Research from new online business review directory reveals 95% of Sydney-siders are ill-informed about businesses in their own backyard
Sydney 21 February 2008 – When it comes to being in-the-know about restaurants, hair salons, mechanics or anything else local, 95% of Sydney-siders are out of the loop, according to a survey commissioned by new online community and business review directory, RAYV.
The survey[i], conducted by research company PureProfile, questioned 800 residents across Sydney about their opinions and habits in relation to local businesses, and revealed an overwhelming 95% of respondents agree they would like to be more in-the-know about businesses in their local community. It also revealed 76% of people in Sydney currently waste time travelling outside their local area for services such as masseurs and mechanics because they don’t know enough about alternative businesses within their local area. In response to this need, online community and business review directory RAYV (www.rayv.com.au) has launched today to offer Sydney-siders a new and rewarding way to find, review and talk about businesses in their local area.
According to RAYV CEO Anil Sabharwal, RAYV is a cross between a web-based social community and online business directory, providing the first place for people in Sydney to get (and give) opinions on any type of local business from a source they can trust – their peers. More than 15,000 businesses and 2,000 reviews are already featured on RAYV as a result of an invite-only beta program. With today’s official launch, Sabharwal expects those numbers to grow rapidly. “There’s a general perception that people in Sydney have their finger on the pulse of what’s good and bad on their home turf, but our research reveals a very different reality. People are left wanting to know more about local business, and do not really know where to turn to for an opinion or recommendation they can trust,” Sabharwal said. Other key findings from the survey include:
- 95% of people agreed they would like a central resource to get up-to-date, trusted opinions on any type of business in their local community
- 85% of people agreed they would like a forum to share their opinions and experiences (good and bad) with other people about the businesses and services in their local area
“RAYV offers something truly different – one central resource with a truly local feel, where people can go to get an opinion on any type of business in their area, from restaurants and day spas to bookstores and nightclubs, while at the same time building a community with local people who share the same interests.” A key feature of the site is the RAYV Compatibility tool that allows members to view their compatibility with a given review or reviewer. People who register with RAYV are invited to complete a profile detailing their interests and lifestyle habits. Registered users are then given a compatibility score for every review published on RAYV, allowing other members to see if they have the same interests as the reviewer.
“Many review sites offer numerous anonymous reviews – this is pointless if you have nothing in common with the person writing the review. It makes it very difficult for you to know who and what to trust,” Sabharwal said. “For example, if a student on a budget visits a conservative, up-market bar and gives the bar a low rating due to price and ambience, this review offers little help to a middle-aged professional who is more interested in the quality of the service than the price of drinks.
RAYV eliminates this uncertainty when reading reviews, and provides the comfort of being able to access trusted recommendations from like-minded people.” The survey also revealed that when looking for the best plumber, funkiest bar or best value Chinese restaurant, 94% of Sydney-siders would trust the opinion of someone who is like-minded and has common interests to them – even if they don’t know them. According to Sabharwal, this finding is significant as it indicates that people are willing to trust a stranger more than a friend, if the stranger has more common interests to them.
Sabharwal anticipates RAYV will also become a powerful tool for local businesses to promote themselves to a captive and interested audience.
“A business listing on RAYV will result in instant feedback. It is like a conversation between the business owner, prospective customer and the local community. We want to get the conversation going amongst members of the local community about businesses and services in their area, and in doing so, help uncover the hidden gems that most people don’t know about. RAYV offers not only reviews, but a forum to discuss and share opinions of local business, and an ability to build a network of like-minded people who have shared interests. It’s all about putting people back in touch with the local businesses in their community,” Sabharwal said.
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