Ciao debuts in the US
Ciao, the European-based shopping engine, has launched its US site last week; and it’s a brand new site compared to its European sites (look at the UK one to convince yourself). The core business of Ciao in Europe and in the US is the same: price comparison with a heavy focus on the community and user-generated content (product lists, text reviews or video reviews). But the execution is far better on the US site: this new site can be compared to the trendy Web 2.0 sites, when the European ones look soooo ’00 :) I hope the US site has been launched as a test market before a global roll-out in Europe.
A quick review of the main features:
- The price comparison is really classic: search on products, navigation inside categories based on filtering, product page with lists of merchants and reviews… Indeed, Ciao needs this, but it’s clearly not where it is innovative.
- You can start creating content on Ciao after a quick registration process:
- An assistant shows you a random list of products available on Ciao, that you can quickly rate – I like it, I don’t like it, I own it – to start populating your own list of products. Those user-created lists can be shared with other users, and then tagged, rated and commented.
- Apart from product lists, you can also create text reviews and video reviews.
- Also, you can discover some friends among other Ciao users, and communicate with them through private mails.
- A big difference from other social shopping sites: you can earn money by creating content
- Reviews, lists, and users are accessible from the top navigation of the site (good for the SEO juice ;) )
All in all nothing really impressive on the product itself, but a product that is well balanced between the price comparison and social shopping features. Will it become popular on the very crowded US market?