Personal Shopping Assistant is a free browser extension for Google Chrome designed to improve the shopping experience in several ways.
Microsoft Garage is a place where Microsoft employees tinker and create new solutions based on ideas they have.
The Chrome extension Personal Shopping Assistant is the latest product released by a Microsoft Garage project.
Even though it is called Assistant, it has nothing to do with the recent trend of pushing personal digital assistants in products.
In fact, Personal Shopping Assistant has more in common with price comparison extensions than anything else. But, it goes beyond and in a good way.
The Chrome extension adds an icon to the browser's main toolbar that controls most of its functionality.
Personal Shopping Assistant was designed to keep records of items and products that you come across when browsing shopping sites such as Amazon or Newegg.
The extension does so automatically and without user interaction. It lists items in its interface, picks up names, pricing information and customer reviews along the way, and may display product shots on top of that.
It keeps track of how many times you look at a product as well, and weights products accordingly.
You may furthermore use filters listed at the top to display items from specific shopping sites only, and to sort the listing by price, customer rating or reviews.
While that can be useful on its own, it is probably not something that would convince the majority of Chrome users to give it a try.
Personal Shopping Assistant supports three features that go beyond the functionality.
Typical workflows would look like this: you visit a product page or multiple pages listing products. When you are interested in a product, you may either run a price comparison check, or add a product to the favorites to get price change notifications.
If you have not made your decision on a product yet, you may have visited several that serve the same purpose. You may then use the compare feature provided by the extension to compare those products right in the interface.
The extension won't list product details however, only price, rating, customer reviews, and price comparison information.
You may pin the extension, which moves it to its own window on the side of the Chrome browser window. The effect is that it remains visible all the time, while the integrated popup won't. It uses the full width and height for that though by resizing the Chrome window automatically.
The extension displays a favorite button and a feedback button by default. Options to disable these buttons are provided in the settings.
Microsoft Personal Shopping Assistant for Chrome is an interesting extension. Its main appeal is that it combines price comparison options and price change notifications with an automated product history.
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