Brandstand - Intermediaries on the internet face new comparisons.

Which is the better brand, Amazon.com or Acses.com? Not much doubt now, but I suspect that many people will soon be switching their bookmarks from Amazon to Acses.

Which is the better brand, Amazon.com or Acses.com? Not much doubt

now, but I suspect that many people will soon be switching their bookmarks

from Amazon to Acses.



Why? Because Acses is a comparison service for online bookshops. Type in

the name of a book or author, and its ’intelligent agent’ scampers off

round 25 (mainly US) shops on the web and lists them by price, including

the all-important shipping costs. So, for example, a Barnes & Noble book

will be listed several times according to the type of postage used.



You still get the full Amazon or B&N service - but the name you need to

remember is not theirs, but Acses’s. The first five words of this column

are, I have just noticed, a pun. Which? is indeed a better brand. Many

people in the UK have used the Consumers’ Association magazine as an

intelligent agent for decades. So when I wanted a lawnmower recently, I

got myself a 30-day trial of Which? Online (www.which.net), and printed

out its recommendations.



I bought a Qualcast, I think, but that was not the brand I was following -

it was the Which? brand.



In the US, Excite’s comparison service (www.jango.com) finds you the

cheapest computers, golf clubs, even cigars. A London-based purchasing

consultancy has set up the buy.co.uk site. For now, it tells you the

cheapest source of gas. But in the future, it will help businesses to

choose everything from lifts to cleaning services. Buy.co.uk will, it

seems to me, become a powerful brand.



It has often been said that the internet will create new types of

intermediary.



The comparison site is an excellent example. Good news for consumers. But

perhaps not so good for other new intermediaries, like our old friend

Amazon?



Become a member of Campaign from just £77 a quarter

Get the very latest news and insight from Campaign with unrestricted access to campaignlive.co.uk , plus get exclusive discounts to Campaign events

Become a member

Looking for a new job?

Get the latest creative jobs in advertising, media, marketing and digital delivered directly to your inbox each day.

Create an alert now

Partner content