"Buying consumer electronics is very complex, and it's overwhelming," says Vipin Jain, CEO of Retrevo. "Shopping is supposed to be fun, and this is intended to make it fun."
The revamped site, which begins a live Beta test today, is intended to simplify the consumer electronics buying process, culling information ranging from Web-based professional product reviews to general consumer response to prices and deals, and then placing that information in an easy-to-understand format. "On the Web, you're bombarded with information in 'geek speak,'" Jain tells Marketing Daily. "We do it in a way that is simple, fun, visual and in real time."
The revamped site, which will start with three categories: cameras, computers and LCD televisions, includes user-friendly interfaces that show where a product is in its lifecycle (i.e., is it new or obsolete), product buzz and consumer sentiment and its value for current pricing. In addition, the site takes all of this information and condenses it into a simple recommendation to match consumer and product, and where to buy it at the best price. "This is designed as a marketplace so that as an everyday shopper, you can make smart and confident decisions," Jain says.
In conjunction with the revamped Web site, Retrevo is also launching a service via a Twitter feed, through which consumers can ask a question through Twitter, and get an instant recommendation back. For instance, a consumer who is browsing for cameras in a store could use the Retrevo mobile service to query a specific camera brand and receive a short recommendation -- who the camera might be best for -- and a price range.
"This is how we're making the marketplace mobile," Jain says. "This is how we envision we can bridge the online and offline worlds."
Although the Beta site launches today, the company has no plans to take its message to the marketplace in the form of an advertising or marketing campaign. Instead, Jain is relying on the site's three million current users (who have been working with a different interface) to help spread the word. "We're expecting it to catch on with consumers," he says. "Consumer electronics is complex and the rate of change is high. We take the volume [of information] and the rate of change and make it easy to decipher."