The Whole Kit & Kaboodle

18 Comments

It is only October, but you hear the jingle bells. This is expected to be a break out year for the online retailers. US online retails sales for this holiday season are predicted to top $26.2 billion, up nearly 21.9% from last year. But if you are like countless Americans who gets frustrated by the online shopping experience, a little digital elf might be at hand to help your way: Kaboodle.

US E-CommerceThe Santa Clara-based start-up has come up with what I like to describe as an online blotter. The company basically gives you a little bookmarklet that installs on pretty much every browser. You like something you see, you click on the bookmarklet. Kaboodle then extracts the relevant information and creates an auto-summary, and puts it on a special page. You can tag this page, and if you want make it open for others to use when looking for similar stuff. David Galbraith’s Wists is another similar service. He is using Wists to power his Crib Candy site.

Say you are researching buying a 32-inch LCD television. You go to ten different websites, not to mention uber-comparison shopping sites like Shopping.com or Nextag. These sites give you a good over view of the best price. Often that information is not enough. You click, and go to say, J&R World, where you find all the information. If you are like me, then you essentially print out everything, and do the comparison and make your purchase. (Of course you can toggle between many different screens, and that’s not much fun.) Kaboodle does one better – it places all the “digital scraps” on a single page, and allows you to add tags to that page. In other words, it lets you built a tiny personal shopping page.

ecommerceAn eMarketer report suggests that the among the top reasons why consumers shop online, is because prices are lower, and wider selection. Kaboodle hopes to make the making a selection part even easier.

Manish Chandra started the company along with Chetan Pungaliya and Keiron McCammon after Chandra has a particularly hard time looking for deck furniture. After talking it over with others Chandra discovered that it was a common enough problem. The end result is Kaboodle, which he describes as a “decision engine.” Since this is particularly useful when say shopping for something on the web, Manish says the company will make money from contextual advertising. “You are so much further down the sales cycle when you are making this page,” he says, “And as a result there is a much higher chance of closing that transaction.” I am sure that’s the argument that helped him get angel funding from the likes of Ashish Gupta of Junglee fame. Rajiv Motvani, another well known angel with Google pedigree is a backer of the company.

Bottomline: I have not used the service as extensively to say I know all the ins and out, but from what I know, the biggest fear I have is that it can be easily imitated by the big three – Yahoo, Google and MSN. eBay might find it useful to offer it as an enhancement to its users. It will be interesting to see if the three co-founders can turn this nifty feature into a lasting commercial entity.

18 Comments

Chandan Maruthi

I would like to Introduce another social shopping platform Storrz.com . Storrz is a Social Shopping Marketplace for Medium to Large merchants. We have launched in India and host 120 merchants and growing. check us out at http://www.storrz.com .

Tech guy

Kaboodle is very interesting for doing some specific product research. I can see this being quite handy when evaluating products from different sites like eBay and shopping.com. It works well for that. However, I prefer to do all of my bookmarking on one service. I was just researching new software products to make virtual covers and just created a tag dedicated to this research on blinklist. http://www.blinklist.com/tag/virtual%20packaging/

Brian

Won’t the folks over at Kanoodle be a bit peeved that Kaboodle is appropriating their trademark?

Vishen

Kaboodle is indeed interesting. I like the way they make creating eCommerce Wishlist or Research List easy. But how is this different from say wists.com or BlinkList.com? (of which I am one of the geeks involved in the project). While wist.com and blinklist.com are not targeted to e-commerce – they offer much of what Kaboodle does plus much much more(except the ability to auto select the right image on Amazon and autofill text – Kaboodle handles this well). For example – I maintain my TO BUY list here on Blinklist. http://www.blinklist.com/vishen/to%20buy/
I can already “star” my favorite purchases, share these with friends, make certain items private and better yet – see how many other people are watching a certain item (so I can use the Wisdom of Crowds to make a better desicion). And BlinkList automatically creates a discovery page around the item – for example see here for a discovery page around the hit movie “Serenity”
http://www.blinklist.com/tag/serenity/. For Kaboodle to be really useful – I’d like to see them incorporate some way where users can learn from each other to find the best deals. While it would not make me abandon del.icio.us or Blinklist – it would perhaps make me use Kaboodle for my christmas wishlist.

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