A kind of Yelp for products, or consumer goods–that’s what everyone was calling the vowel-challenged start-up Consumr back in 2013, and what a great tag it was.
At the beginning of last year, Techcrunch was cheering from the sidelines: one million crowd-sourced reviews logged, increased personalization, more granular product scoring, and the introduction of a price comparison feature–all these strategies seemed to create a launch pad for new funding bids.
And then… not much. At least, not from an outsider’s perspective, although the internal wheels at Consumr might have been spinning as fast as their Twitter feed wasn’t. “We’ve been flying under the radar the last little while,” Consumr tweeted last week. An understatement. As VentureBeat observed on reporting the acquisition of Consumr by Purch–and as is evident from a glance at Twitter–the Consumr feed had been inactive for almost five months. Less a weak effort at social engagement than a white flag of surrender.
Consumr’s Facebook presence has even more ghostly, and although the reviewing community remained active, small voices of complaint pointed out that many products were under-reviewed or not reviewed at all, even in its target sectors: beauty, food, household goods, and more recently electronic appliances (compare Yelp in its strongest area, restaurants, where searching for opinions–reliable or not–is rarely futile. Yelp claims more than 70 million reviews across the board).
Maybe the Purch acquisition is timely for Consumr, then, but does it make sense for Purch?
Purch, formerly TechMedia Network, is a portofolio of websites geared to making purchase decisions easier for businesses and customers. Purch brands feature professional product reviews as well as crowd-sourced commentary, and aggregates user data to create an environment in which marketers can roll out targeted, relevant messages. It claims to reach 100 million readers monthly.
Consumr, which its QR and barcode scanning capability has the potential to put Purch’s content directly into buyers hands. A modest enhancement for Purch perhaps (the price of the acquisition has not been announced), but something of a resurrection, it appears, for Consumr.