Are you ready to buy the latest and greatest electronic device? Checked out the reviews and know the manufacturer and model number? Well, Google makes it easy to complete the final step in the purchase process – compare prices. There’s no need to go to the 200+ comparison shopping engines to get the best price. One stop at Google.com will suffice.
Let’s use “Garmin C550” as the product we want to buy. GPS systems flooded the markets during the holiday season and now it seems everyone sells them. Search “Garmin C550” in Google.com and carefully examine the search engine results page (SERP). You’ll see Sponsored Links (paid search ads) across the top and right side of the page along with the organic search results, which are left-justified but occupy most of the page. Nestled above the organic results is a result labeled “Shopping results for Garmin C550”. Just below are a few links to retailers offering what we’re looking for. Don’t click on anything just yet. Check prices in the sponsored links ads and the shopping results. You now have a range of prices for the object of your desire. Note any add-on or free shipping offers.
To get a more complete list of prices click on the “Shopping results for Garmin C550”. This will open a page displaying the Google Product Search listings along with the sponsored links we saw on the SERP. Click on the “Compare Prices” button to open a page with store name, seller ratings and price. At the bottom of the page I see that 273 sellers are included in this list. I’d argue that we’re getting a pretty complete sample of prices for the Garmin GPS without navigating to a single comparison shopping engine. Submitting listings to Google Product Search is free to retailers, so anyone serious about ecommerce participates.
You can sort this page by price from low to high. Here’s where we have to be careful. Look for an established seller, a national or regional company. They’ll be more likely to have the product in stock, and if you have a need to contact customer service, you’ll be in good hands. Check out the seller ratings for stores you’re not familiar with. Find the best combination of price, free shipping and store credibility and you’re ready to buy. Just click on the store name and you should be linked to the exact product you’re shopping for.
Now, get out there and do your duty in support of the U.S. economy. Happy shopping!