An Introduction to Epinions
Found In: Social Networks
The Internet has spawned a massive ecommerce culture where slowly but surely over the last nearly twenty years consumers have become more comfortable with making their purchases online. This has required them to have trust in the safety and security of their transactions if they are making them online. But more importantly, the Internet has become the place to search for information before making purchases even if the deal is to finally be conducted in a bricks and mortar establishment the traditional way with either cash or a credit card. Doing the online research has become an almost never to be forgotten as the best way to get information, and hopefully independent information. We have all become cynical of what the sales person tells us; the sales and marketing having almost no credibility at all and advertising materials are expected to be exaggerations if not complete lies and fabrications. And so it has been with the aid of the Internet that consumer review web sites have become popular, because we all do trust what a previous buyer of a product has experienced, assuming that buyer is bone fide and not a ring-in.
Epinions is About Honest Products Reviews by Real People
One such consumer review web site is Epinions which endeavors to help people make more informed buying decisions by providing a social networking platform for people to publish their own buying experience with a wide range of products and brands. All the usual suspects for consumer products are included, ranging from white goods like refrigerators and washing machines to electronic goods including MP3 players, computers and digital cameras. In fact the list extends to motor vehicles, travel, books and music as well as home and garden areas and children and health care product ranges. And so Epinions is a premier online consumer review platform; considered by a large audience to be a most reliable source for independent information, rich in valuable consumer experience and insight, published and unbiased advice and experiences from real consumers, in-depth product evaluations from real people and personalized recommendations based on their first hand knowledge and experiences.
Epinions is a subsidiary service of Shopping.com which is a leading provider of comparison shopping information. And it is the policy and philosophy of Shopping.com to help consumers to use the power of real information to find and comparison shop for and to intelligently buy what they need with confidence that is fit and proper for what they intend it to be used for.
A large part of Epinions has to do with publishing unbiased advice. Epinions does not solicit the advice nor decides what content to post and what not to post; rather it is all independently user generated content. And so Epinions is a platform for people to share their real world experiences – whether they are positive or negative doesn’t matter. And now with many millions of consumer published reviews and experiences, ratings and comments it is because of Epinions’ robust and stable content engine that other consumers can search on the products that interest them, relying on an enormous depth of high quality content to base their own decisions on.
Epinions is a Content Engine Platform for User Generated Opinions
In such an environment as the Epinions platform, personalized recommendations tend to flow easily as the community all willingly contributes their own experiences and collectively this makes for a rich and secure place for consumers to meet and discuss their issues and needs. With millions of products on file and previously discussed, users can subscribe to whatever product items they are interested in so as to get emailed should future reviews on that product be subsequently published. Launched in 1999, Epinions was later acquired by Smopping.com in 2003, and it in turn was bought out by eBay in 2005 as part of a vertical integration for the whole ecommerce market place. That is, eBay knew it was the premier value shopping business, and it wanted to own the premier comparison shopping web site, fully respecting the nature of the Epinions business model of providing a cr5editable platform for consumer reviews. And as such, all three business models are totally consistent with each other in the ways they work together to get the end user customer the best value and the best price, safe and secure that what they buying has been fully tested and will meet their needs based on what others have said about it before they buy it for themselves.
Epinions with more than thirteen years in business will continue to consolidate its leadership in the consumer review market segment give the popularity of the web site and the willing participation in the review of its very large membership base. Its motto of “unbiased advice by real people” does define the business model perfectly, and with its clearly laid out structure everyone can quickly and efficiently find what they are looking for be it to find a review or to write and contribute one. And because of the quality and support of the Epinions web site, large numbers of people happily contribute their time and effort to providing general product information and user information to other people on the products they are particularly familiar with. This serves the purpose of helping people overcome the idiosyncrasies most products do have, even though they are operating within their intended design parameters. That is, a product doesn’t have to be broken or faulty to be confusing to use, and so many users contribute their expertise on how to get the most out of products they know a great deal about.
And so it is from the combined generosity of a very large number of loyal members that Epinions has come to become so successful and respected in the niche market segment of independent product reviews. With the continued support of eBay its parent company, Epinions promises to be around for many years to come assisting people to shop with confidence and safety.