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iPrice adds price comparison to its one-stop e-commerce site in Southeast Asia

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Southeast Asia-based shopping site iPrice has introduced a major update that brings direct price comparison to its e-commerce aggregation service.

iPrice raised $1.2 million last year and it aims to be a one-stop destination for online shopping in Southeast Asia, a region noted for its potential as internet access continues to grow among its 600 million cumulative population. It claims more than 500 merchant partners and 1.6 million visitors monthly, and has added a new price comparison feature in order to make it easier for visitors to find the right deals.

The feature works in two ways. If you look at a product, iPrice will pull up a list of related variants to help you to easily find the exact one of your choice. So, if that’s a smartphone, then you’ll see related based on specifics like color, storage space, and model, for example.

Secondly, and perhaps importantly, it pulls in additional information like delivery time, delivery cost and payment options into a single view. That’s important because e-commerce remains nascent in Southeast Asia with many shipments taking days perhaps because they are cross-border, while payment type is essential because credit card penetration is below 10 percent across the region. Putting that all in a single place before you click out to go to the retailer’s website is far more convenient.

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Initially, the price comparison feature is active on tech items, like smartphones. Other products, which include clothes, shoes, bags and jewelry, are displayed as outgoing links which, when clicked, take a visitor straight to the merchant website. Thereafter, if the customer makes a purchase, iPrice takes a cut for generating the business.

“There is a gap between what the competitors are providing and what is value for the consumer,” iPrice CEO David Chmelar told TechCrunch in an interview. “We want to put consumers at the front, and we did a lot of research about how people shop online.”

Chmelar said that iPrice, which is headquartered in Malaysia and offers coupons as well as deal aggregation, is looking at other ways that it can package data to make the shopping experience more intuitive.

“There are other possibilities around how you can work with the same data but provide additional value add by displaying it in a better way. We really want to master price comparison and there’s so much we can do,” he added.