Internet portal Shopguide will leapfrog Taxi to creating the UK?s first online ?shopping assistant? to enable consumers to seek out bargains.
On Monday 19 April ShopGuide will launch Bargainfinder, which the company claims is a completely impartial comparison service for finding the most competitive prices on the Internet.
Rival portal Taxi Interactive expects to have its comparison service live within the next two weeks.
Until now comparison shopping has been very much US specific. Shopguide will be dedicated to the UK, while Taxi plans to open comparison sites in other European countries.
None of the sites on Shopguide pay to be listed on its directory, but every site has been visited and tested for its usability, range and service. Inferior sites are rejected. Sites accepted are given a star rating and a brief, but informative critique as a guide for consumers. Amazon, WH Smith and Entertainment Express are amongst the big names that have signed up for the comparison deal service.
"People are put off from shopping on the Internet because of a belief that online shopping is terribly complicated and that it is practically impossible to find what you're looking for. Many other Internet users steer clear of it because they are concerned about security,? said Daniel Gestetner, managing director of Focus Digital who created Shopguide.
?However, Shopguide addresses all these issues and makes shopping on the Internet fantastically convenient," he added.
CD, video, games and books charts are linked to Shopguide?s bargain finder feature. The consumer simply clicks on the item of interest and up comes a list of all the UK stockists and prices.
According to Fletcher Research, consumers will spend about #3.1 billion shopping online in the UK alone by 2003 as confidence in the medium grows.
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