Team (StupidlyCreative) Members:
- Benjamin Tan 700
- Liu Zhemin 707
- Lee Seng Cheong 702
- Saklani Pankaj 708
In this day and age, e-commerce is part and parcel of our daily lives. It is far more convenient and potentially cost efficient to purchase products from e-commerce platforms, both local and overseas. However, have you ever made a purchase only to find out that there was a better deal elsewhere?
What it does
This hack, produced by the StupidlyCreative team, is a Google Chrome extension that is able to circumvent such situations by showing you, the consumer, prices of a selected item on various popular e-commerce sites, allowing you, to make informed decisions regarding your online purchases and potentially saving you tons of money!
How we build it
We made a chrome extension to allow users to highlight a potential product keyword and search it in our extension, while we will execute the crawl and show user the best deals. We have used custom scrapping techniques alongside realtime APIs to create a custom webscrapper targetted at several popular e-commerce websites to create our Minimum Viable Product.
Challenges we ran into
However, this is challenging as not only are product listings proprietary to the e-commerce platform (Competitors are able to undercut each other if such data is made readily available. Even Amazon has blocked EtaoSpider used by Alibaba to crawl their site for product information!), such data is also often under-regulated and unstandardized, such is the case for products from Qoo10 whose listings are not syntactically standardized. These myriad of problems have raised the barrier to entry for such applications that aim to provide transparency across the e-commerce sector.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Overcoming the challenges listed above and come up with a Minimum Viable Product. Pushing the boundaries with what we can do with scraping, without explicit access to third party API calls which is near to impossible to request access to, due to this being a fresh idea. We are proud to be able to directly address problems faced by not only ourselves, but our family members and friends who have made online purchases!
What we learned
We have learnt that anything is possible if we put the right technology and techniques together, along with a stupidly creative team!
What's next for BM - SoCheapskate
To extend this and include more e-commerce in order to give users more comprehensive comparisons. Although our product, SoCheapskate, is a work-in-progress, it is the proof-of-concept that such applications and services are able to offer promising contributions to the e-commerce sector, and to regular consumers alike. Further enhancements to the application include sentiment analysis and review analysis via NLP, and even able to factor in the various deals and coupons of the e-commerce sites, providing even better insights to the user! We believe that the hack brings value to consumers, and we hope that you think so too!