Examining Comparative Shopping Agents from Two Types of Search Results

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Department or Administrative Unit

Finance and Supply Chain Management

Publication Date



A search engine provides two distinct types of results, organic and paid, each of which uses different mechanisms for selecting and ranking relevant web pages for a query. A comparative shopping agent (CSA), such as a price comparison Website, conveniently provides Web consumers with companies that sell desired product and the prices they offer on one page, which greatly reduces search costs. We identify 168 digital camera models from seven major camera makers, manually search each of the models in a popular search engine, empirically compare CSAs between the two types of search results in terms of the number of CSAs, number of vendors inside CSAs, lowest and average prices, and price dispersion. The paid results contain more CSAs and vendors than do organic results; vendors inside CSAs in paid results offer the lowest prices more often than do companies from CSAs in organic results; the average price for vendors in CSAs from paid results is not significant lower than that from companies in CSAs from organic results; the price dispersion among vendors in CSAs is greater from paid results than from organic results. In addition, companies with unsatisfactory ratings offer the lowest prices and lower average prices more often than do companies with satisfactory ratings.


This article was originally published in 2009 International Conference on Computing, Engineering and Information. The full-text article from the publisher can be found here.

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2009 International Conference on Computing, Engineering and Information


Copyright © 2009, IEEE