On a snow-packed evening on Wednesday evening in Toronto's Liberty Village, Wishabi launched its "next-generation shopping engine" for Canadians, designed to find the best deals from Canadian and US merchants. Founded by ex-Microsofties and Waterloo grads, Wishabi seeks to provide a uniquely Canadian shopping experience for Canadians. For instance, it lets shoppers compare products across merchants in Canada and the US, with the prices shown in Canadian dollars and even cross-border issues such as duties, shipping and taxes factored in.
Folks at Wishabi also figured out that Canadians are not impulsive shoppers, and like to take their time. So they provide a wishlist feature which lets shoppers create a wishlist and start getting deals on the items they are interested in. And to further enhance the shopping experience, Wishabi has also integrated with Facebook, enabling shoppers to log in to Wishabi with their Facebook accounts and shop with their Facebook friends on it. So for example, if you are looking for a new TV, you would be able to ask your friends for recommendations. Wehuns Tan, Founder and CEO of Wishabi, remarked at launch:
With Wishabi, Canadians can easily find the best deal on either side of the border, all in Canadian dollars and also get their social network on Facebook to help them shop.
Wishabi has lined up an impressive array of merchants on its launch, including The Bay, Canadian Tire, Dell, Home Depot, Sears, Amazon.com, Future Shop, Zellers, among others. Check out the quick demo to get a feel of the application:
It will be interesting to note how Wishabi competes against Derek Szeto's RedFlagDeals.com, which has been the top site for Canadians looking for deals. Getting recommendations from "people you know" has been done by another Toronto-based startup called GigPark, but for services only. Wishabi's social shopping service does it for products, and makes it a part of the overall uniquely Canadian shopping experience which it offers. I am looking forward to tinkering around with it more and talking with Wehuns in detail about Wishabi and the Canadian shopping space. Meanwhile, try it out yourself at www.wishabi.ca.