While retailers large and small continue to investigate the tricks of the trade for marketing their B2C site, a new tool in the world of ecommerce may hurt or help your online sales. Shopobot, a company formed in January of this year, has made its services available to the public for the first time this June, revealing a new transparent approach to online shopping. Are you one of the many retailers whose prices fluctuate monthly or even weekly? Shopobot tracks this for consumers, revealing the volatility of online prices on consumer products on a single ecommerce site, as well as comparing prices across ecommerce sites.
Shopobot Gives Consumers the Breakdown on Pricing
Consumers have gained the knowledge to manually compare ecommerce sites when shopping online in order to look for the best deal, but now consumers have the opportunity to do this in a central location. Yet, even more important, consumers have the opportunity to look up price fluctuations within stores. Dave Matthews, Shopobot co-founder, emphasizes, “It seems like if you buy it today, it will be the same as tomorrow. But even at Amazon a digital camera might move $50 or $100 throughout a week, a level that we are pretty shocked at.” Currently, Shopobot crawls the ecommerce sites of 12 retailers, including big name sellers Amazon.com, Newegg.com and Walmart.com, several times a day or every couple of hours for popular items. While the limited comparison may have little effect on those independent retailers just launching their B2C site, Shopobot’s growth rate is likely to increase as it has recently received investments from both Google Ventures and AOL Ventures.
Consumers who stand to lose out on a good deal because they decided to place their order on the wrong day are sure to view Shopobot as an asset among today’s online shopping tools. As the New York Times reports, “People can track the prices of certain items, receive alerts when a price declines past a certain threshold and receive recommendations on where to buy items for the lowest price. For example, Shopobot can tell a user that a digital camera was $50 less on Amazon two weeks ago and is now least expensive on Newegg.” But where does this leave retailers trying to make sales? Could this lead to more balanced pricing across the board?