RoboShopper International redesigned and relaunched
its online comparison shopping Web site.
The redesign was based on an internal study of how tens of thousands of people
have used the RoboShopper system since its introduction in August 1997.
The new design offers “the only comparison shopping system on the Web which
allows users to view information directly from vendor Web sites,” the company
With the RoboShopper system, a user selects a category such as books, music,
videos, computer hardware/software, toys or sporting goods and then enters a
search keyword. The user can then view the results directly from the top
online stores in the category, and can move between stores to compare results.
The new design reflects the company’s research into the way thousands of
consumers have utilized the system.
Some of the key conclusions from the analysis:
- Security and vendor reputation are overriding issues, especially as many
users are shopping the Internet for the first time. Most shoppers are
interested in finding the best values from one of the top vendors.
- The buying decision is often driven by factors other than price. In many
cases, issues such as shipping options/costs and sales tax outweigh any
differences in list price. Additional services such as gift wrapping and
shipping directly to third parties, and special offers/promotions are also
- Users are often confused by and lack confidence in results from shopping
bots. In particular they are unclear as to which stores are shopped and
whether or not the results are comprehensive.
- Users are concerned about close business relationships between shopping bot
operators and the stores shopped by the systems.
The new design at RoboShopper.com gives users control over which stores they
shop and makes it easy for shoppers to spend as much time as they want
exploring a particular online store–while still providing an easy way to move
on to competing vendors.
“The advantage of the RoboShopper system is that it lets the shopper see all the information provided by
vendors,” said RoboShopper founder Marty Ford. “While a number of shopping bots are now available on the Web, they
all attempt to summarize information from widely disparate sources into a
standard format. The result is that a lot of information which is critical to
the buying process is completely lost or glossed over.”
The shopping study conclusions can be viewed here.