Comparison Shopping Page Writes

by Luke Wroblewski April 30, 2005

Let’s say you’ve decided to purchase a digital camera. If you’re one of America’s wired households, chances are you’ll begin your process online. You may start at Best Buy or Circuit City then check what’s available on Amazon or even bounce around a couple of lesser know sites after a price comparison on Froogle or Shopping.com. In no time at all, you’ve been at ten different sites and seen thirty different cameras.

At this point loss of context sets in: Have I seen this camera before? Where did I see it? How much was it? It doesn’t help that manufacturers like Sony distinguish products with names such as the Sony Cybershot DSCP93A, the Sony Cybershot DSCP200, and the Sony Cybershot DSCP73.

Enter Greasemonkey: “Greasemonkey is a very powerful tool, which can allows you to fix website annoyances or add desired functionality missing from a site. Additionally, the scripts can bring content from other sites and resources and embed them into the page you are viewing. For example, you could create a script that pulls the current Amazon.com price for a book when visiting a competitor’s site. You can use Greasemonkey to view Amazon's price right beside the competitors within the browser.”

If one were to maintain (while browsing product pages on different sites) a simple list of prices, URLs, and product model numbers, the following solution to online comparison shopping “context loss” would be possible:

Now if the list maintained product ratings as well…