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Wibbit wants to make prices and shopping carts comparable

Wibbit, a start-up operating in Tartu Science Park with origins in Playtech, is getting ready to come to market with a multifunctional food and staple goods price comparison and shopping website.

One of the originators of the enterprise, Mehis Pärn (pictured), says that the idea was first developed this spring at the Garage48 start-up event. Recently, it was the winning entry in the StartITup competition organized by Tartu Science Park and Tehnopol, which laid a more serious foundation for the project.

The initial name of the website was planned to be Wibbit.eu and it is aimed at the Estonian market.

There are a number of ideas for how Wibbit could benefit stores or consumers and the exact business plan and strategy are far from set in stone. Imagination is largely the limit here; the brainstorming continues.

Pärn says that it would be great to use a mobile phone to take pictures of products in stores or scan their barcodes so as to get an immediate comparison of how much the same item might cost in other stores. It would also be great to receive discounted offers or information on new products but only on products or product groups that appeal to you.

Wibbit finds out the cheapest store

Wibbit could also be used to compare family shopping carts by the week or month and to gain an understanding of how much would have been spent on similar goods in other stores.

According to Pärn, Wibbit also tries to breathe new life into drive-in type of daily shopping routines where goods are ordered and paid for via the website so that one could simply go and pick up the shopping bag somewhere. This will save time and money as well.

And why not develop a navigation service that would show how to move around in a store to get the desired goods in one's shopping cart in the shortest space of time possible.

Wibbit wants proceed slowly and carefully in the beginning. The first order of business: to develop an environment for discount offers in the first half of 2011, an environment where all stores could share their information.

Giving the consumer control

"There is already plenty of advertising and discount offers in the social media, but our goal is to give the consumer control over all of it, to allow consumers to filter and keep track of only the information they are interested in," says Pärn.

You might think that consumers are most interested in comparing prices of electronics from one merchant to another. But no, Wibbit is focusing specifically on food and staple goods. "The average computer user probably does not compare the price of milk in various stores on daily basis ,but they could well be interested in the cost of their monthly shopping basket," says Pärn.

The Wibbit team - consisting of Mehis Pärn, Gert Vesterberg and Lauri Saidla - has already encountered one major snag. Major retail chains are not especially interested in sharing price information with just any old start-up. But Pärn finds that stores could nevertheless share discount and special offers.

With the help of Tartu Science Park, Wibbit is looking for a person who knows the field of commerce and is able to open doors for young entrepreneurs. In connection with winning the StartITup competition , the science park advisers are keeping a close eye on the project and will not allow the Wibbit team to get too comfortable.

Toivo Tänavsuu, Testmarket.eu 

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