OffertraxWhen shopping online, I like to research my options heavily. I search Amazon, Froogle, NewEgg, and social shopping sites. I bookmark all of my findings with one set tag and save snippets of reviews and ratings. Sometimes I even send what I have collected to a friend asking for recommendations and use services like Kulist to track price changes. It’s no question that Web 2.0 has made this process easier for me, but one problem still remained: consolidating all of this collected information into one service. Offertrax solves just that. With Offertrax, users can keep up with products from online stores, create product “tracks” (groups), save notes, add reviews, and more.

The way it works is simple. When a user comes across a product on an online store that they would like to look into, they add the product to their Offertrax “Track” using the Offertrax bookmarklet. A bot, called the TrackerBot, then watches the product listing on the online store and automatically creates alerts notifying of any changes in price, shipping, or even special offers which can be followed using RSS or the Offertrax “MyTrax”. MyTrax, as seen above, is explained to be the “master control” of all products and has been designed to make it easy for a user to keep up and manage tracks. Users can also see an overview of all tracks on the main MyTrax page and choose to view each track individually.

Browsing to a track allows you to view all posts and products in that track. Its format is much like a blog except that it contains a mix of automated alerts and user generated content as posts. Once adding a product to a track, the TrackerBot automatically adds alerts about price changes, shipping changes, and special offers. What’s great about this is that you no longer have to continuously browse to all of the online stores for products to find out if prices changed or if there are any deals. Users also have the option of adding notes and reviews to their tracks, which can be quite helpful when researching. Notes are meant to allow the user to write about anything at all related to the track and reviews are to be used for sharing a view or opinion about a product.

Once you are satisfied with a track of products, you can send it off to your friends. What’s nice about sharing your track is that it allows your friends to contribute and comment about products that you have added. Your friends can also grab the RSS feed to subscribe to your track as well as add it to their own MyTrax area to keep up with the products. Unfortunately though, Offertrax does not allow friends to add products to your own tracks.

Own an online store? Fortunately for you, Offertrax is not only for shoppers, but for merchants. And for a limited time, merchants can grab an account with Offertrax for free to allow shoppers to track their products. Offertrax explains how adding this connection between a shopper and merchant helps with site conversions for online stores. They say that a common problem for merchants is that only 3% of site visitors convert to a sale. They feel that if shoppers are given the opportunity to track products, they could possibly become a “future conversion”. Sounds like a good idea to me, but will the shoppers actually convert? It’s hard to say, but being a shopper myself, I can tell you that receiving notifications about price drops definitely helps! If you are interested, just head over to Offertrax and they will provide you with code for a “Track This Offer” button that you can add to your product pages.

Offertrax is a great idea, but I feel it is still a little rough around the edges. For starters, I love how they heavily promote the use of RSS as a way for tracking products, but they really should offer email alerts as well. However, if email notifications are implemented, I would hope that they group alerts so a user doesn’t get bombarded with emails every day. I bring this up because there have been times where Offertrax has created as many as 10 alerts in a day for a single product because of problems detecting the pricing from the online store. Though, this could simply be due to the fact that Offertrax just launched into public beta and they are working out a few kinks here and there still. Lastly, I feel it would be a nice addition if you can select to view all products in a track showing the products name, the photo, and current price. It would also be great if you could pull up a single product and view all alerts and notes for that product only. This way you don’t have a whole mess of alerts to look through from a track containing ten products.


8 Comments on “Easily Track Products with Offertrax”

  1. Nancy says:

    I was thinking of making a web buisness program for a project but this seems better, good job!

  2. pick!t says:

    Solution Watch – Easily Track Products with Offertrax…

    “Offertrax is a great idea, but I feel it is still a little rough around the edges. For starters, I love how they heavily promote the use of RSS as a way for tracking products, but they really should offer email alerts as well. However, if email notif…

  3. Obrien Sparks says:

    What a nightmare. I signed up for this service and tried using it – it took entirely too much effort to get a track built and then view it. Don’t misunderstand me here – I’m a software engineer and I know my way around a web application – this IS a great idea, but without a serious overhauling on the interface, this thing won’t go anywhere.

  4. steve says:

    I also gave it a spin. I added a product from cdw.com and was expecting to have more information parsed into the interface. It said it would notify me when ‘changes’ are made to the product, but very little information was collected about it in the first place so I’m interested to see if it alerts me on price change or just on any change to the code within the page that the product sits on.

  5. Ashley Pe says:

    I stumbled upon your post and would just like to say how much I LOVED offertrax! It was so easy to use and a great tool to have for my holiday shopping… and my other shopping sprees. Now, instead of having to keep wishlists on every website I shop at, all my items can be kept track of on one website! Not only that, I can tell when my items (ex. Marc Jacobs pumps) have dropped down from $500 to $400 or even less. In short, I loved it.

  6. eugene says:

    currently the site is down?

  7. Easily Track Products with Offertrax - Profy.Com says:

    [...] Easily track products with Offertrax [...]

  8. Daily Clerks says:

    [...] Easily track products with Offertrax [...]