By WALTER S. MOSSBERG
While the online shopping business continues to attract new customers, few shoppers are about to completely forgo trips to the mall anytime soon. But shopping online has one advantage that physical shopping has lacked: With a few keystrokes, prices on one retail Web site can be compared with the sale prices on another. When you shop at bricks-and-mortar stores, you have to manually compare prices in ads, or rely on tips from friends about good deals.
But the Net's comparison shopping power now is being extended to the physical world as well.
This week, my assistant Katie Boehret and I tested two Web sites that enable consumers to search for items that are on sale in physical stores, making it much easier for price-driven shoppers to find the best deals. The sites that we tested, Cairo.com and ShopLocal.com, helped us find plenty of things on sale at our neighborhood stores, without so much as leafing through a Sunday circular.