What is Decide.com?
Mike – Decide.com is a service that provides trusted advice on what to buy and when to buy it. We have a team of data scientists that use big data and predictive technology to recommend when is the best time to buy a product and what are the best products to buy.
Shauna – I think the shopping experience is changing so much right now, and consumers don’t even know how much it’s changing. Prices are changing real time and you actually need this technology to be able to get a decent fare or even the best price.
What kind of traction has decide.com seen since launch:
From a product standpoint, we’ve been scaling significantly. A year or so ago we just had three categories: TV’s, cameras and laptops. Today we’re in over 70 product categories across electronics, appliances and home and garden. We’ve grown our audience as well. From email subscribers and paying members, we’re really happy with the way thing are going.
What do you know now that you wish you would have known when you started?
You know, one of the things that’s really grown is consumers awareness of the problem with dynamic pricing. There are more and more service providers helping retailers change their price real time and that’s why you have this whole dynamic where prices changes as often on products as they do in the stock market. I think for us, just now is that really hitting its height in terms of awareness and consumers are looking for someone they can trust to help them combat that to make smarter decisions. I’d say it would have been nicer to have that wind of momentum around that problem earlier in our cycle, but we’re happy that people are so aware of it and coming to us for that solution now. Shauna did an awesome job over the holidays. She was on CBS, ABC, and NBC and she was out there telling the story and how Decide solves it for consumers.
What’s a hypothesis you’ve had that has failed and how did you respond?
One of the features that is really popular with consumers today is a feature called the price guarantee. We make a prediction that prices are going up or going down in the future and when the prices are going down according to our predictions we’ll provide an alert so you can track it and capture the price drop and save money. When prices are going up, we’ll actually guarantee that now is a great time to buy so if our prediction is wrong we’ll pay a customer the difference. It’s the only thing of its kind. And it’s a successful part of our membership base now but when we first launched it we didn’t do a very good job. What we did was we made it available only on a very small subset of products and they were highly considered products. So they weren’t the kind of products you’d buy spontaneously such as cell phone or computer accessories. It was for high end computers or TV’s or refrigerators and so people weren’t using the service as much because it was available on a very limited basis. So we weren’t able to learn as quickly making the release of that MVP unsuccessful. We should have prototyped it on a larger set of products earlier.
If you were going to take Decide on a date, where would it want to go and why?