Shopping portals and shopping search engines have been around for awhile, but they have become increasingly useful in recent months. Most of the top shopping sites have expanded the number of merchants that they track and introduced new features designed to make it easier for consumers to quickly call up an array of product research.
Product comparison sites have become such a major draw that they attracted 33 million unique visitors in October, according to comScore Networks, a research firm. Total traffic to the sites rose 9 percent from the same time last year, making them one of the Web’s fastest-growing categories.
The free shopping assistance is available through search services offered by Google, Yahoo, Ask Jeeves and Dogpile, as well as specialty online commerce sites such as NexTag, BizRate, PriceGrabber, MySimon and DealTime — now known as Shopping.com.
Shopping.com did best among the specialty sites in October, with nearly 15.5 million unique visitors. Like some of its rivals, Shopping.com is making a major holiday push — it recently launched its first TV ad campaign in a few major markets.