LONDON (AdAge.com) -- The explosion of consumer choice makes the internet a giant playground for some, but for the many people who find themselves paralyzed by too many options, Justbuythisone.com is coming.
The U.K. site, in beta test since October, offers consumers the opportunity to "stop shopping and start enjoying life" by providing just one search result for each category of electrical goods, from toasters to TVs. So if you're looking for a TV for less than $500, for instance, it will tell you which one to buy, and give you three concise reasons why. More product categories will be added next year.
British company Reevoo.com, which specializes in compiling impartial online reviews for Sony, Tesco and other clients as well as on its own branded site, decided to take the whole concept of reviews one step further and simply make the decisions for their customers.
Kyle McGinn, chief technology officer of Reevoo, was part of the team that came up with the idea during an offline brainstorming week in the English countryside. He said, "We knew that 25% of people are overwhelmed by the choice on price comparison sites and -- inspired by TED talks on the paradox of choice and the need to "sweat the small stuff," -- we decided to create something utterly simple and extremely useful. Online shopping used to be the simple solution, but it's got too crowded."
Justbuythisone.com is also built around principles of data visualization, displaying lots of complex data very simply. The site has a fresh, uncluttered look, and down at the bottom of the screen you can play around by virtually recycling electrical goods and finding out a bit more about the process.
The first version of the site, however, was much more gloomy. "We wanted to reflect the oppressive darkness of the mountain of choice," Mr. McGinn said. "The original site got lighter as you went deeper -- but after consultation we decided to change it."
Now, the site has a tranquil sky-blue background, with simple attractive products perched on individual clouds with labels like "The Best Laptop" and "The Best Vacuum Cleaner" under the headline "Millions of products. Thousands of shops. Too much choice. Why not stop shopping and start enjoying life?"
The site is still under development, and won't be fully launched until January 2011. By then, Reevoo will tweak a few things -- particularly underlining the impartiality of their advice, and allowing nervous buyers to dig a little deeper than just a single choice if they want to. "For smaller items it's easy to make the leap and buy something instantly, but for the bigger purchases it's harder," Mr. McGinn admitted.
So far Justbuythisone is relying on word-of-mouth in the beta phase, but starting in early 2011 it will be offered as an option to the one million people a month who visit Reevoo.com, promoting the new site as a solution for people in a hurry who want to make a quick decision. They will also use Google AdWords, promotions on social-media networks and, if necessary, online ads. Justbuythisone will also expand beyond the initial category of all things electrical; fashion and financial services are under consideration.
Justbuythisone is based on 1.6 million user reviews taken from Reevoo.com. The site makes its money through sales made via links to sites offering the best deals on recommended products, and Reevo is so confident that customers will love what they buy that they offer their own independent satisfaction guarantee.
Mr. McGinn said, "We love to help consumers make really good purchasing decisions, and to bring together consumers and manufacturers in a good way."
As well as hosting its own site, Reevoo works with manufacturers to encourage them to include frank and honest Reevoo-branded reviews on their own sites. This includes facilitating discussions between, for example, Sony's existing and potential customers. At the time of purchase, about 15% of people tick a box agreeing to help future shoppers, and when asked to do so, most respond within two hours. One manufacturer recently made changes to a whole line of TVs after following Reevoo online discussions.