Ask Jeeves' Smart Search for Products is the result of a comprehensive study of online and offline shopping needs and behaviors commissioned by the Ask Jeeves product team. The study determined that consumers have different information needs at different points of the shopping cycle, including reading reviews, evaluating features, identifying similar items, comparing prices, and finding stores when they've decided to make a purchase. Interestingly, research-based information, such as reviews and features, was found to be more important to searchers than price comparisons, which are commonly the default product search result offered by other search sites.
If you are searching for a product X, and choose any of the options in the pull-down menu, reading reviews, ---> searches for X + reviews evaluating features,---> searches for X + features identifying similar items, ---> related searches comparing prices, ---> searches for X + compare prices finding stores ---> searches for X + buy
Since they sold the enterprise business and would appear to have some cash to play with I've been anticipating some sort of big announcement from ask for a few months, assumed in time for holiday shopping season.
Yeah it is pretty weak. I use pricegrabber all the time and it seems like the Jeeves version is not as in depth. For digital camera it let me choose 2 makes, and it took like 5 clicks to get to that point.