Comparison-Shopping Agents


Comparison-Shopping Services and Agent Designs, Call for Chapters for a book edited by Yun Wan; Proposal deadline 10 Feb 2008

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Call for Chapters: Comparison-Shopping Services and Agent Designs


Web-based comparison-shopping services have grown into a mainstream business-to-consumer ecommerce category in the last 10 years. Leading comparison-shopping services like,, and are being used by an increasing number of Web shoppers, and these services now rank next to eBay and Amazon. Established online portals like MSN, Yahoo, and Google also have their own comparison-shopping services to accommodate online visitors. The study of comparison-shopping services, however, when compared with the study of online retailing and online auction, is rather limited, especially in regards to the design of these services and their impact on users.

For example, most existing academic research on the technical design of comparison-shopping has been on data wrapping and information retrieval; While in the industry, data-feeding has become standard practices for all major comparison-shopping services. For interface design, innovative comparison-shopping services are already spread from PC to mobile devices, and the information format has evolved from mere price comparison to product research. All these changes have not been closely followed by academic research. In summary, though comparison-shopping services have grown into a mature ecommerce sector, the research in this area has not passed the level of innovation. Thus, it is necessary for us to expand our understanding of this important ecommerce model and the technology infrastructure behind it. To help fill this void, Comparison-Shopping Sercies and Agent Desings will provide an up-to-date, comprehensive study of the research on comaparison-shopping services.

Objective of the Book

This book aims to provide:

  1. A summary of existing research on comparison shopping
  2. A cross-discipline overview and references for researchers and practitioners interested in this field
  3. Innovative explorations of the current trend of comparison-shopping services

Studies on comparison-shopping have been conducted from marketing, psychology, economics, electronic commerce, human computer interaction, and intelligent agents, etc. It is beneficial to compare these findings and research models from different perspectives, synthesize them and boost the research in this field to a higher level. This book aims to lead the effort in this direction.

The topics will include, but are not limited to: Business Models related to Comparison-Shopping, the Vendor Strategy of participating in Comparison-Shopping, Consumer Behavior when using Comparison-Shopping Services, and Technical Design and Sophistication of the Services, etc.

Target Audience

This book is targeting both academic researchers and industry practitioners. It is especially useful for those who seek an overview and reference to the field; and those interested in the discipline of Comparison-Shopping and its cross-disciplinary implications. Managers in Electronic Commerce would also find this book useful in terms of getting a broad view of search engine marketing beyond Search Engine Optimization.

Recommended Topics

Since this book is written for a general audience including both academia and industry, the topics of this book will cover four tracks: a business track addressing the various business models of comparison-shopping; a consumer behavior track covering the research on how consumers use comparison-shopping services, and a technical track covering the design of comparison-shopping services from the bottom-up. Research on policy and legal issues of comparison-shopping are included as the fourth track.

  1. The Business Issues
    • The basic business model of comparison-shopping
    • The structure of the comparison-shopping market
    • The impact of comparison-shopping on the electronic market
    • The vendor strategies in comparison-shopping
    • Strategy of service providers in comparison-shopping
    • The development of the comparison-shopping market: now and future
    • The future of agent-driven electronic commerce
    • The methodology on the study of the comparison-shopping market
    • Emerging business issues with comparison-shopping services
  2. The Consumer Behavior Issues
    • How do consumers use comparison-shopping?
    • The decision strategy of online shoppers
    • The efficiency and effectiveness of comparison-shopping agents in assisting online shopping
    • Critical issues in using comparison-shopping for online shoppers
  3. The Service Design and Technical Issues
    • The classification of comparison-shopping services
    • The deficiency of current service design
    • The principle of good design for comparison-shopping services
    • The working mechanism of comparison-shopping agents
    • The current challenges of agent design
    • The impact of component-based software engineering on comparison-shopping agent design
    • The product information standardization for comparison-shopping services
  4. Other important issues related to comparison-shopping, e.g. public policy and legal issues.


Researchers and practitioners are invited to submit on or before February 10, 2008, a 2-5 page manuscript proposal clearly explaining the mission and concerns of the proposed chapter. Authors of accepted proposals will be notified by February 20, 2008 about the status of their proposals and sent chapter organizational guidelines. Full chapters are expected to be submitted by April 20, 2008. All submitted chapters will be reviewed on a double-blind review basis. The book is scheduled to be published by IGI Global (formerly Idea Group Inc.),, publisher of the IGI Publishing, Information Science Publishing, IRM Press, CyberTech Publishing, Information Science Reference, and Medical Information Science Reference imprints.

Contact Information

Yun Wan
Assistant Professor of Computer Information System
Department of Computer Science
University of Houston, Victoria
14000 University Blvd
Sugar Land, TX 77479
Telephone/Fax: 281-201-4223