Several years ago I had the idea to build a product review web site for equestrian products. I noticed that equine bulletin boards were full of requests for comments on saddles, different feeds, bit choices and more. I thought it would be helpful to have all that information on one site, organized in a way that made it easy find information.
In today’s tight economy every purchase that I make for my horse undergoes extra scrutiny. If I want to buy a saddle, or try a supplement or medication, or buy a helmet, I find it very helpful to read about others’ experiences. When I looked for a site that offered this type of information, I couldn’t find anything that was like I envisioned.
Research shows that user reviews have the greatest influence in a buying decision. People value the opinions of their peers even more than single reviews by ‘experts.’ That makes quite a bit of sense because with items such a saddles, personal preference plays a large role in someone’s satisfaction. I’m usually leery of testimonials on manufacturers’ websites, too.
I spent a year researching review sites and thinking about how I could make a site that offered a unique perspective (if you like make up and perfume, check out my favorite: www.makeupalley.com). I looked at review sites across many different industries and cherry picked the features that I thought were most compelling.
- Rated user reviews that provide both individual comments and an overall ranking. It was important to me that you could see an aggregate “score” that spans multiple reviews.
- A format that combines multiple reviews in a single location. I didn’t want people to have to keep “clicking” to read more reviews.
- A broad scope of products. Rather than just focus on tack, I wanted to create a single source for the full range of products that equestrians use and need. The site addresses feeds, supplements, stable supplies, blankets, tack, equestrian clothing and even provides a place to rank on-line suppliers.
- Articles on related topics. EquineProductsReview.com will be the new home of Equine Ink. I started Equine Ink while I was waiting for EPR to be built (which took far longer than I expected). I have found that blogging is far more fun than I had ever imagined and I actually am making it a bigger part of Equine Products Review than I had originally intended.
- Videos. Linked into EquineProductsReview.com is a YouTube Channel that offers video reviews, information about products and extensive play lists of amazing, funny and educational equine videos.
The beta version of EquineProductsReview.com went live last September. I got a lot of good feedback and I spent time working with the site and making changes. In fact, I’m still making changes but I figured that the best strategy was to put it out and let it evolve as people use it.
I hope that my readers here will share some of their knowledge and experience on EPR. As they used to say in Chicago, vote early and vote often!