Why I Founded Censvs

I am the founder of Censvs.com. Censvs is a review-sharing network. Our focus is on delivering great quantities of highly trustworthy product reviews to webshops around the world.

Have you ever visited a webshop that sold amazing products but lacked product reviews? Sadly this is still a common phenomenon for webshops.

Many webshops realize that product reviews are a valuable asset, and have in fact implemented review functionality. However, obtaining product reviews is very hard. For all but the largest webshops, limited sales volumes in combination with the fact that only a small percentage of buyers submit product reviews, lead to empty databases. Surely the line "Be the first to write a review" is not unfamiliar to you.

This is a missed opportunity. Research continually shows that over 70% of online shoppers read product reviews before making a purchase. Research also show that reviews significantly increase conversion ratios. This means that a webshop that offers limited reviews has a good chance of losing customers simply because customers need to look elsewhere to view the reviews they need in order to make a purchasing decision. On the internet, a customer that has to look elsewhere is a customer lost.

Frankly, if product reviews increase sales, and the number of product reviews is itself a function of sales, then there is a feedback effect that strengthens the market position of the select few that have surpassed a virtual threshold of size. I strongly believe that product reviews, as a consequence of this feedback effect, are an important contributor to the monopolistic market position that Amazon currently has.

With Censvs my aim is to make product reviews a commodity available to all webshops. Owners of a webshop can apply for an enterprise account, register the webshop, and embed a snippet of code in the shop's site. At this point, the Censvs module is integrated and starts serving product reviews. In the background, Censvs matches the products the products being sold by one webshop to the products being sold by all other webshops in the network. Then, if a review is submitted at one webshop, all webshops selling the same product will also display this review.

All webshops that are part of the Censvs network thus display a far greater quantity of product reviews than what could be achieved when all webshops would individually collect reviews. This also means that the value of aggregate statistics increases by orders of magnitude. An average rating of 4.3 stars based on 250 votes tells much more about a product than an average rating of 5 stars based on 1 vote!

I invite webshop owners to request a beta invitation right now. With your participation and feedback Censvs can grow to a platform that effectively levels the playing field, and allows webshops across the globe to stop losing customers to the E-commerce giants that have used the scarcity of product reviews to their advantage for too long!

Copyright 2013 by Mark Teisman.
Content licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.