When it comes to making the right choices about where to shop, what to buy, who to deal with, and how much to pay, from airfare to health care, music to movies, real estate to restaurants, and now in the vortex of consumer electronics, your desktop cursor has always pointed you in the right direction.
The arrow points up and to the left, to the Pacific Northwest, home of the smartest support technologies on the planet for making wiser decisions on not just what to spend your hard-earned money on but WHEN you should take the plunge.
Joining Microsoft’s Bing, which has successfully positioned itself as the Internet’s first “Decision Engine,” including its earlier acquisition of Farecast, the predictive travel fare buying service, and companies like Zillow (comparing real estate), Avvo (comparing attorneys and doctors), Medify (comparing health care results), IMDB (comparing movies) and services like Urban Spoon (comparing restaurants) among others, comes the ultimate shopping solution for purchasing consumer electronic gear like laptops, cameras and televisions. The easy to remember domain name: Decide.com
Backed by a roster that reads like the Who’s Who of the Seattle Internet business, academic and investment worlds, Decide.com found its inspiration in a legacy of Seattle and UW achievements dating back to early Internet shopping tools Excite and Jango. Listed as co-founders are two sets of brothers who combined their experience working at Zillow, Zaaz, Microsoft and Google together with the minds and management mojo behind Seattle’s most successful startups.
The company has raised $8.5M in venture capital from Madrona Venture Group, Maveron, and angel investors. Co-founder and CTO, Oren Etzioni, chairs Madrona’s Technology Advisory Board and is a professor at the University of Washington’s Department of Computer Science and Engineering who developed the Farecast predictive pricing model. Decide.com utilizes proprietary data and predictive algorithms to inform shoppers when to buy with confidence or wait for a price drop or newer model to be released.
“Over the past decade the Internet has empowered shoppers to know ‘where to buy’ with comparison shopping, and ‘what to buy’ with user-generated reviews,” said Mike Fridgen, CEO of Decide.com. “For the first time, Decide is bringing the next phase of transparency to consumers by helping them answer the ‘when to buy’ question, by predicting future model releases and price changes, so they can purchase with no regrets.”
Choosing the right technology in any given product (or market) life cycle can be like trapeze without a Net. In 2010, on average, Decide observed the release of six new laptops a day, and one new TV a day and a new camera every other day. Decide has also found that many devices have vaporous manufacturer announcements or rumors about their next generation one or more months before they are available for sale. By matching hundreds of thousands of devices to their model lineages, mining the Web for gadget news and rumors, and applying advanced machine learning and text mining algorithms, Decide predicts future product releases to help consumers avoid buyer’s remorse.
The newfangled buyback programs offered by some retailers are not the answer for most people. According to Consumer Reports, “In many cases, the cost of the plan will exceed the trade-in credit you’ll receive.” Decide has a better solution by empowering consumers to make more confident and informed purchase decisions so they can buy the right product the first time. Empowering consumers is good for the industry. Decide also benefits the CE industry by helping consumers make better decisions on the path to purchase, lowering costly product return rate
Dynamic pricing in consumer electronics is at an all-time high, creating price volatility and consumer confusion Conventional wisdom is that prices drop over time, which is generally true, but what is less obvious is prices fluctuate on a daily basis (20 percent of the time) and 50 percent of the time prices go up, not down.
Decide’s price prediction algorithms utilize billions of observed price movements and over 40 distinct factors to help consumers save money and avoid getting burned.
“No other team has the technology, talent and experience in predictive systems to solve this problem,” said Etzioni. “We’ve built the only broad-scale model lineage, text and data mining systems that predict future price and model releases to address this complex consumer problem.”
How Decide Works
Go to Decide.com and search for a TV, laptop or camera that you want to buy. (More consumer electronics categories coming later this year.).
Decide provides a simple recommendation to BUY or WAIT, based on proprietary predictions about future prices and future model releases.
BUY: For buy recommendations, consumers simply click through to their seller of choice (Decide has pricing on hundreds of thousands of products, from thousands of sellers, including the top consumer electronics merchants on the Web).
WAIT: For wait recommendations, Decide makes it easy to track prices and new product release information so consumers can buy the right product at the right price. Just click on “set alert” to add a product to your watch list and Decide will notify you when the price changes.
Decide also makes it easy to share your favorite products and predictions with friends via Facebook to get help making that purchase decision. Decide is optimized for mobile and tablet shopping. Use Decide’s mobile site when shopping at your local electronics store to get the right model at the right price. [24×7]