November 24, 2009, 12:00 AM

Comparison shopping engine gives recommendations via text or tweet

A new system from Retrevo enables shoppers to query the Retrevo.com database via text message or Twitter to receive a recommendation on whether to buy an item, what a fair price is and what is the price range among online retailers.

Zak Stambor

Managing Editor

Consumer electronics comparison shopping engine Retrevo is taking its act on the road, enabling shoppers in stores to comparison shop using their mobile phones.

RetrevoQ allows shoppers to query the Retrevo.com database via text message to the shopping site’s short code, 41411, and receive a recommendation on whether to buy an item, what a fair price is and what is the price range among online retailers.

To use the system, a shopper types a message with RetrevoQ plus the make plus the model of the electronics product. So, for example, a shopper in a Best Buy store looking at digital cameras could text “retrevoq canon 500D” to 41411. The shopper quickly receives a reply text message with the information he needs to make an informed decision, the company says. In this example, the reply text could read, “Canon 500D: Strong Buy if you want high end, Fair Price: $842, Range: $724-$1043. http://bit.ly/V940p.” The shortened URL leads shoppers with web-enabled phones to a Retrevo.com web page filled with information on the product in question.

“RetrevoQ serves as a personal shopping advisor giving in-store shoppers the information they need to make good decisions about the gadgets they’re shopping for,” says Manish Rathi, Retrevo’s co-founder and vice president of marketing. “It saves them time and money, and provides the peace of mind to know they are not buying the wrong product, or paying too much.”

RetrevoQ also enables queries via Twitter, whether through Twitter.com or any of the numerous Twitter mobile apps. Shoppers can send a Direct Message to Retrevo with the same information but in Twitter format, in this case “dm @retrevoq Canon 500D.” They then receive a reply tweet with the same information as in the text message reply.

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