PricewaterhouseCoopers/AEV conducted research on the two recommendation agencies and found Consumer Reports several steps behind Decide.com in various areas like product availability and an up-to-date database. The study, which was sponsored by Seattle-based Decide, analyzed 100 products in an eight-day span last month and stacked them against each other.
Recommendations differed 31 percent of the time. One of the more notable statistics was that 12.5 percent of recommendations shown as “Best Buy,” or “Recommended,” by Consumer Reporters were incorrect based on newer versions of the item with stronger features or lower prices available at other online outlets.
“Decide is to Consumer Reports what Yelp is to Zagat: an example of technology disrupting older ways of providing consumers advice,” said Mike Fridgen, Decide CEO, in a press release. “Our technology provides product recommendations in real-time by using big data, millions of reviews from across the Internet, in addition to experts.”
There were also vast differences in user reviews and pricing decisions. Decide features 30 times more user reviews that are updated in real time and factored in recommendations. On the other hand, Consumer Reports allows only subscriber reviews, which aren’t calculated into the recommendation.
The only category that Consumer Reports matched Decide on was in the “Comprehensive” section.
The report reminds us of last week’s Redfin study that showed how its competitors like Zillow and Trulia have outdated database information. With how fast technology moves today, providing the newest information available at all times is certainly becoming more and more crucial.
Decide.com was co-founded by University of Washington computer scientist Oren Etzioni, and it is backed by Maveron, Madrona and others.
Previously on GeekWire: Consumer Reports for geeks: New ‘Decide Score’ uncovers the best and worst products
Reach staff reporter Taylor Soper at email@example.com or on Twitter @Taylor_Soper