A shopping bot is an online price comparison software tool which automatically searches the products of many different online stores to locate the most affordable rates for customers.
Generally, these shopping bots rank items by price and let buyers link directly to the website of an online merchant site to actually buy their preferred product.
Shopping bots, short for "shopping robots," can find the best online deals for products, including films, books, video games, computer devices, TVs, etc. Using shopping bots, buyers can get quotes from multiple retailers for the same product instantly, without spending extra time searching for each retailer's price.
When buyers search for a product using shopping bots, they find the products and report back with prices, descriptions, etc. However, in reality, there are many bots with slightly different features. So, shopping bots can be websites, plugins, browser-based, price-comparison-only, etc. Also, some find online products only while others search mail-order catalogs or brick-and-mortar shops.
Some popular shopping bots are:
- mySimon: This is the most popular shopping bot, with top ratings from reviewers. It queries 1,700 plus merchants in various categories.
- DealPilot: This is a browser-based bot, which presents price comparison on bars toward the bottom of a browser. It performs the online search and reports back with the details on where the customer can get the best deal, in addition to information on availability and shipping.
- iChoose: This one sends an advisor along with the customers (it is a free download) as they browse and shop through their preferred sites. When the customers find a preferred item, it informs them if there is a better deal to select from, along with info on the pricing, shipping as well as taxes.
- Shoppinglist.com: This site provides the customers with the latest information on sales and special offers at the brick-and-mortar stores near their location.
- StoreRunner.com: This site helps customers find services and products form 1,000-plus brands. Then, it is up to the customers to decide whether they need to buy online or make use of the Shop Local feature to locate the best rates in the neighborhood.