People have been shopping for thousands of years. With the growth and expansion of the internet, today the art of comparison shopping has become a normal part of the shopping experience. This is when consumers shop at different sellers for prices, options, services… etc. Because of its many advantages, comparison shopping is not a new trend. The history of it and how it evolved to the popular activity we see today is quite an interesting story.
Through their archeological investigations, researchers have discovered that comparison shopping can be dated as far back as 1400 BC. It took place when Christopher Columbus arrived in the new world. He provided a variety of goods that the Natives browsed and compared before they made their selection. In the 1840’s, trading posts were established where Native people and others traded goods. The process involved browsing and comparing the goods before they chose the best item.
In the 1900’s, people in Europe browsed the papers for special deals on advertised items. During the 1960s and 70s people would drive from store to store to compare items and prices. In the 1980’s, more people were going to malls where they could easily walk from store to store looking for deals. In the 1990s, store fliers and advertising inserts were put in newspapers so that people could look through them to see which retailer was offering the best deal. Then, the development of the Internet resulted in the tremendous growth of comparison shopping.
The creation of search engines in 1996 allowed people to find and locate shopping sites. From 1999 onward, programmers were creating unique ways to comparison shop such as the “FIVE-STAR” rating system that is used to grade products and services. In 2002, social networking sites were developed and in the last few years consumers have been rating products and services on these sites. Between 2003 and 2006, websites were created for the purpose of giving consumers the ability to use a search comparison tool.
Today, the internet has made it easy for everyone to comparison shop for the highest quality product or service at the best price. There are comparison sites dedicated to just about every type of product and service such as hotels, insurance, flights, gas prices, cruises, mortgages, and so much more. Comparison shopping is a powerful marketing strategy that is popular with both consumers and sellers.
There are many advantages that include: you will get exactly what you want at a price you can afford, shopping is stress-free especially if you shop like this online because you will not have to deal with long lines at the cash register, you will receive unbiased opinions, and you will save a lot of money on high quality goods. It has come a long way since 1400 BC. Since that time, there have many developments that allow everyone to find exactly what they want. There is no doubt that comparison shopping has made shopping much easier and more enjoyable and it has saved consumers a ton of money.