Innovation That Matters

Top 3 choices for shoppers


Offline, shoppers have often sought out mentors to help them make the best choices, from fashion-forward department store buyers to a favourite magazine’s über-curators. 3LUXE presents an interesting online twist to this behaviour, highlighting just three items in each of its many product categories, from the best bathroom cleaner (Mrs Meyer’s Clean Day Toilet Bowl Cleaner) to the site’s top pick motor yacht (an 83-foot Ferretti for USD 5.9 million). 3LUXE was founded by Doug Worple, who has a background in advertising. Each selection is based on research via magazines, online reviews and personal use. Of course, not everyone will agree with 3LUXE’s top choices. So the site lets visitors post their own reviews and give products a summary thumbs up or down rating. Worple explains that 3LUXE’s chief aim is to help eliminate what’s been called search-engine fatigue, which is the chore we all face each time we enter a search term on Yahoo! or Google and are faced with millions of results. That aim is in sync with other online shopping services we’ve seen recently. Wize, which we wrote about in September, rates products on a simple 1-100 scale. Other sites we’ve featured such as Stylehive and Crowdstorm use social networking tools to rate products. While those websites offer a curated view of what’s available, 3LUXE goes a step further by limiting the choice in every category to three items, saving consumers the hassle of endless research: “We want you to think of us as the friend you turn to when you’re about to buy something. Not just any friend, but the friend (who’s perhaps a bit obsessive/compulsive) that relentlessly researches a category. Not making a purchase until they’ve become an expert. Our goal is to research everything, so you don’t have to.” Ultimately, the success of any ‘shoposphere’ site may depend on how well the tastes of its active users mesh with those of its more casual visitors. And helping those two key constituencies find each other will be a critical task for the sites’ organizers. For entrepreneurs, however, the takeaway is that concepts used by 3LUXE and its competitors can be replicated in myriad ways: from B2B sites that identify the best suppliers within industries to city-service portals that recommend the best local doctors, landscapers or restaurants. Spotted by: Jacqueline Zenn



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