Skepticism after Consumer Reports Competitor Pays Third Party ror Report to Say they are Better
Consumer Reports seems to be getting shade from a startup competitor. Recently Decide.com in an effort to demonstrate its superior product (by their standards) hired Ant’s Eye View, which is a division of pricewaterhousecoopers to produce a report to compare Decide.com’s product to Consumer Reports. Decide.com believes its self to be the next generation in online product comparison tools and believes that Consumer Reports which is has thrived from its print base to have archaic forms of product reviews. Consumer Reports also has a large online presence.
Decide.com touts its strengths in having unbiased product recommendations for its customers using technology that performs reviews rather with artificial intelligence and algorithms. Both Consumer reports and Decide.com do not take compensation for their product reviews which ensures unbiased recommendations. And in an effort to level the playing field, Decide.com decided to pay for and release this report which has undoubtedly backfired.
The report, which was released this week, to no ones surprise reveals that Decide.com is in fact better than Consumer Reports. The report is being met with more than skepticism. In an era where more and more companies are going under it seems more pressing to prove rather than pay someone to say you are better especially when taking on an established brand. Some critics are wondering why bother to pay for such a study knowing that any positive results would be suspect and met with resistance. The report came back with several findings namely that the recommendations that were written by Decide were more in order and not difficult to understand. The report also stated that Decide actively reviews more products and has newer inventory in their reviews. But it leaves out some important facts.
Decide.com has met the backlash simply stating that even though the paid for the study they felt that the outcome was by no means not objective. That the informed consumer would draw the same conclusions after reading the report and seeing for themselves. It seems more likely that Decide.com has been unable to market its brand and products directly to the consumer and chose to go a roundabout away in highlighting how and what they do by comparison.
Digger deeper to the two competitors one would find that they actually do business a little different so the report doesn’t seem appropriate. Decide.com’s main product is its pricing predictions and since it doesn’t do its own testing it pulls data from the web to do so. So whereas Consumer Reports buys its own products and conducts its own testing there is no way that they could be compared in volume, tactics and outcomes. Decide.com results are being driven by consumer reviews rather than objective testing. Also in comparison, Consumer Reports can tout 3.2 million web subscribers and 4 million print subscribers whereas Decide.com has about 50,000 visitors a month on their website.
Another interesting detail to this story is that Consumer Reports revealed that Decide.com was until recently pursuing a partnership with Consumer Reports which they rejected making the publication and release of the report wax more than desperate and untimely.