Pronto.com is looking for a fight with already established names like Shopping.com and pricegrabber as it announce its Beta launch and enters the market as the Web's most comprehensive comparison shopping service.
Pronto.com says that its visitors will be able to compare prices for 45 million products directly from 50,000 merchants.
Pronto.com's search allegedly includes five times more merchants than most leading comparison shopping sites and covers products available from the largest and most popular online retailers to smaller, niche merchants with unique and hard-to-find items.
Other comparison shopping engines only display products from paying advertisers - products that they receive in data feeds directly from those merchants.
Pronto.com, on the other hand, displays products from all qualified merchants by using patent-pending technology to scour the Web and bring consumers every possible option of where to buy a product.
Pronto.com's technology, developed by a team of scientists renowned in the fields of data mining, artificial intelligence and decision theory, also allows the site to structure and organize the product information for fast and easy comparisons.
In addition to lower prices, Pronto.com's comprehensiveness gives consumers significantly more selection and choice.
For example, when consumers search Pronto.com for "pirate costume," "Steelers jersey" or "backpack" this fall, they will find two to three times more products to choose from than with other leading comparison shopping engines.
Pronto.com also offers the Pronto Shopping Messenger, a browser tool that allows users to shop their favorite retail web sites and receive real-time messages about the products they are viewing.
When using the Pronto Shopping Messenger, consumers receive alert notifications, similar to an instant message, that inform them of lower prices and alternative product selections available across the Web.
Additional benefits for consumers who download the Pronto Shopping Messenger include the ability to easily request price drop notifications and receive money saving coupons delivered directly to them as they shop online. The Pronto Shopping Messenger is available as an Internet Explorer download or a Firefox extension.