Sortprice.com’s Search Engine Finds Low Prices, but Makes Mistakes

Sortprice.com is another shopping search engine (check out the 15 best price comparison sites guide), which fuses price comparison (like PriceGrabber.com) with visual product matching (as Like.com does). They’re celebrating their 5-year anniversary with the release of a new “improved layout for quicker access” to products, a subscriber newsletter, a list of popular products and searches, and updated product reviews.

Here’s our review.

The search engine: A quick search via Sortprice.com, for the popular “Paige Denim Laurel Canyon, Lagoon” jeans, resulted with two hits, and a low price of $157.00 via a non-major store.  A similar search via the Google Products search engine resulted in many more hits, but the same low price of $157, from the same store. The limited results can be a good thing as sometimes Google returns too many results and making it harder to determine which store to go with.

However, several searches for other widely available products failed to find an exact match on Sortprice.com. Example: while Google Products picked it up: the terms “Michael Kors Berkeley” did not find the sandal on Sortprice.com, but found various prices and variations via Google.  Sortprice.com’s search engine has the capacity to find the lowest price, but does not have the breadth of Google Product’s search engine, which can find any incarnation of the search terms through its powerful word-based engine.

We did one last product search, which revealed a problem: Sortprice.com’s engine will guess the product category of the search term, and lock the categories in—which is fine when it guesses the right category.  When we searched for “Miz Mooz,” the cute indie shoe brand, the engine found only products for the “Missouri Mizzou” Tigers sports team.  After this search, the “search in categories” drop bar only showed fan, sports and action merchandise and other categories similarly related to sports.  “Women’s Shoes,” which Miz Mooz should have appeared under, is nowhere to be found.  Only the “Ads by Google” on the very bottom of the page reveal actual products by the Miz Mooz shoe brand – but these links are a result of Google’s search engine, and suggests yet again that we should stick to Google Product Search.

Shop by color: The “Sort by Color” option is only available via the category browsing search.  It is not a part of the price comparison engine, and is not accessible after typing in a specific product search.  Intuitive categories marked by large, recognizable icons on the front page allow a used to browse, for example, Apparel > Women’s > Dresses.  At this point, the color options are expansive: one can search for moss, teal, and nearly forty other very specific shades and colors.  The engine chooses products both by hue matching, and by word matching.  For example: choosing “moss” results in 86 results for dresses of a similar shade of the moss colored button, but also a large selection of “Ella Moss” designs.  Similarly, choosing the orange colored button results in 56 dresses that match the exact shade of the orange button, but also many products that simply have “orange” as part of the name, regardless of the shade.

The verdict: Nay.  Sortprice.com’s search engine can be beat by more powerful rivals and has categorization problems, whereas the new “Shop by Color” feature is beat by Like.com’s capacity to match color….and details, shapes, and patterns.