SanomaVentures is investing in Wugly.nl. Wugly.nl helps consumers find information on local shops based on the experiences of others. The platform has the largest database of independent consumer store reviews in the Netherlands.
Wugly.nl was launched in 2010 by Q&A Research & Consultancy, a market research agency that specialises in retail and organizes the ‘Best retailer’ competition. The site caters to the demand among consumers for a platform where they can read and write independent reviews on local shops all year round. Research shows that 45% of consumers decide where to shop partly based on the experiences of others*. Over the past three years, Wugly has collected close to a half a million reviews, of which more than 175,000 in 2013 alone.
Growth of Wugly
Frank Quix, Director and Founder of Wugly.nl: “Joining forces with Sanoma has given us a strategic partner who can help Wugly.nl quickly gain more brand recognition and help us take our platform to the next level. Together with Sanoma’s leading product comparison site Kieskeurig.nl and others, we can now offer consumers even better information in their search for the right local shop, i.e. improve the customer journey. We can also provide our business customers with greater added value in terms of gaining insight and reaching consumers. Moreover, this collaboration with Sanoma also allows us to step up our investments in new markets.”
Clicks & bricks
Online and offline shopping – clicks & bricks – are becoming more and more intertwined. A growing number of webshops are also opening offline locations, while ‘brick’ shops are increasingly using electronic marketing solutions and offering online ordering options. Sanoma sees attractive opportunities in bridging online and offline shopping. Herman Kienhuis, Investment Director at SanomaVentures: “Combining offline and online shopping offers new opportunities. Wugly has built up a valuable platform with shop reviews that can play an important role in this.”
The partnership includes the launch of a comprehensively updated and mobile optimized website and apps. The beta version of the updated desktop and tablet site is already available and the mobile site and app will follow shortly.
The expansion of services for our customers increases the added value of Wugly as a research and marketing tool. “Examples of this include the white label option, the integration of reviews on the retailer website, and the link to Business Intelligence tools,” explains Erwin de Haan, Commercial Manager at Wugly.nl.
The recommendations of others enables consumers to find shops that best meet their needs. Wugly collects the experiences of consumers with shops, shopping centres and webshops, and will soon start doing so for the hospitality industry as well. Over the past year, more than 175,000 unique and genuine shopping experiences have been added to the site. This brings the total number of reviews to half a million since the start in 2010. Besides its reviews, Wugly.nl provides consumers with extensive information on stores, webshops and shopping centres, such as locations, opening hours, brands, special offers and much more. What makes Wugly so unique is that it is comprehensive and objective.
Wugly offers retailers tools for the best form of online word-of-mouth advertising. This enables retailers, realtors and city marketeers to easily gather and share the experiences of customers who have visited their stores, shopping areas/centres and webshops. Active customer contact is encouraged through various tools and consumers and competitors can be analysed through real-time insights.
*About the study: The consumer study was carried out by Q&A Research & Consultancy. More than 1,150 Dutch consumers took part in the study, conducted in the fall of 2013. All results were weighted for age and gender.
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