We have covered a few price comparison services in India and there have been a good mix of effort in price comparison – right from scraping online stores to collecting data from offline stores (Pricebaba).
Pune based WiC (Where is Cheapest) takes a different approach in solving the ‘Where is cheapest’ problem statement. You can search and ask for a product or share prices for what you have bought recently (currently active only in Pune, Mumbai and Bangalore).
Based on patented technology of iso-pricing, the startup uses a mix of user generated content and vendor submitted price. When a user submits price of a product, the system assigns a default reliability value, depending on the trustworthiness of submitter. As people with different trustworthiness validate it as right or wrong, the reliability value keeps increasing or decreasing. Prices of products followed by significant number of people may get verified by WiC content team. Those prices, then will have reliability value of 100% till the expiry date as committed by the seller.
As far as source of user generated content is concerned, WiC sources the price directly from vendors and also has campus ambassadors, apart from its own data seeding team.
If you are wondering what’s the incentive for a user to share price @WiC? Founder, Arun Purohit mentions that when the user shares a price/store, they get credits that can be redeemed in terms of cash/coupons (a concept similar to GasBuddy.com).
An interesting concept – the key however is to ensure that the consumer takes the center stage (not just the site members) – i.e. price displayed is the cheapest price (or atleast close to that). Plus, consumers probably are interested in knowing the cheapest price of all the products and not just what’s listed by WiC team/users, And that’s where collating data from different sources (could be online stores) might just help.
Give WiC a spin and share your comment on the approach the team has taken.