Innovation That Matters

Real-time pricing error alerts for consumers to pounce on

Work & Lifestyle

Real-time price search has arrived, and with it some unexpected bonus features for consumers. German site Apnoti claims to have the first search engine to index prices for the German, American and French markets in real time. Currently in beta launch, the engine crawls over 65 million items in more than 10,000 affiliated stores for each and every search request, presenting users with a comparison of products’ price trends over the past four weeks and current prices, accurate (in theory) to the past few seconds. Apnoti differentiates itself from other price comparison services which usually rely on daily updates by their operators, claiming that these services cannot cope with the price fluctuations that often occur throughout the day. According to Apnoti’s creators, sudden price drops and fluctuations of up to 90%—usually due to retailer error—are a regular occurrence. To help their German users take advantage of these mistakes, Apnoti launched another purported web first: (‘price breakdown’), a free email alert service for huge price drops. Users enter their email address and select which product categories they’d like to monitor. When a price drop of over 50% occurs, they will be immediately alerted by email so they can pounce on the super-bargain before the retailer has a chance to correct it. Web store recently learned this to its cost, when they received 6,534 orders for a EUR 2,000 MacBook mistakenly reduced to EUR 49.95. Ethics aside, the services offered by Preispanne and Apnoti meet the demands of two powerful consumer trends: transparency and real-time everything. Online retailers will have to stay on their toes if they’re to stay in the game! Meanwhile, opportunities abound for entrepreneurs who can make the most of real-time transparency. How about a cheeky webstore off the back of Preispanne’s alerts? Spotted by: Susanna Haynie



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