Monday 19 April 2010

Wikio Shopping - price comparison, customer reviews, cashback and discount codes all in one place

wikio shopping

Wikio, the European search engine for news and blogs, has recently launched Wikio Shopping. It is said to be "an innovative shopping service that goes well beyond simply comparing prices by providing users with the ability to research all the details of a product before buying it". What that means is that users can consult reviews, user opinions, forums, photos and videos, along with being able to exchange their own opinions, reviews and photos with other users. That already sounds quite impressive to me, as I always like to research product details, reviews and prices before I buy anything, but what really sold it is that Wikio Shopping also gives you "promotional codes and offers on more than 3500 vendors. Along with these codes, Wikio also offers a cashback service to its users, called Wikio Deals." Now, I love a bargain so if I can save a few pennies (or even better pounds !) while researching what I need to buy, that's fabulous.

The figures look impressive. Wikio Shopping currently offers :

- more than 235,000 products, sorted into more than 220 categories.

- almost one million product tests/reviews/subject forums concerning products

- more than 600,000 photos, and 475,000 videos

- hundreds of thousands of offers within 9 main categories/themes

- all cultural (art, music etc.)  products via Amazon, and hotels in 6000 cities all over the world via Sprice

- about 400 new products are added per day

- more than 1000 new reviews, product tests and forums added per day

"Wikio provides users with a dashboard view of the product they are researching. All information about the product is gathered from the web, and put in one centralized location. Wikio Shopping provides users with a convenient alternative to current methods of researching a product." It basically sounds to me like all the different browsers I open simultaneously when deciding what to buy but all in one handy location. I'm sure my computer will be much happier to have just one window open, rather than about ten !

I decided to give it a whirl to see if it really is as good as it sounds and headed off to check out pushchairs, as Pierre needs a new one. Well, the first thing that impressed me is that it actually has a "baby & nursery" category on the index page - all too often, the price comparison sites focus on hi-tech stuff or video games and DVDs. Clicking through to the "pushchairs and strollers" page brought up a long list of different models and sellers, including some reassuringly well-known names like Amazon,  Marshall Ward, Toys R Us, Tesco and ebay as well as a whole host of smaller stores that I'd never heard of. That's where the user reviews part comes in because it's always a bit worrying buying from an internet seller when you know nothing about them. Are they reliable ? Is it a scam ? What do other people think ? Well, now you can find out with one easy click.

Well, we only want a cheap lightweight pushchair so I clicked on the "£0 - £50" category, that has 1003 products to choose from. Being a cheapskate, I was immediately attracted by the information that there are 60 results in the £0-£10 category so off I went to have a look. Hmmm unfortunately, that only brought up a list of pushchair accessories and spare parts (well what do you expect for under a tenner, let's be honest !) - this is a computer after all, not a human being, so it can only deal with the words that come up in the search terms. OK, let's try a different way - by going through "type -pushchairs", the first one on the list caught my eye. Hauck Run 6 Buggy Blue - price £31.97 from Little Amigos.

Hauck buggy

What I love is that just a quick glance directly on the search results page tells me that shipping will cost £6.99. I've lost count of the hours I've spent online trying to find delivery costs while researching products to buy. Also, although for this product I need to check availability on the store site, lots of the bigger brands tell me immediately on the search page whether or not the product is in stock. That's a real timesaver. Clicking through to the website, I couldn't understand why the price on the website was cheaper than the price Wikio Shopping came up with, then I realised that they add the shipping charge into the price displayed (£24.98 + £6.99) - yet another stroke of genius and a real timesaver for busy mums. Clicking through to the "more info" page shows me that there aren't any customer reviews for this product or seller yet, but this is a new site so it will hopefully start filling up very soon. What is very handy though is that one simple click will allow me to share the product information on twitter and facebook and ask for people's advice on there.

It's only in the early days but this looks like a really handy tool for quickly and easily finding the best deals online. If you want to try it out for yourselves, go to .

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