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A comparison shopping engine is a type of Internet search engine that evaluates the prices of similar merchandise and suggests related links to users. Even though comparison shopping engine website owners do not offer the products themselves, they may receive commission if their efforts help turn a profit for an online store. The links suggested to users are based on searches they've already conducted.
A comparison shopping engine may also be referred to as a shopping search engine.
The desired outcome of a comparison shopping engine is for users to follow suggested links and make a purchase from one of those links. The advantage of this for consumers is that they can compare merchandise prices without having to perform extensive searches themselves in order to decide where to buy a particular product. Comparison shopping engines are considered product-specific search queries because they're designed to link users to specific online storefronts.
Comparison shopping engines are employed by merchants who add items or upload their online catalogs to these shopping search engines. They do so by finding online portals designed for their industry niche, which only permit specific online storefronts or service providers to use their comparison shopping engines; alternatively, they may only allow certain types of products to be listed. Some comparison shopping engines are free for merchants, while others charge fees or commissions.