Comparison-Shopping as an Emerging Channel to Increase Web Visibility for SMEs in the United States

Comparison-Shopping as an Emerging Channel to Increase Web Visibility for SMEs in the United States

Yun Wan (University of Houston – Victoria, USA)
Copyright: © 2006 |Pages: 24
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-642-6.ch010
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Abstract

This chapter introduces comparison-shopping as an emerging channel to increase Web visibility for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SME). In Section I, we analyze two business models of comparison-shopping services (CSP): the BargainFinder model and the Pricewatch model. The latter can be further differentiated as Pricewatch-classic model and Pricewatch-innovative model. Through data collected from 60 CSPs, we found Pricewatch-classic model is dominant for the time being, Pricewatch-innovative model is picking up, and the BargainFinder model is only viable in niche market. In Section II, we examined the feasibility of using comparison-shopping to increase Web visibility for SMEs. We demonstrated that comparison-shopping can increase the welfare of consumers, participating in comparison-shopping is a Nash equilibrium dominant strategy for SMEs, and comparison-shopping has the disintermediary effect on underdeveloped economies and polarizing effect on developed economies. Overall, this chapter provides a comprehensive introduction of comparison-shopping and its potential for increasing Web visibility for SMEs.

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