PC World: Microsoft Bing’s Black Friday research tools are hit-and-miss. “With Black Friday just (gulp!) a week away, Microsoft’s Bing search engine is launching tools to help with your shopping: a searchable index of deals, phone comparisons, and shortcuts to roundups of the best products. Unfortunately, Bing doesn’t currently seem to provide what you’re probably hoping for: a searchable list of Black Friday prices by item, together with the dates and times they’re available. It appears you’ll still have to do all the legwork yourself.”
ConsumerAffairs: Instagram reportedly working on building a dedicated shopping app. “Instagram is reportedly working on building a standalone shopping app that would allow users to browse and buy goods from merchants they follow directly, The Verge reported on Wednesday.”
MakeUseOf: 6 Useful Price Comparison Websites, Engines, and Tools to Know. “Price comparison websites, also known as price comparison engines, are essential for getting the best deals on the web—especially when you don’t have the time to hunt down coupons (use these online coupon sites) or wait for good deals to come around (how to find deals and discounts). Why visit over 10 different retailers when you can get all of their prices on one page? Of course, not all price comparison websites are equal. The best one for me might not be the best for you. “
The Next Web: Google will start earning even more money from your shopping searches. “Google already earns revenue when you search for anything using its service and see ads, but it’s now turning shoppers’ queries into an even bigger money-spinner. Reuters reports that the company is partnering with major retailers like Target Walmart, Home Depot, and Costco to let them list their products in search results when you enter a query like, ‘Where can I buy this?'”
Reuters: Exclusive: Google offers to treat rivals equally via auction – sources. “Google has already been fined a record 2.4 billion euros ($2.9 bln) by the European Commission for favoring its own service, and could face millions of euros in fresh fines if it fails to treat rivals and its own service equally. In its proposal submitted to the European Commission on Aug. 29, the company said it would allow competitors to bid for any spot in its shopping section known as Product Listing Ads, the sources said.” I was so taken aback at this proposed “solution” that I started wondering if Google was trying to troll the entire EU.
Washington Post: Google’s new program to track shoppers sparks a federal privacy complaint. “A prominent privacy rights watchdog is asking the Federal Trade Commission to investigate a new Google advertising program that ties consumers’ online behavior to their purchases in brick-and-mortar stores. The legal complaint from the Electronic Privacy Information Center, to be filed with the FTC on Monday, alleges that Google is newly gaining access to a trove of highly sensitive information — the credit and debit card purchase records of the majority of U.S. consumers — without revealing how they got the information or giving consumers meaningful ways to opt out. “
Bloomberg Quint: Consumers Don’t Want Amazon or Google to Help Them Shop. “Stores are spending lots of time and money trying out new, fancy technologies such as touchscreen mirrors in changing rooms and robo-assistants out in the racks to get consumers to buy more. Shoppers couldn’t care less.”