Gets Personal With Online Product Reviews

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Utilizing a social algorithm common amongst "Web 2.0" sites, online product review website hopes to encourage its users to write honest reviews based on personal experiences. By providing honest, real reviews from real people, hopes to grab a share of the online shopping/review market.

Sazze Inc., the company managing the website of the same name, opened its website ( to the public today. It had been in development since mid-2007, running a closed beta and only accepting limited users since January 2008. The site will continually be developed while in public beta.'s main premise is to attract online and offline shoppers to the site by providing real and honest reviews from real people.

Americans today are spending more than ever on consumer goods and retail products, and are also getting smarter about their purchases. According to research results conducted by Sazze, Inc., a company managing a consumer product review website, one out of every four shoppers reported using online reviews prior to paying for a service offline. Additionally, the results of another recent study* show that consumers who research, or "pre-shop", online spend 41% more in-store than those who do not pre-shop. By these premises, it would then be pertinent to state that higher quality information would increase offline shopping.

According to Jason Lee, lead developer of, "Shoppers rely on online reviews and information when they are looking for the right products to purchase. There is no doubt about that. However, we believe that digital consumer product information can be refined to improve on quality as well as keeping that information up-to-date." To do so, has implemented a series of social web concepts designed to encourage users to write real, honest reviews. "By allowing users to interact with one another on a personal, competitive, and entertaining level," said Lee, "we're able to see drastic changes in both the quantity and quality of reviews being written by users."'s social model is highly influenced by, a local listings website where users gather to socialize and review restaurants, bars, and other local businesses.'s social model works in much the same way: putting the emphasis on social interaction between users in order to promote higher quality reviews. Additionally, plans on launching an "elite user" program in which users who have proven their expertise in a certain type of consumer product will become "experts" in that category. Perks for elite users include moderation privileges, and reception of various products sent by manufacturers to review.

Readers report that they feel more confident buying a product if they have read reviews that are relevant to their personal lives. "Eddie D.", an active member of, says, "The reviews on here are great. They're much more detailed in the fact that people give their opinions on specific products, rather than just selling it to you."'s future plans include the distribution of a product rating API, useful for retailers, as well as cross-site embeddable polls and reviews.

Sazze, Inc. creates social web software to help improve the flow of information to consumers. For more information, visit, or e-mail help @

*comScore, Inc. & Yahoo!, Inc. Study 2007


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