else is selling your product, how they're selling it, and what they're selling it for. It's important too that you can see your competition across all platforms because different markets have different price structures.
It's also a great tool for driving traffic to your store at no cost to you, and with no work on your end. If your eStore's not already listed in their enormous database, go to the Help section at the bottom of their homepage, scroll down to Merchant Information, and click on Add Your Store. Type in your domain name to ensure that ShopWiki will crawl your site and index your content. You can also add your own wiki - you can write or edit a buying guide, or you can put a wiki that describes your business and what you do, on your own page on the site.
About his site, Ryan asserts, "It's clean, it's easy to find things, it's fast, and it's very complete."