Update: As our readers pointed out, MySmartPrice is a price comparison service for mobile phones, books and cameras, across online stores. The site also offers a product comparison engine for mobile phones. We did give it a shot, and found that it covers most major online stores. For books, it includes results from speciality stores like uRead and Coinjoos. Also, Faisal Farooqui, CEO of MouthShut informs that the site will be adding a price comparison engine, shortly.

E-commerce portal Flipkart has added a product comparison engine, to enable customers to compare upto 4 products simultaneously (Hat-Tip: Vikas S.N, @tsuvik). The compare functionality has been extended to Cameras, Mobile Phones, Laptops, and MP3 Players, and lets users compare product specifications, price, availability, warranty, and special offers, amongst other attributes.

To our surprise, many other Indian e-commerce portals including Infibeam, LetsBuy, and HomeShop18, do not offer a product comparison engine, although the Spice Group’s* online mobile phone shop, Saholic does. CompareIndia.com,  acquired by Network18 in 2006, is still live but we’re not sure if it is really an area of focus for the company, after StoreGuru or shop.in.com was shut down. Perhaps it could be integrated with HomeShop18, Network18’s e-commerce portal.

MediaNama readers would recall that Reliance BIG Entertainment (RBE) was also working on a comparison shopping portal called BIGMRP. Product reviews aggregator Mouthshut, also offers a compare functionality, though it is more or less based on the review parameters and not on specifications and price.

With e-commerce sites expanding their product portfolio and turning into vast multi-brand stores, a comparison engine helps customers in making a purchase decision, in an efficient manner. Also, it has been seen that a lot of customers research online before they make their buying decisions. In a recent post we mentioned how offering attractive pricing might lure customers to buy online. The presence of an online vs offline price comparison engine would facilitate it.

But why just product comparison? We’d like to see an independent comparison engine, that would also let customers compare prices across various online and offline stores – something on the lines of isbn.net.in, aggregating customer reviews, alongwith product comparisons. With all these e-commerce portals launching, it’s about time someone created a comparison shopping engine.

(P.S.: If there is one for India already, drop us a note in the comments)

Disclosure: Spice Digital is an advertiser with MediaNama