Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Online Price Comparison For Supermarkets

One of the big advantages supermarkets have long had over consumers lies in the sheer number of products they offer—with some priced higher and others priced lower than the competition, it's near impossible to say that one store offers consistently better (or worse) deals every time. Well, supermarkets, those protected days may be drawing to a close. A new UK-based site provides a central way for consumers to compare prices as they shop online and then place their order with the cheapest store.

mySupermarket is a free shopping and comparison website for supermarket shoppers that links the online portals of the UK's four main supermarket chains and compares prices on the fly. Consumers begin by choosing their favourite store—Tesco, ASDA, Sainsbury's or Ocada—and shopping through mySupermarket's lifelike online shelves. Grocery departments are displayed across the top of the screen, and clicking on any one reveals the shelves within. For each product, mySupermarket displays the weight or volume, price, special offers and price per unit; for foods and beverages, it shows the ingredients, number of calories, an overall traffic light rating, and detailed nutritional information. The best part is that as consumers shop, the site's Trolley Checker scans their trolley and displays its current total cost at each of the four supermarkets. The Price Checker, meanwhile, suggests swapping some products for others that are a better value, while the Health Checker makes suggestions for healthier substitutions. Once consumers settle on their product choices and store, they simply send their trolley for checkout at the supermarket of their choice.

Rumours suggest that a like-purposed site may be coming soon in the US from Once sites like these give consumers the long-desired ability to comparison-shop for groceries, there will be no turning back.

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