MIH Internet Africa-Backed PriceCheck Officially Launches In Nigeria [REVIEW]

Africa’s leading price comparison site, PriceCheck launched today in Nigeria with a broad range of categories offering books, mobile phones, electronics from leading e-commerce sites.

The service, which also launched its mobile site and apps wants to be the prevailing mobile shopping destination when you’re shopping for anything in Africa.

Although the service doesn’t allow you buy products directly, it lets you compare prices of products (all in Naira) while making a purchasing decision. It’s like window shopping, this time online, before making a decision to buy.

It also provides product descriptions, reviews and ratings to guide your purchasing decision. Once you decide which product to buy and click on the product offer, it redirects you to the online shop that sells that particular product where you can then purchase the product.

Users can also create their profile to write product and shop reviews, which could assist other online shoppers with their product purchase. You can also create price alerts to keep you informed about any price decrease or increase for a particular product.

The search functionality offers suggestions of words or phrases for shopping items available on the site, so you don’t have to type all the words of your search before it displays your likely search word or phrase, although it relies on its algorithm to fetch possible words. It also shows the prices of each product.

However, the site doesn’t offer much options for product or flight comparisons yet, as our search for flight from Lagos to Abuja only showed results from only one airline, Arik Air, so we couldn’t ascertain how intelligent the comparison engine really was. That said, since it only launched today, we expect that it would be adding more shops and services for better price comparison of products and services.

Another search, this time for international flights, however, gave us several options from Travelstart, an online travel agency which is partnering with PriceCheck to allow users book for flights online.

For instance, a flight comparison search from Lagos to Cape Town showed a detailed flight comparison, including flight durations from several airlines such as Kenya Airways, South African Airways, Emirates and Arik Air with the cheapest airfare shown first before the rest.

We also found the search engine to be a bit slow in loading and opening search results and although this might be due to bugs, we would expect that it would be faster during future tests. The site also has too much white spaces which requires you to scroll down to perform some actions that you could have easily done without having to scroll.

The site lets you filter your search based on category, manufacturer (in case of electronics, etc) and prices, which is a necessary feature when you wish to narrow your search for relevant results. It also allows you to display results in a grid form or list form, although we preferred the grid form since it didn’t require much scrolling down, due to the unnecessary white spaces.

As expected, the Nigerian site looks quite similar (format, look and feel) to its sister site in South Africa. It would be interesting to see how the site looks in a couple of weeks or months, and most importantly, how it makes shopping for products online easy and fun.

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