How Bundle is Reinventing Local Business Reviews

Customer online reviews are a flawed device and the rapid proliferation of review sites has long worried local businesses over the potential for abuse and inaccuracy.  But a new service called Bundle aims to reinvent the online review.  By tracking actual consumer spending patterns – what people buy, where they buy it and how often they return, for example – Bundle’s sophisticated computer programs eliminate subjective opinions and get to what people actually do, not say, and then turn that information into more objective measures of popularity and customer satisfaction.

According to Founder & CEO Jaidev Shergill, Bundle was born from the idea that people need real insights and ratings on the places they go, not just subjective opinions. Bundle uses data from the U.S. government, along with aggregated spending transactions from Citibank (all personal information is removed or “anonymized”) and other third party data sources to come up with personalized recommendations on restaurants, bars, bakeries, clothing stores, coffee shops, florists, shoe stores and other local businesses.  With that information, customers can find out what type of people go to a place, how often they actually go back, and can get recommendations on where to go based on places they already like.

In short, Bundle crunches the data from real spending to give consumers the lowdown without the bias.  Since Bundle is backed by Microsoft, Citibank and the investment information firm Morningstar, and representatives of those investor firms sit on the Bundle board, it’s a good bet that Bundle will have the support it needs to scale the model.  So far, Bundle is providing comprehensive coverage of local businesses in about 18 major cities, but expansion plans are underway.  

Keep an eye on Bundle.

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About the Author: Daniel Kehrer, Founder and Chief Content Officer of BizBest Media, is a senior-level leader in digital media, content development and online marketing with special expertise in startups, SMB, social media and generating traffic, engagement and leads. He holds an MBA from UCLA/Anderson and is a passionate entrepreneur (started 4 businesses), syndicated columnist, blogger, thought leader and author of 7 business and financial books.

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  1. Diane says:

    So, since they say they update weekly, why are there businesses in my area on Bundle who have been out of business for over a year?? And they also do not, so far as I can tell, factor in high foot traffic (mall locations) as compared to less trafficked locations (such as quiet plazas). Could that be the reason that places with such high Bundle scores have such low Loyalty ratings by Bundle and those in quieter locations have higher Loyalty ratings by Bundle? These things certainly don’t make for ‘unbiased data driven ratings’ …or do they? What Bundle also does, in my opinion, is make private business information, such as average rings, public, even with private companies. This is what they are using to come up with ‘personalized recommendations’ on where to go. Better system than Yelp?? What am I missing?? It also doesn’t factor in nontaxable ‘rings’ or items, does it? Also, the retailer who sells things that aren’t taxed, such as coffee beans, is going to show a lower total average ‘ring’ than those with all taxable items. Phshaw I say.

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