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Why it makes sense to compare services online

Whether you’re shopping around or switching to a new utilities or internet provider, exploring travel options, or trying to find the best car, home or health insurance package, using comparison and booking websites can help you get a great deal.

In addition to review websites and standard search engines like Google, comparison shopping services provide an increasingly popular way to find and purchase what you want or need online. So with more and more people using these platforms, why does it make sense to compare services online? Let’s find out…


First things first, what does ‘comparison shopping’ actually mean in your everyday life? In a nutshell, it’s the practice of comparing options and prices before committing to a purchase, in the hopes of finding the best available deals at any given time without needing to trawl through website after website.

A comparison services website collects service information and offers from various retailers all over the internet, then presents a (relatively) comprehensive list of options to consumers like you in a way that makes it easy to compare and contrast their features and benefits.


It’s a system that allows you to quickly get a feel for the whole market, rather than being limited to one or two webstores that pop up first on your Google search.

If you’re after the best price available on power, internet, insurance, flights and more, online comparison services are by far the best and most convenient place to start. For example, one of the most popular websites, comparethemarket, can help you search for deals on a wide array of services including life insurance, home and contents, fuel, electricity and gas, and even international money transfers for those gifts to the grandkids overseas.

When it comes to finding insurance deals in particular, there’s a wide range of choice including Choosi, Finder, and Budget Direct. For finance, internet, energy and other utilities, you could check out websites like iSelect or Canstar Blue. Crucially, there tend to be no hidden fees for these free services. 


You start by entering information or choosing criteria from various filters to narrow down the search – for example, your personal details, location, the type of service you’re looking for, and other specifics. Once a list of services is returned, you can select the ones you want to investigate further. You will then either be directed to the company’s own booking page or in some instances be able to complete a purchase through the third-party website you’re already using – such as online travel agents like Webjet, Skyscanner, Agoda or


The comparisons provided by these websites are based on different features, ratings and rankings. In theory, and generally in practice, this proves useful for discerning customers, but keep in mind the basis of the ratings and rankings is not always immediately explained. If you want to know more, you may have to read the fine print. 

What’s in it for the retailer? Comparison shopping services are an important tool for eCommerce merchants because they help brands generate visibility and increase sales. And the comparison websites themselves are businesses that make money from sponsored links and commissions paid by certain providers. In other words, go ahead and use these sites to your advantage, but be aware of the commercial realities. Time to get comparing!