Back in December 2008 Reevoo looked like it was running out of time.The B2B customer reviews site hunkered down on staffing amid pressure from the downbeat economic climate in an attempt to play out both its venture investment and give its revenues time to power up.
In March last year it secured an undisclosed round of investment from Banexi Venture Partners, the French leading venture capital firm that originally backed Kelkoo, while existing investors, including Eden Ventures, also participated. It was doing £500,000 worth of transactions a month with partners like Tescos, Orange and Dixons and had launched a French portal. But its SEO was terrible and it was, in my opinion, treading water.
Well today it looks like CEO Richard Anson’s slower burn strategy has paid off.
Reevoo is announcing further partners for its service including Hotpoint, Sharp and Toshiba (joining Brother, Cannon, Indesit, Kodak and Kaspersky) to supply genuine, post purchase, customer reviews for their European e-commerce sites. Although there are plenty of sites that let you review products, like Ciao and Amazon, only Reevoo confirms you actually bought the product.
How does Reevoo work? Put simply, Reevoo is out to help shoppers decide what to buy. It collates and publishes user generated comments and ratings of products from actual purchasers of products and displays them adjacent to the products on retail partners’ sites. The revenue model is based on a monthly fee for collecting reviews and displaying them on retailer sites, together with click-through referrals to retailers via the Reevoo portal.
These reviews are good or bad – partners don’t get to edit them and have to accept them as they are. Why are retailers doing this? Well guess what – it turns out that if you provide unvarnished reviews of your products you get a little more trusted. Reviews boost conversion rates on average by 10 per cent, according to Reevoo, while engaging customers and building brand loyalty.
So Reevoo is now in a good position to weather the uplift in the overall economy.
However, a nagging issue remains. They still have no Open API which would create an eco-system of applications – perhaps run on a rev-share basis – around their service. This remains a gaping hole in their strategy.