As a startup, I have been obsessing a lot recently about conversion. The act of a person shifting from “lurker” to “actively engaged”. It’s quite interesting to learn, obsess, and watch. But conversion comes after selection. So selection is something to consider.
Imagine if you, as a person wishing to purchase something, enter a store. In that store, there’s a desk and the clerk asks you what you want. But you don’t quite know what to reply. You’d like to look around and window shop, but there’s nothing in the room. You tend to clam up, right?
Well, that’s the traditional search experience. You typically come to a blank screen and have zero clue about what you’re looking for. Maybe you know exactly the proper term. But what if you don’t?
In the old days there was a company like this that sold retail products. It was called Consumers Distributing. You walked in, to a service desk, ordered what you thought you wanted, the clerk then disappears into the back of the warehouse to return (hopefully quickly) with the product. No browsing, no seeing other products. No real knowing the product is going to work, or fit. Just order and pickup. Sure, that company disrupted the retail market for lower-cost, but ultimately failed when eCommerce started. eCommerce offered products in comparison.
That’s how I view traditional search or research methods today. One big blank bar with unlimited bad decisions just behind the desk.
As business people, we need more. Research, or the short form “search”, is about knowing more to make the best decision.
That’s a funny thing right there. In most search, you only search for the silo’d term you can think of at the time. This input then returns all the 10M+ hits that Google or Bing can spit out in the shortest amount of time. Hits that you never, ever go to and the first page is ads. Should we call those “fake news” these days? Perhaps that’s another post at a later date. The second page typically shows unrelated content that doesn’t really help that much. And let’s face it, nobody (and by this I mean less than 1% of the population) does advanced searches with symbols or logic. Have you “advanced searched”? No. Me neither. This is why I believe making better decisions comes from knowing more about the topic. Seems logical, right? To know more involves understanding who’s involved. In the ancient days we used libraries and sought out multiple titles to consider, confirm assumptions and validate views. Those are data collisions.
This is why Sidekick provides collisions. By showcasing all the providers in a category we hope to give you, as respected intelligent peers, options.
So you can make the best considered decisions.