At BizRate.com, simplicity and authenticity are the keywords
Despite assumptions to the contrary, shopping on the internet, is not a very comfortable experience. The primary reason being the confusion created by zillions of products and services on display on innumerable categories over thousands of sites. On most sites, you end up getting confused. This is where www.bizrate.com scores. Right from the word go, what strikes you most here, is the inherent simplicity of searching through thousands of products keeping just your criteria in need.
The homepage is laid out simply with one image signifying the various categories. Below each of these images are links for various products categories showcased in the site. E.g. below furniture you have the sub category of sofas, beds, dining sets and more, with the last link taking you to more sub categories. There is a further, broader segregation on the left of your screen. For example while digital cameras is a separate category with its own image on the right of the page, on the vertical left panel, you see digital cameras fall under electronics, sharing space with mp3 players, television, camcorders and GPS devices.
If you thought, this was it, go to bizrate.com and check again. The makers of the site have surprisingly managed a third categorization. Right on the top of the page, you see another broader break up of the goods on display. On top of the site, on a horizontal pane, you see next to the home page link, the categories of home and garden, computers, clothes, toys, electronics, kids and jewellery.
This three-way means of categorization leaves you with options of selecting exactly what you need, something that other shopping sites lack. Right at the beginning of your experience of shopping, you are left thanking the makers of the site for the brains they have put behind it.
After you click on any of the category, you are led deeper into the site, where you find the next level of categorization which goes into the smallest details of your subcategory. And once you click on this too, you are taken to the place where each of the goods that are there, are displayed with an image and a small description of the same. When you click on the image, or its description, a page pops up which has details of the product like price and the store from which you would be buying it.
This is where you can do your thinking. The site comes to your assistance even on this. What is perhaps one of its best feature, is the user reviews on the products, manufacturers as well as the store that is selling it. To begin with you have a very simple system of the ?BizRate.com Smiley Scale?. For any of the pages, you will see either of four faces; first one is a green sun like face smiling brightly signifying outstanding, the second is a simple green smiling face which denotes good, the next face is yellow and has a neutral expression on face meaning satisfactory. The face you need to watch out for is the red face, which denotes poor. Thus, just with one glance on the smiley scale over any product, or shop, you can know whether you want to go ahead with it. A red face on any means other users have had a bad experience with the site, and you really may need to reconsider whether you would want to continue shopping here.
After this you can read as much as you want, be satisfied about the product you see, think for yourself whether the price mentioned there is what you can afford and then click to the ?go to store? link on the right. This takes you to the store which has the commodity you are clicking for. There you can add to your shopping cart and pay there if you don?t want to buy anything else, or go shop for something more that you were looking for.
How the site makes your shopping choices easier is by adding more layers of categorization.
Say you have chosen to buy shower curtains. So after clicking on to ?Bath Accessories? you reach the ?Shower Curtain? page. Here, you have each shower curtain displayed one below the other with the price and the link ?Go to store? on the right. On the left is this segregation based upon the price, brand, material, pattern/style and even the store. Bizrate.com is one of the best examples on harnessing the true powers Internet has to offer in terms of shopping experience. Besides with its large number of tie-ups, it is highly unlikely for you not to find what you were looking for under any category.
There?s further categorization for products that allow it. Like if you were looking for MP3 players, you?ll see on your left panel, a refined segregation into brand, product line, device type, average song capacity, installed memory, memory type, and expandable memory. Or you can choose either to browse by price range, voice recording and radio tuner.
Despite all its apparent ease of shopping what perhaps is its greatest strength in terms of authenticity, are its user ratings. Every time you shop on bizrate.com it asks you for your feedback on your entire experience of shopping and the quality of service from the store. Over the years, bizrate.com has accumulated millions of feedback from such feedback and keeps it updated with every new review. It has put up ?fifteen quality rating? dimensions of service. Only those store that fare satisfactory or above on all these ratings, are allowed to display the customer certified display.
Hence whenever you see this customer certified display, you can be sure that most of the people, who have transacted before you on the store, have had a good experience to share.
Over 1.3 million active online shoppers have volunteered to provide feedback and ratings on their experience. Besides this every new shopper is prompted to fill a feedback which keeps the consumer ratings on bizrate.com reliable, accurate and up to date. As a user, you can yourself choose to log in to the site and become one to regularly provide feedback on your shopping experiences. Your feedback will then help other users determine the quality of the services and whether they would want to shop on that store for that particular product.
Bizrate is thus, perhaps the only comparative shopping site with a strong focus on rating and reviews of customers. Being in the online store rating business since 1996, they have acquired a kind of expertise on the same.
Bizrate is run by Shopzilla.com which has around 30 million products from over 60,000 stores available with it.