PriceBaba, a location based price search engine that gives the best bargain price of products from offline retailers, has announced that it has partnered with 55444 (Innoz Technologies) enabling users to research prices in their vicinity via SMS. Apart from that, PriceBaba has also announced that it is expanding its operations in Delhi NCR and Pune.

With the addition of Delhi NCR and Pune, PriceBaba now functions in five regions including Mumbai, Delhi, Noida, Gurgaon, and Pune and lists over 350 offline shops. The company claims that each of the stores added to its search engine go through minimum two level verification and that over 30% of stores that they verify are rejected. Annkur Agarwal, Co-Founder of PriceBaba informed MediaNama that they reject stores based on parameters like the locality of the store, store owner’s hospitality, and on whether they are a multi-brand retail store.

Partnering with Innoz Technologies’ 55444, PriceBaba now provides its search engine on any mobile phone via SMS. Users across India can send an SMS ‘#PriceBaba <handset name>’ to 55444 to search for the best bargain price of the handset. Users in Mumbai and Delhi can also search for shop locations around them.

Our Take: We tried the service in Mumbai on our Nokia 808 PureView device and received the best bargain price, store name, location and the contact number of the store as a reply. While the service works smoothly on a large screen device that displays long SMS without hiccups, it does not work well with small screen devices. We tested the service on Nokia 2690 and BlackBerry 9320, both with small screens, and received an SMS from 55444 that was truncated. The problem lies in the fact that Innoz or 55444 send a 400 character reply which gets truncated on a small screen devices and doesn’t mention in the SMS how to proceed further, which might confuse a large portion of users that might want to use PriceBaba’s service on their small screen handsets.

 

     

Design Changes: Apart from expanding its operations and partnering with Innoz technologies, Pricebaba has also tweaked its website. The website now works on any screen size,  be it desktop, laptop, tablet or a mobile phone. PriceBaba also detects the user’s location when one submits a query and displays results closer to their location. It has also implemented Magical search that tries to understand what one means, instead of what one inputs. For example, even if someone types ‘Nokai’ instead of Nokia or ‘Blackkberry’ instead of Blackberry, PriceBaba claims to return the right result. We tested the system by typing “nokie lunie 710” and got the result for Nokia Lumia 710.

PriceBaba was launched in May 2012 by Annkur Agarwal and Tirthesh Ganatra. It provides customers with the least price from an offline retailers so that customers can make intelligent decision to make the purchase.

Other Players

While there are no other players that provide the price of a product from offline retail stores, there are number of price comparison websites including MySmartPrice, and CompareIndia, which offer price comparison for online retailers, as it can be automated by the use XML feeds, and doesn’t require an on-ground team. Apart from that, we had previously reported that JustDial, an online and telephone business listings company, is gearing up to launch an online and phone based price quote service called Quick Quotes. However, its website quickquotes.in is currently behind a password, though there is a info page hidden here.