Marina Del Ray based Guidance, recently released a survey saying that nearly half (41%) of all holiday shoppers consider price the single most important factor in choosing where to buy online.  Obviously.  So while we chalk the PR they sent us up as sad link bait, I'll give in and make note of it because its a good season to brush up on shopping 2.0.

So, what is shopping 2.0?  Well its the same cloudy description of web 2.0 applied directly to shopping ;-) 

Shopping as a platform: Metasearching/comparison engines in shopping are actually a very well developed segment; definitely an area that takes the concepts of: data is king and information is key, to a very practical level.  Unlike a lot of other emerging 2.0 type segments, the top sites here, have a LOT of traction with users, and they have proven revenue.  Maybe important to note is that somehow people seem to understand the difference between a shopping metasearch engine and shopping storefronts like Amazon;  I say amazing, because other areas that do metasearch have a hard time explaining what makes them different (travel metasearch engines for example are commonly confused with sites like Expedia).  Anyways,  here are some sites in this category that of note: Jellyfish, shopping comparison that shares revenue with consumers.  Yokel focuses on local search for your shopping needs.  And of course the ever cuddly Google has a semi decent comparison engine with Froogle, though I think Shopzilla is cooler, and have to give credit to MySimon (or even local PriceGrabber) for being around before anyone had caught on to much of what makes 2.0 such a trend now.   

Harnessing collective shopping intelligenceCrowdstorm is aggregating content to help users research products.  FatWallet has a giant community centered around sharing shopping deals.  And up until recently JudysBook was a nice combo of user generated reviews and user shared shopping deals.  The important thing here is the "recently" part, as Judy's Book just closed shop (after secure 10 million in VC funding - ouch).  This is particularly relevant because it shows how even with a decent amount of traction, user generated content (UGC) is hard to reach a critical mass where it can be monetized.  I definitely think UGC is going to be a major direction of the future, but its way early at the mass adoption level, and thus very few are pulling it off successfully. 

By the way a good blog that follows this stuff is ProbargainHunter (you can find their latest stats about shopping comparison engines here and about deal sites here) .
Oh and a final note: unfortunately, besides PriceGrabber (who sits as the 5th most popular shopping comparison engine and could hardly be considered a recent startup entry) I'm not aware of anybody in the Techcoast innovating in the online shopping space, feel free to let me know if there are any shopping startups from the Techcoast that should be profiled..  -UPDATE: someone sent me a note about Aliso Viejo based  No I didn't forget about them, they just are as Wikipedia puts it "an original multi-channel online retailer" or said another way, they aren't doing anything innovative or original in the shopping 2.0 space-