The startup will use web crawlers to gather reviews from websites like amazon and other e-commerce websites and also gather reviews mentioned on social media websites like Facebook and Twitter.
What is the idea?
The startup idea is to create a tool to curate user/customer reviews available online and use big data tools to analyze the sentiment for sellers/manufacturers.
The startup will use web crawlers to gather reviews from websites like amazon and other e-commerce websites and also gather reviews mentioned on social media websites like Facebook and Twitter. Once the reviews have been collected, it will use an algorithm to provide specific information to the seller like percentage of positive reviews, general sentiment, and brands perception over a period.
The tool can also intimate the sellers when a negative review is posted on any of the e-commerce platforms or social media so the seller can address the reviewer.
Brightlocal conducted a survey and found that 88% of the customers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. It was also found that only 12% of the population did not regularly read user reviews for consumer products. The survey found that 9 out of 10 customers have read online reviews to determine the quality of a local business. Some other key findings of the survey were:
- 67% of consumers said they read up to 6 reviews (vs. 77% in 2013)
- 85% of consumers said they read up to 10 reviews (vs. 92% in 2013)
- 7% of consumers said they read 20+ reviews (vs. 2% in 2013)
- 72% of consumers Say that positive reviews make them trust a local business more
There are various websites and companies which have entered this field and are providing solutions in various areas. Some provide tracking of social media mentions like Hootsuite and social mention. Some provide solutions to track reviews on major review sites like Review Trackers.
Pain Point & Target Audience
The targeted customer market for this business is “sellers and manufacturers of consumer products.” The data above in “market definition” throws light on how much importance is given to a user review and how important it can be for an enterprise/organization to make sure it responds to all user reviews and use the feedback to make a premium quality product. Tracking user reviews is the most important thing today and companies end up spending an enormous amount on hiring staff for tracking reviews on every website. A user review management tool can make tracking of reviews easier and save cost.
As mentioned above, the products available in the market are not comprehensive. Some provide only social media mentions tracking and some provide review site tracking. This solution will not only provide a complete solution where both social media and website reviews can be monitored, but the site will also offer a big data tool to provide essential information about changes and improvements that can be made to the consumer products to provide better products to customers.
The tool can be offered to the customers on a subscription model with various offerings. The subscription plans can include review analysis, sentiment, and big data services by the company.
Way to market
The first step would be to curate reviews of various products and create a data repository. This would help in the go to market plan.
The first milestone would be to collect data and build an algorithm to aggregate the sentiment reflected in customer reviews, most of the sites aggregate numbers and would be a good idea to pick words written in the review and convert them into positive/ negative sentiments.
The second milestone would be to work with manufacturers of products and large e-commerce sites to get permission to crawl their websites, most of the sites have anti-scraping provisions and could take you to court in case they have a no crawl policy.
The third milestone would be to identify a cohort that has high sales and where you can get the tie up structured with the manufacturers and e-commerce sellers.
Investment Needed For Prototype
For testing & building the prototype, pitch for raising 125 – 250K USD from angel investors or incubators like 500 startups, Y Combinator or others of a similar kind in your country. There should be no office rentals or salary payout; the entire budget should be apportioned for customer acquisition and technology.
You would need to have an e-commerce and a tech expert as co-founders. In addition to this having a co-founding member who has an advanced degree in statistics would add immense value.
Investors / Expert Take
One of the companies in this segment, Review Trackers obtained USD 2M Series A. This is a very significant segment and could garner long-term interest from investors. In case you need any help in fine-tuning the business plan for this startup idea or making a lean canvas, please do visit us at yostartups.com and drop us an email, we will be glad to assist you. Once you test waters and complete the product market fit, you can approach Investors like Sequoia, Insight Venture Partners, Accel Partners, and OMERS Ventures.