In Comparison Shopping Threatens Smaller Sites, (posted on the WSJ's StartupJournal site, registration not required), Jeannette Borzo takes a look at comparison shopping databases from the small business owner angle.
Now, with e-commerce continuing to boom, big retailers have begun piling into comparison sites -- and making life a lot tougher for their small competitors. Not only is it harder for small companies to stand out when they're jostling with L.L. Bean, J.C. Penney and Circuit City, it's also more expensive. The rush of new competition has driven up the placement fees that companies pay for better spots in search results.
The article goes on to say that while all of this might be "chaotic" for the small retailer, comparison shopping engines, "can still be a great sales vehicle for retailers who know how to take advantage of them."