Is Vancouver startup Wishpond making waves or just wishful thinking?

Wishpond is a Vancouver startup focused on location-based shopping services. Wishpond’s localized shopping engine searches nearby stores and maps out deals in your town. Available online or as an iPhone app, track deals wherever you are. You can also “Make A Wish” on products, which effectively alerts you when price drops, finds similar products within your price range, and sends personalized deals from local stores willing to match your desired price.

It’s all nifty, but nothing that hasn’t been done before. The startup hopes to differentiate itself, however, through Wishpond For Business (beta).

This facet of the business allows merchants to add their products to Wishpond’s inventory to become searchable, create virtual storefronts, and track performance. The idea is that merchants, brands, and marketers will turn to Wishpond to drive in-store traffic. It’s also uniquely positioning itself.

Quoth Mashable:

Wishpond is the first local shopping search to package itself as a widget, and it’s smartly looking to position itself as a platform rather than a website. Other possibilities for its now open API include integration with location-based games, comparison shopping sites, and search engines.

And from Wishpond’s website:

A widget is a small snippet of code that embeds Wishpond’s local product search on your site, enabling your site visitors to search for nearby products without any complicated coding! Our widget works on many different platforms including your website, blog, Facebook wall, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. 

So you can embed a Wishpond widget anywhere into your business’ online presence, which is a rarity among such apps. In fact, widgets, which seemed so cool back when Apple first launched Dashboard, were thrown under the bus by mobile apps. But perhaps there is a place for them still. Perhaps they can still make waves. Or perhaps that’s just wishful thinking.