May 22 2011
Buying things online has revolutionized commerce. In the olden days people would get in their car, drive to the store, shop for what they wanted, and then leave. As we all know this has dramatically changed now that we have the internet. With the click of a button we can have items sent to our door without even leaving the house. It’s easier, cheaper, and almost always better. Almost.
The reality is that now that we are able to buy merchandise online we have an exorbitant amount of options. If you’re looking for watches you can get a thousand different styles from a hundred different brands. If you’re looking for TVs you’ll find the same thing, or dare we mention cameras, bicycles- the list goes on and on.
To help consumer sift through the mass of product offerings many sites offer reviews. With them you can get a better idea of how an item works and if people were happy with it. These reviews also offer you the opportunity to spend hours reading to try to get a feel for a product. They are helpful to be sure but don’t take advantage of the power of the internet and the information that’s readily available about products. Let’s go back to the camera example. There’s a dizzying array of features of which each camera has a subset. If you start reading reviews on the various options one of two things will happen. You’ll either make a selection by your 81st birthday or you’ll give up. Most people give up and then look for a top ten recommended list and buy one of those. If it’s on a top ten list it’s probably a safe bet, right? Maybe.
Now there’s a way to quickly and easily research a product online so you can sort the criteria that’s of most interest to you. It comes to us as Pikimal, which is a site full of Pikis.
A Piki is a product profile page that has a wealth of information that you can readily sift through. The way it works is first you pick your category. I found myself drawn to Deep Fryers for some strange reason. By clicking on it I landed on the Find the Best Deep Fryer Piki, which we can only surmise was created by their happy set of interns. Each Piki is adorned with a set of templates which are editable filters that allow you to view the best fryers for that category. So you can select the best deep fryers for performance, cleaning, programmable cooking, capacity, safety features, low price, and a few other options. Naturally, I selected capacity which returned a- you guessed it- a top ten list of the best fryers based upon capacity. And there you have it. Almost.
As mentioned the templates are editable. By clicking on the edit link I was presented with the brains behind Pikimal, the wizard behind the curtain, the secret in their sauce. Before me was a series of sliders. For each criteria whereby deep fryers are measured the sliders can be adjusted according to your personal preference. This allows you to customize your view of the aforementioned top ten list of fryers. The sliders included size, safety, and convenience amongst other options. Many of them had sub filters that you could further indicate how important various aspects of deep fryers are to you. And finally, in a display of expected brilliance, as soon as you adjust any of the slides you’re given a new and updated top ten list.
I actually misspoke a bit earlier for simplicity. The world of Pikimal isn’t limited to just products. You can research just about anything there. It’s a place to help you find anything you’d like to discover, “the best of.” This includes schools, dinosaurs, or NFL quarterbacks, along with products for online purchase. We even found a planet Piki on there. Beyond the Piki tool they also include a rating and review system to augment your research. They’re currently in beta launch with an ever growing list of items to be cataloged. With Pikimal people can create their own top ten lists of anything they’re researching so they can find what’s best for them.