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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : February 10, 2009

Mobile-friendly recommendation site launched

There's been a lot of talk recently about the increase in use of mobile phones while shopping in-store and the role the mobile Internet plays in providing consumers with the information they need to make a purchase decision. A new recommendation site may be just what consumers are looking for.

by Helen Leggatt

Consumers take their mobile phones with them wherever they go - especially when they're shopping. Increasingly, both marketers and retailers are looking for ways to bridge the gap between in-store shopping and the Internet. Mobile phones bridge that gap.

What's needed is an interface that provides consumers with the information they want, when they want it and in a format that lends itself to their mobile devices.

goodrec logo.pngEnter Goodrec.

Goodrec is an online recommendation site, dubbed 'the Twitter of reviews', and while there's a full web version, it's also very mobile-friendly. By keeping reviews short and sweet - a maximum of 160 characters - the site sets itself apart from other review destinations such as Kelkoo or Yelp. Consumers don't have to wade through a sea of text at a point when time is of the essence and screen space limited.

In addition, Goodrec, which was first introduced at TechCrunch50 in September last year, has foregone a star-rating system, instead using simple, at-a-glance 'thumbs up', 'mixed bag' and 'thumbs down' logos.

Users of the new Goodrec iPhone app can search for and post reviews from anywhere, sending photos of their experience whether it is a meal in a restaurant, an electronics purchase or a test-drive in a new SUV. This 'freshness' of input and information helps provide a strong sense of reassurance for users.

Goodrec also recognizes the important role of consumers' friends in the decision making process. For example, a recent ForeSee Results study discovered that consumers have not yet begun to fully embrace the use of product reviews via their mobiles while shopping in-store. Instead, almost three-quarters used their mobile phone to call someone about a potential purchase. Goodrec enables users to harness the knowledge of their friends via the "Request Recommendation" function. The social feature allows users to post a question to their email and Facebook contacts.

It's mobile-friendly review and recommendation sites, like Goodrec, that will go some way to bridging the gap between mobile, Internet and in-store shopping experiences. Now coming out of beta, the service has racked up over 100,000 reviews and recommendations and its success will, no doubt, be determined by the level of content and number of users it can continue to attract and retain.

Tags: Goodrec, in-store, mobile phone, product reviews, purchase decision, recommendation site, shopping, social

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