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richard anson Archive
I reviewed Reevoo a couple of months ago. Reevoo is a product review site. What differentiates them from the other review sites is that they have relationships with the UK’s largest stores. They contact purchasers from these stores to create verified reviews. This is why I like Reevoo. How many times have you looked at a product review on Amazon only to find it is either loaded with spam or the comments come from the company. So I thought I would give Richard Anson, the founder of Reevoo a call to discuss his web app and find out more information about the Reevoo review process.
A side note: Richard is an extremely patient man. I had some issues with Skype recording the call to create a podcast. We tried six times before I suggested we just do it as text so there would be no more pie on my face! Thanks Richard for your patience!
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Allen: Can you provide a brief bio?
Richard: Prior to founding Reevoo, I was a Senior Manager at KPMG, was previously interim Head of Group Planning at Orange, covering 22 countries, and was on the small deals team managing investments up to £5 million at 3i. I have a PhD and MBA from the Cranfield School of Management.
Allen: What exactly does Reevoo do?
Richard: Reevoo aggregates and publishes real-world reviews across the web. Our current focus is on electrical goods, but our aim is to move rapidly across verticals.
Allen: Ok i am a bit confused, i thought that Reevoo only allowed confirmed buyers to post reviews, yet when i search for camcorder, i am offered the option to post a review to my web site and then it will show on Reevoo?
Richard: When we founded Reevoo we recognized that to be successful we needed to build a platform of authority and trust, at the heart of the business. Reviews from confirmed buyers provides this platform. To supplement this core, our aim is to aggregate reviews from across the web, reviews posted on third party sites and blogs are part of this. Review provenance is important.
Allen: Can you speak about your partners?
Richard: We currently work with large UK on-line shops like the mobile operator Orange, Currys, Comet, Dixons and Misco and serve more than 60 million reviews and ratings a year.
Allen: Can you share any upcoming partnerships?
Richard: We will be going live with Jessops, a major UK camera retailer, over the coming weeks.
Allen: What is the true benefit of a post-purchase review?
Richard: The true benefit is it has maximum trust and authority. We know that person has actually bought that product. Spam and bogus reviews are minimized, if not reduced totally.
Allen: Can you compare Reevoo’s reviews to Amazon’s reviews?
Richard: We always know that our confirmed purchaser reviewers have purchased the product, providing increased trust. We also aggregate reviews of products written by purchaser from multiple retailers creating a truly independent and impartial basket of reviews.
Allen: How do you compare yourself to a site like dooyoo? They pay their reviewers and have whats seems like hundreds of thousands of reviews.
Richard: We believe that incentivising and paying people to write, make or produce reviews introduces biases and affects quality. Our service also results in Reevoo carrying reviews on a much wider range of products – in other words “tail products”.
Allen: Who are the other current competitors for Reevoo?
Richard: A new player in the states, Bazaar Voice, appeared about one year after we stated.
Allen: So if I am a Dixon’s do you also show reviews from customers of Orange on the Dixon’s site?
Richard: Yes, we create an impartial independent basket of reviews around a product (aggregating reviews from multiple retailers) and then distribute those product reviews across our retail partners websites.
Allen: What’s the technology behind Reevoo? Any thoughts on offering RSS feeds to any web site?
Richard: We use Ruby on Rails.
Allen: How does Reevoo make money?
Richard: We charge on-line shops a fee for our service.
Allen: What’s it like to be a startup in London?
Richard: Fantastic – you should all move over…
We have access to a great talent pool, London is VC central for Europe and the team would say we have great beer!
Allen: Is Web 2.0 and web apps alive and kicking in the UK?
Richard: Getting there – probably less hype and more down to earth than what I imagine Silicon Valley is like.
Allen: Can you speak to the hReview microformat – is this something you leverage now or planning to leverage?
Richard: Ben Griffiths, our CTO, is somewhat of a leader over here in the hReview microformat area. We use the format when we aggregate reviews from blogs and also, internally, when we move reviews between different parts of our business.
Allen: You just had your one year anniversary, do you think you hit the marks you expected to?
Richard: We actually exceeded my expectations. I am proud of the number of high profile brands that we work extremely hard to support.
Allen: Any growth plans into the US and into Europe/Asia?
Richard: Our aim is to move rapidly across Europe in due course, although at this stage I would not rule out the US.
Allen: Any thoughts on provided confirmed reviews on ecommerce services? i think this could be a huge market – so before you buy from xyz.com you can see confirmed reviews rather than just seeing random reviews across the web?
Richard: This something in our pipeline, which we will be talking about to our partners in due course.
Allen: What do you think are the most important characteristics that are needed for a startup to be successful?
Richard: Belief, Resilence and a Top Team. I cannot emphasise the people aspect enough. It may be a huge cliché, but very very true.
Allen: what would you say is the top thing you have learned since you started reevoo? positive or negative?
Richard: Why didn’t I do it sooner!
Screenshots – click to enlarge
Thanks for participating Richard and thanks to you for reading. I have liked Reevoo since my first review because of the trust factor. I look forward to your introduction into the US one day!
If you would like to participate in a conversation on CenterNetworks, or if you have any comments or questions, let me know.