Price comparison websites are not new on the market. Many have been online for a long time and are well known to a wide audience. However, a quick analysis shows that such projects are mainly focused on a few large business areas such as electronics and appliances, travel, insurance and automotive parts.

Take niche or less obvious markets, and the opportunities for new players to emerge in them are still abundant. As a result, you may want to consider a price comparison website as a good business idea for a startup.

SmartTek has extensive experience in web development and we have written this article based on our own experience. Let us take a closer look at how product price comparison websites work, how to choose a market niche to develop one, what features it should have, and how to monetize such a project.

Quick stats & facts

  • Over 82% of consumers compare product prices online before making a purchase. Therefore, market players should use modern price comparison tools. —
  • In Australia, 59% of consumers regularly use shopping and price comparison sites.
  • In 2020, 84% of online shoppers worldwide compared prices of stores before making a purchase. — Gitnux
  • Up to 83 percent of respondents said they usually compared prices on a few sites before making an online purchase. — Statista
How often customers compare prices online
Price comparison habits before buying online, image by Statista

What is a Price Comparison Website and How Does it Work?

When making a decision to buy a certain product, people try to consider various factors, and the price is one of the most relevant ones. This peculiarity is the basis of this type of project.

The online price comparison website combines offers from different sellers (online stores) on its pages and allows users to choose the best offer. The buyer then clicks on “buy” and visits the website of a specific online store.

In this way, potential buyers save time and can find the products they want at the best prices.

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Below are some great features aggregators can have:

  • A store price comparison website does not sell anything but displays product offers to compare prices from different websites selling those products and redirects buyers to online stores.
  • Product sellers provide the essential content (product descriptions, specifications, and prices) to a price checker website. A website owner can work to post additional content, for instance, blog articles.
  • A product comparison website is an intermediary but not a party to the agreement.

On the other hand, entrepreneurs who present their products on price aggregators get access to a vast audience of “warm” customers ready to make purchases.

There are several types of price comparison websites:

  • Product aggregators
  • Service aggregators
  • Marketplaces.

Unlike others, the latter is a party to the agreement between buyers and sellers. Therefore, we may think of it as a separate project type.

How product price change historically
Image: Dribble by Ahmed Radwan

How to select a niche for creating a price comparison website

A well-chosen niche can play a more important role in the success of the project than the quality of the technical implementation. Therefore, before developing a price comparison website, it is crucial to identify and analyze a specific niche in which the aggregator will operate.

Read about some criteria to help you make the right choice:

  • Evaluate a niche you are interested in and sum up things you have some experience in that could help you work on the project.
  • Are there other players present in this niche? Analyze the Top 10 results on Google by making relevant search queries.
  • What is the traffic potential in this niche? Using, you can estimate the approximate traffic to someone else’s website (divide the value by two) and comprehend if this niche is promising in your case.
  • How complex are the websites belonging to your potential competitors in functionality and possible technical implementation? Knowing the answers to these questions, you can determine the entry threshold level.

To assess the last point on the list, you can involve technical specialists (developers) you are acquainted with or buy such an assessment from consulting freelancers.

Affiliate product comparison WordPress plugin
Affiliate Marketing plugin for WordPress

Out-of-the-box solution or development from scratch: what to choose?

There are two basic ways to build a price-comparison website: use a turnkey solution or start from scratch. In the first case, the product is lower in price, easier to use, and faster to start working with to gain immediate market advantage. The reasons for choosing the latter option are the ability to implement almost anything you want, all the code will be yours, and you will know all the ins and outs of your site.

However, all the functionality, design and admin panel dashboards will cost money when developing a website from scratch. Therefore, it would always be a wise and optimal strategy to think everything through in advance and start your product with an MVP.

In my opinion, the ultimate solution is to combine both approaches in a single development process. This means developing some elements from scratch and using ready-made frameworks, templates, API and UI/UX elements to solve the other fraction of tasks.

