GoodGuide provides health, environmental and social facts about products
BeauteTest • GoodGuide • Social shopping
GoodGuide is a new US start-up demo’ed at the TechCrunch50 event last week. In its own words:
GoodGuide provides the world’s largest and most reliable source of information on the health, environmental, and social impacts of the products in your home. […] Our goal is to provide the most comprehensive, credible, and useful information in the world, on products and companies delivered whenever and wherever you need it. We’re making information available and easy to use so each of us can express our own values and concerns in the marketplace.
I like the review on ReadWriteWeb about GoodGuide vs the competition in the TechCrunch50 event:
GoodGuide is going after a totally mainstream market; this service does not rely on the satiated early adopter that everybody else in Web 2.0 has been chasing. […] As for longevity/sustainability/barriers, what GoodGuide has done takes real hard work. This is not a simple social media hack or a surface aggregation that you could do with a tool like Dapper. GoodGuide requires a fine balance of technology, research and domain expertise. If 10 wannabees set out to compete, they would take at least 6 months and probably a lot longer to get to a me too offering. […]
Clearly, GoodGuide has a clever and ambitious concept. A few thoughts:
- For now, GoodGuide has collected 60.000 personal care products, a database that will be enriched over time. The site currently doesn’t offer any social features to use the “wisdom of the crowd” to enrich its database. So I’m intrigued to know how GoodGuide gets facts for all those products in order to rank them… How scalable could this process be to manage a high volume of products? For all the categories GoodGuide covers (i.e: flagrance and perfumes, hair care, skin care, household cleaner…), the turnover of products by manufacturers is really high, which makes the task pretty complex…
- A lot of product pages look pretty empty for now; but there is a real value for well-described products, with a “behind the ratings” section, a list of “package label ingredients“, a list of “analyzed ingredients“, some “beneficial effects“. See this page for a laundry detergent.
- An evidence of emptiness: see “the Chanel Precision Gentle Hydrating Lotion” product page: the product is rated 2 out of 10 (terrible ranking), with only one criteria filled (“General Health and Safety” set to 2) and no explanation what this really means. How can you trust this rating? Wouldn’t it be better to remove the product?
- Getting a final note “xx out of 10” to rank products is somehow useless. I would have prefered a cleverer way to visually rank products, i.e: getting inspiration from the visual representation of product reviews from Summize.
- The concept of GoodGuide reminds me of Zeer, a food-dedicated site, whose slogan is “believe in what you buy“.
- Health, environmental and social facts are great for ethical-conscious customers. However, it’s only a part of the equation to purchase a product: you also need some reviews of the quality / usage of the product… Currently GoodGuide retrieves user reviews from Amazon, and allows its users to post their own reviews.
- However, should GoodGuide become a “classic” social destination based on its innovative approach / unique content? Or should it remain focused on this approach, and syndicate content to other social shopping / CSEs destinations?
As a final note, I compared GoodGuide with BeauteTest, a french health&beauty destination, that relies on its community to enrich the content of the site. Product pages are edited by the community; with incredible details added to describe products (i.e: full list of ingredients). Mix this richness with the content / algorithm of GoodGuide + add a price comparison service, and you will get a truly amazing shopping experience.