ExperTelligence, Inc. (OTC BB: EXGP) has announced the addition of a shopping comparison category to its WebData.com Internet database search engine site. The ‘WebData 4D Shopping’ section enables users to locate the e-commerce site offering the most competitive price for specific products, including books, computers, software, movies and music.
Price-comparisons are already available for Computer hardware components on CNET’s Computers.com, but WebData.com is the first site, to the best of our knowledge, that offers price comparisons for consumer products.
As more comparative shopping tools like this emerge, and are implemented by major portal sites like AOL and Yahoo!, price-based competition is likely to heat up among online retailers who offer commodity products, such as books and music.
Online retail sites queried by WebData.com include Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, Spree.com, Buscoe Books, ChaptersGlobe, MicroWarehouse, American Computers Shopping Network, CDW, Computer Warehouse, TWEC.com, Blockbuster, Movies Unlimited, Moviehouse.com, CD Universe, CD Now, CD World, Music BLVD, Beyond.com, Software2Buy, and Software Plus.
According to Denison Bollay, President of ExperTelligence, “All users want to do is find the best selection quickly from the top shopping or auction Web sites. [Our new price comparison] simplifies searching multiple shopping sites for an item.”
For example, a user searching for the ‘Best of U2’ CD would enter the title in a search box on the music section, and then click on several of the sites to access each retailer’s price and availability in real time.
This access to real-time data is especially powerful, according to Bollay, because, “During many searches, the current shopping comparison sites only spider to limited data on a site and, quite often, the information has been cached, which results in inaccuracies.”
Still, the ‘WebData 4D Shopping’ interface doesn’t do all the work for you. Although it conveniently brings up the appropriate shopping cart page when you click on each vendor’s logo, it doesn’t present price comparisons side-by-side or specify which site offers the best price.
Beyond the News
The company explains that WebData.com is different from search engines like InfoSeek, Yahoo!, Excite, and Lycos because it accesses information that is typically hidden within databases or tucked behind search forms connected to databases. While those forms are available to provide access to the data, many text search engines don’t know how to index them.
WebData is a wholly owned subsidiary of ExperTelligence, Inc. of Santa Barbara, California. ExperTelligence was founded in 1980 and went public in 1984. The company develops Internet software tools, with a focus on database technology and e-commerce.