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Home / Features & Articles / iWorld by Sharad Agarwal
iWorld by Sharad Agarwal

E-Transparency : The Way The Web Is Going

The first generation comparison sites (PriceGrabber.com, Shopping.com and DealTime.com) used price and reviews as common differentiators. The present day consumers need to be more informed before taking a buying decision has forced businesses to hone their product offerings to match up to a ‘tangible search criteria’ to make the sale.

Almost every industry now has web sites  that meet the growing needs of the web savvy shoppers.

Consumer Products

Kelkoo.co.uk - Within 2 years of launching, Kelkoo became Europe's largest e-commerce website after Amazon and Ebay and the largest e-commerce advertising platform both in the UK and Europe. According to Hitwise, Kelkoo is the UK's favourite shopping comparison site and has been for more than 4 years. Kelkoo now operates in 10 European countries and is a one-stop shopping service, which helps shoppers to find, research and buy products online with confidence.

Products and Services

Nextag.com - Price history tracks the item's price over time, as well as the number of retailers carrying it. NexTag is the leading comparison shopping site for products, financial services, travel, automobiles, real estate and education. At the core of NexTag are proprietary technologies and algorithms that enable shoppers to find the best deals on millions of products and services. More than 17 million people per month use NexTag to research, compare, and save on products and services online.

Real Estate

StreetEasy (www.streeteasy.com) In addition to standard information like price, region and number of bedrooms, StreetEasy allows apartment hunters to search listings by neighborhood, building and school zone. The application also offers photos, tools to email or call agents directly, saveable searches and availability alerts.

Events

Los Angeles-based Zigabid (www.zigabid.com) allows ticket buyers and sellers to interact directly with each other to fix a ticket's price. This is achieved by treating the tickets as commodities and subjecting them to a series of offers and counter-offers, in the hope of achieving a fair market value. Zigabid also gives a portion of each transaction back to the entertainers, and a community section allows users to post event photos, reviews and comments.

Automotive

OpenCarPrice.com (www.opencarprice.com), RealCarTips.com (www.realcartips.com) and PriceHub (www.pricehub.com) offer visitors submitted information about what previous car buyers paid and tips on how to get the best deals for future shoppers negotiating prices for themselves.

Venturing

cmypitch.com (www.cmypitch.com) The video site lets startups pitch their ideas in short videos to attract funding and also provides other services for entrepreneurs, like directories of business opportunities, franchises, businesses for sale, etc.

Law

Avvo (www.avvo.com) profiles legal professionals, including their experience, areas of practice, and ratings from clients.

Education

Ratemyteachers (www.ratemyteachers.com) One of the most popular sites among university students features over 10 million ratings for over 1 million teachers. Also check out Yollege (www.yollege.com).

Medical

PatientsLikeMe (www.patientslikeme.com) empowers patients to manage their care and share information. The website enables collaboration between patients, doctors, pharmaceutical companies, medical device companies, research organizations and non profits.

Skiing

Liftopia (www.liftopia.com) lets ski resorts sell discounted lift tickets online. Visitors simply choose dates and regions where they want to ski and then scroll through a list of budget-priced lift tickets. Resorts are able to charge lower prices for tickets sold in advance, which can’t be cancelled and keep prices for on mountain sales at a higher level. The site also incorporates up-to-the-minute weather data and trail maps to help skiers make their choice.

Hospitality

SeatGuru (www.seatguru.com), TripKick(www.tripkick.com) provide detailed insider information on hotels including which rooms are oversized, which have great bathrooms, or which are quieter than others. TripKick, which spent a year gathering all of this information, also points out which floors are better and which to avoid. Guests are encouraged to add their own reviews and upload photos of rooms they've stayed in.

Finance

ProxyDemocracy (www.proxydemocracy.org) is a non-profit, non partisan project that aims to change all that by helping individual investors get the information they need to produce positive changes in the companies they own. Owners of stocks in an individual company, for example, can sign up for ProxyDemocracy's email alerts providing advance notice of the company's shareholder meetings as well as information on how respected institutional investors plan to vote at the meeting.

Beauty

Makeupalley.com (www.makeupalley.com) is an online beauty social network. Members give reviews on everything beauty-related, from makeup and skincare to hair dryers and perfume. Users who are dissatisfied with a product they’ve already purchased can swap makeup with other members who are curious to try that product. MakeupAlley also includes information about each user’s skin tone, hair color, skin type and eye color so that readers can gauge how well the advice will fit their specific needs.

Recruitment

Glassdoor (www.glassdoor.com) aims to provide an insider's look at what it's really like to work at a company. The site gathers real time reviews, ratings and salary details about jobs in specific companies. Users contribute a review for their current employer. In exchange, Glassdoor gives them free access to nearly 32,000 reviews and salary reports for more than 7,000 companies in more than 80 countries around the world. Users are asked to provide both pros and cons, as well as rating companies on a range of workplace culture factors, including work/life balance, fairness and respect, and employee morale.

Restaurants

Dishola (www.dishola.com) eschews general restaurant reviews in favor of dish-specific advice and information. Passionate eaters can post a ‘Dish Wanted’ query, for example, to find out where to find the dishes they crave in their neck of the woods. They can read smart reviews by Dishola editors, industry professionals and other members, as well as post reviews and photos of their own favorite dishes.

Travel

Delaycast (www.delaycast.com) tells travelers the chance of encountering delays on a particular trip. Its Delay Profiles tool provides broad overviews of the best days, times and airlines to choose for a trip, based on selected airports, while its Delay Predictions tool provides information about delays and cancellations for specific airports, airlines, dates and times. Delaycast currently includes the top 60 US airports and 11 key airlines. It also makes predictions for trips about four or five months into the future.

Bar codes


Employing Google’s Android operating system, the T-Mobile G1 comes installed with an advanced piece of price comparison software. Shopsavvy allows the user to scan almost any barcode using the phone’s camera, and it will then search both online and local retailers to find the best price. Once the best deal has been found, users can then either choose to purchase online, or use the phone’s built-in Google Maps feature to find their way to the store.

If you know of a next generation comparison site, email sharad@cyber-gear.com

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