Why people still use comparison sites in spite of their misleading marketing practices?
Now I think that I have browsed most of the popular comparison websites of the UK and the US and I have read the terms and conditions of most of them. None of these websites truly crawls the internet to find deals for us, but we still like to shop on comparison sites. To my mind, there is something psychological in our behavior. Indeed it is very pleasant to type some keywords in a search bar and to receive in seconds at least hundreds of offers. I am well aware of how comparison websites work given that I am a part of the e-commerce industry. However, I still use these websites when I am looking for some good deals.
If you do not know, most of the comparison websites display deals (only) from companies that they work with. These websites sort these deals per category and make your search easier. They receive commissions from the companies listed each time that you select one of their deals. There is no comparison website which actually scours all the sites of the Internet to find bargains. The search engine of comparison websites browses their internal data and not the Internet as the search engine of Google for instance.
Actually, in many cases, your friends can recommend you better deals than comparison websites, but few people nowadays use networking to be updated about good bargains. Comparison sites have become the new friends who recommend attractive offers.
We do not care anymore about the trustworthiness of our sources. This is by the way not only a marketing issue. It is also a growing problem in politics. We have no problems to trust in strangers as long as they introduce things clearly and brightly. This is what comparison websites do. The success of these websites is based on our love for order and clarity. These websites are indeed well organized. Deals are sorted by categories, search results are sorted according to the prices, and the overall design of these websites is, in general, well-thought-out and attractive. We like the layout, we like what we see, and we do not care about the facts that we are perhaps buying something which is far from being the best deal nor the best offer for our personal needs.
As we know, trust is the most important thing when it comes to economics. When we write queries on Google, we always expect to find relevant results on the first page, but it is definitely not always the case. Nevertheless, we tend to rely on Google, as a consequence, we are oftentimes convinced that the trustful and relevant sources, products or services will always appear at the top of the results. It is obviously not the case.
People who do not care about the trustworthiness of the websites that they visit will continue to leap blindly at offers on comparison websites that promote sponsored companies. Nevertheless, I am convinced that e-commerce will get more and more social and that we will rely again on our friends and larger local communities for referrals. This is something that I already see in social media, and this is to my mind what lies ahead.