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Interview

The Ciao websites have two main offerings for users: a comparison shopping portal and a consumer community. Could you talk about how these two aspects of Ciao feed each other?

In the beginning, Ciao was founded as a pure opinion portal. The idea was that everyone could help each other and give advice by writing consumer reviews. From that existing structure, a detailed product catalogue evolved. Around 2001, it became clear that a pure community model would not be profitable, and so we added the price comparison component. There were two reasons for doing so. First, it was a way to bring in revenue. And second, it was a service that people already expected; someone searching for a product on Ciao would also naturally want to find the lowest price. It was the next step in the whole purchase cycle. First, you search for the product to buy. Then, you read reviews and learn more about the product. After that, you make up your mind and look for the best price. And finally, you make a purchase.


  

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