CrispyShop: A pretty comparison shopping tool

CrispyShop lets you compare products with some neat visual tricks.

CrispyShop is a new tool for comparison shopping. Launched last week, CrispyShop lets you search and compare prices and specs for pretty much anything sold online, using visualization that's both useful and easy on the eyes. CrispyShop is built on ShoppingPath, a technology that visually sorts and separates search results. All results come from Yahoo Shopping, and provide users with direct links to purchase products from popular Web shopping sites like Newegg and Buy.com.

Search results show up in a scatter plot, with product thumbnails that magnify when you mouse over them, similar to the dock on Mac OS X. It's a really neat effect that's actually fairly useful for getting a ton of results in a small space. Even cooler is the capability to tab back and forth between both selected products and comparison options without refreshing. This is especially helpful when comparing computer monitors, as you can check the screen size, resolution, and response time without having to go to individual product pages.

CrispyShop is not without a few flaws. If you want to search for prices on a single product, you'll have to specify what category it falls into. I'd like to see a simple search box (like Google) that doesn't require having to pick from the 25 genres to aim the search tool at what you're looking for. Also, the individual results don't always give you the kind of depth you can get from sites like Newegg or Epinions. There are user reviews, but you'll often have duplicate search results, some of which have reviews and others that don't.

CrispyShop is a useful tool for looking at a lot of results at once. The lack of a real shopping community or user profiles keep it from being a group experience; but as a direct comparison tool, CrispyShop does a good job of making things easy.

See also BrowseGoods for neat shopping visualization.

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About the author

Josh Lowensohn joined CNET in 2006 and now covers Apple. Before that, Josh wrote about everything from new Web start-ups, to remote-controlled robots that watch your house. Prior to joining CNET, Josh covered breaking video game news, as well as reviewing game software. His current console favorite is the Xbox 360.

 

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