IQ News: MySimon Puts Price Power In Users’ Hands

The mySimon shopping bot service this week will be able to put the power of e-commerce in the palms of consumers’ hands, literally.
MySimon, which offers automated online comparison shopping with its Virtual Learning Agent technology, has inked a deal with 3Com subsidiary U.S. Palm Computing to embed a special version of the VLA into 3Com’s Palm VII handheld electronic organizer, which starts shipping today in the New York market only.
Since October 1998, shoppers have gone to the mySimon Web site to search for a product with the help of a VLA bot, which crawls to all available retailers and returns real-time prices. The shopper can buy on the mySimon site, or go to the retailer’s site.
The Palm VII includes its proprietary Palm.Net wireless service which lets users access the Internet, although Palm VII users won’t be able to buy directly from the organizer as they can from the Web site. That feature is still under construction and expected in the next six months.
Shoppers can, however, check prices online to decide whether to buy at the store, and can use the shopbot results to negotiate when prices are flexible.
“I think it can fundamentally change the way people shop,” said Josh Goldman, CEO of Santa Clara, Calif.-based mySimon. “E-commerce is on your belt rather than back on your desk.”
A redesigned mySimon site will go live in early June, backed by a multimillion-dollar consumer ad campaign via Bigelo & Partners of San Francisco. The tagline: “The future of shopping is here.” ƒ