India’s e-commerce market is vast and dynamic, and it’s not even anywhere near the saturation point of e-shopping sectors in western markets. But everyone needs a bit of help finding the right prices online, and Google is not much help with that. To fill the gap, online shopping search engines are a big business in India, and it’s still a boom area for new startups to enter and specialize.
In no particular order, here are eight hot shopping search engines for India’s netizens:
Amazon’s first venture into India was not with its own e-commerce business but with this very wide-ranging e-shopping search engine. Launched in February 2012, it might well be India’s most comprehensive with a claimed 18 million products indexed across hundreds of sites. Amazon’s own Marketplace for India only launched in June this year with a limited product line-up.
Another site with a vast repertoire is PriceDekho. Along with all the product listings, it also has useful features like price alerts that can email you if a product that interests you is spotted at a lower price. In addition, Pricedekho has joined India’s coupon craze, and has spawned the separate CarDekho and BikeDekho sites for people who need a new set of wheels.
After initially starting with a focus on gadgets, MySmartPrice is now more comprehensive with new sections devoted to finding clothing and books at all the top Indian e-stores. Plus, it now offers coupons as well.
Comparethebazaar has pretty much all you could need to search for on India’s e-commerce sites, but sets itself slightly apart with an emphasis on searching for online travel products.
Shoppingwish is the newest of the bunch, launched late last year and boosted by seed funding last month from angel investors in Silicon Valley and New York. After early growth, the startup site now has three million products listed from over 120 e-tailers.
Co-founder Madhur Khandelwal tells us that future plans include adding more product categories like fashion, baby, and home furnishings. Shoppingwish will also launch on mobile soon and is going to roll out personalization of shopping search results based on a user’s social media cues.
Of course, people who tend to buy only a certain kind of thing online might prefer a specialist price comparison site - so the next three on the list fill interesting niches. Pricecheck India focuses on personal gadgets and home appliances.
Bookworms are not left out of the fun, with ThisYaThat being the most prominent search site to focus on buying books. Launched into beta in March 2012, it has a refreshingly simple website layout, and wisely pulls in book summaries from Goodreads. The site was created under incubation of the Venture Initiation Program at Penn’s Wharton School.
Sometimes you don’t want to buy something online and just want to find something in your city. That’s where PriceBaba comes in as a way to find good prices among offline retailers for mobile phones. So far it covers shops in Mumbai, Pune, and Delhi. It’s not the only shopping search site in India that eschews e-commerce, but it’s worth adding to this list to show how diverse the market is in the country.
( See also: Yummy! 6 Popular Online Food Delivery Startups in India )
(Editing by Minh)
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