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Key Features of Successful Price-comparison Website

The list of features peculiar to this type of website may differ depending on the niche, target audience, customer ambitions, and many other factors. However, several basic functions are essential for any price comparison website if you want to build a successful product.

Search & Filters

The internal search is vital for this website type. Users should have the possibility to enter a product name or other keyword and quickly get the results they want.

Advanced filtering based on various parameters, like price range, brand, size, rating, and others, allows for making requests more specific. For example, a website can return a product list built according to a price range or required brands.

Product Listings

These pages contain information about specific products (photos, descriptions, and specifications). They also include product price offers from various sellers. Product availability information, feedback about vendors, delivery terms, and other additional details allow users to choose the best offer.

Besides, the possibility to sort the lists by price, popularity, rating, or other similar properties would be a considerable advantage.

Product Listing on price aggregator website

Seller Page

Each vendor present on the website should have their information page — a kind of the company’s business card. This page should contain detailed information about the seller, their rating, customer reviews, replacement/return conditions, and other essential details.

Reviews & Ratings

Website visitors should have the possibility to leave detailed reviews, describing their impressions about products and their interaction experience with any seller. When new visitors read reviews from previous customers, they will more likely make a purchase decision.

User reviews on price aggregator website

Price History & Alert

Price history charts show how prices for listed products have changed over time. This feature is useful, for instance, for tracking trends when selecting top-of-the-range merchandise.

The possibility of setting price reduction alerts can also be valuable for users. This feature will allow buyers to benefit from promotional offers and seasonal sales.

User Profiles

A website like this should provide two main types of profiles: a buyer profile and a seller profile.

  • Buyer profile. Users should be able to track their purchase history, save products to wishlists, view price change notifications, and receive personalized purchase suggestions based on previous activity on the website.
  • Seller profile. That is a personal account where sellers can monitor their online store statistics. Using it, they can manage their store page settings, add and remove products, pay commissions, etc.
User profile on price comparison website

XML (YML) import

Price aggregator developers face one challenging task — to enable an efficient function dealing with sellers uploading their product cards. Sellers may provide photos of different quality, and their approach to displaying product features and other crucial information can also be different.

The platform has to parse everything and identify that the item titles from different sellers represent identical products. Moreover, it is necessary to display these products in the catalog properly and equally nicely. All these tasks require substantial labor effort and good server capacity.

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How do Price Comparison Websites Make Money? Use These Monetization Strategies

We can divide all monetization methods used at price comparison websites into two main groups: the ones operating within a price aggregator and those tracking user activity on partner platforms. More details are below.

  • Pay per click. Merchandise sellers pay for any user who clicks on a link to the seller’s website. Each link has a unique identifier, so sellers know what aggregator users are redirected from.
  • Order payment. That is another popular monetization model. If users follow a link on an aggregator and order merchandise on a partner’s website, they must pay a fixed commission.
  • Affiliate marketing. A price comparison website receives a fixed commission fee or a share of each order made by a user who follows a link to a partner website.
  • Paid ad placement. Price comparison aggregators can also make money by placing additional ads or promoting offers from specific suppliers.
  • Display Ads. Google Adsense is the most popular platform for monetizing websites by placing contextual media ads. All you have to do is embed specific code on your website, and then the system will select and place ads automatically.

It is critical to realize that you do not have to limit yourself to just one monetization method. You can combine all of the above, diversifying income sources.

eCommerce userv behavior


As you can see, developing a price comparison website is not an easy task and will involve considerable costs. It is necessary to properly analyze the niche, carefully think through and describe the list of necessary functions, and most importantly, find an experienced web developer who can implement all these tasks at a high quality level.

This article has answered the most important questions about building a price comparison website. If you are looking for a reliable technology partner to help you create a price comparison website, contact us and let us discuss the details.

Andriy Nayda
Andriy Nayda Head of Web & Mobile Department at SmartTek Solutions