Title: Online shopping bots for electronic commerce: the comparison of functionality and performance

Authors: Khaled W. Sadeddin, Alexander Serenko, James Hayes

Addresses: Faculty of Business Administration, Lakehead University, 955 Oliver Road, Thunder Bay, ON P7B 5E1, Canada. ' Faculty of Business Administration, Lakehead University, 955 Oliver Road, Thunder Bay, ON P7B 5E1, Canada. ' Faculty of Business Administration, Lakehead University, 955 Oliver Road, Thunder Bay, ON P7B 5E1, Canada

Abstract: Shopping bots are software applications assisting consumers with online comparison-shopping by presenting product prices from multiple e-tailers. We examined the output of nine comprehensive shopping bots through multiple searches for 40 books, 20 CDs, and 20 DVDs. The results produced by each bot were analysed to determine bot effectiveness based on accuracy, consistency, and repeatability of recommendations, using price as a key measure. It was concluded that no best shopping bot exists, most bots offer limited product information, and all often present inaccurate information about the actual product price or availability. Several recommendations for practitioners and researchers are presented.

Keywords: electronic commerce; e-commerce; intelligent agents; electronic business; e-business; shopping bots; functionality; performance; internet; product prices; online shopping; e-tailing; price comparisons; recommendation accuracy; recommendation consistency; recommendation repeatability; product information; product availability.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEB.2007.016472

International Journal of Electronic Business, 2007 Vol.5 No.6, pp.576 - 589

Published online: 30 Dec 2007 *

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