What it is: A comparison-shopping site aimed at the lazy bargain hunter, such as the consumer eager for an iPod Nano this Christmas but not willing to stay glued to the web in case one pops up at the right budget-friendly price. Said shopper can visit myTriggers.com and put in a price he or she would be willing to spend, and myTriggers searches the web. The shopper receives alerts via RSS feeds and e-mail notifications when myTrigger finds the coveted item. "It's the nirvana of search. You don't have to fight through the ads and sponsored links and go through 60 clicks and then find out the retailer doesn't even have it," said MyTrigger founder and CEO Glenn Meyers.
Who is behind it: Columbus-based entrepreneur Mr. Meyers is using capital he raised during a public stock offering as CEO of web development company RareMedium Group, which built some of the first websites in the early days of the dot-com boom for the likes of Microsoft, Amazon and MTV. MyTriggers.com went live on Black Friday and consumers have already racked up $1 million in sales via the site with half a million already signed up.
Why: Comparison-shopping sites have been popping up in recent years, but no single one has emerged as the go-to site. By merging e-mail and search functions on one site, myTriggers is hoping to lure consumers who have grown frustrated with out-of-stock notifications, not to mention unreliable data gleaned via web crawlers and spiders. Retailer databases, including information from Best Buy, Circuit City, Wal-Mart and even the notoriously data-secretive Apple Stores, directly feed information to the site.
What it has learned: Consumers are tired of web pages cluttered with sponsored links and ads. With myTriggers, search results aren't organized based on which e-commerce site paid the most, but on consumer preferences such as price, location, manufacturer, retailers and reviews. "It's a novel concept -- give them what they want -- but no one is doing that," Mr. Meyer said. "Consumers want to search naturally on their own terms." Big-box retail companies know they need a web presence and have multichannel strategies to grow sales online. They need affiliate relationships to drive traffic to their sites and they need high-quality traffic and are tired of paying for clicks
The ad angle: There isn't one, exactly. But that depends on how you define an "ad" online these days. When it comes to consumer searches, coming out on top of a search is as good as an ad. But unlike Google's sponsored links, there's no charge for clicks -- only sales conversions, like when that user actually buys that iPod from Apple or flat-panel TV from Wal-Mart. Retailers seem willing to give it a chance, because at least for now the site appears to be overcoming the persistent and costly click fraud that plagues other comparison-shopping sites.