7/08/10

New Comparison Shopping Engine Zoko Turns to StellaService for Detailed Merchant Ratings

Partnering With STELLAService, Zoko Benefits Shoppers as Merchants Compete on Price and Customer Service

NEW YORK, NY, July 8, 2010 – STELLAService is adding another comparison shopping engine partner through the integration of its ratings and web seals with Zoko.com, the first online market where retailers compete in real-time. STELLAService’s customer service ratings (“STELLA Ratings”) appear directly next to each merchant’s name in Zoko’s search listings, helping to direct consumers to the sites offering the best customer service while simultaneously driving higher quality traffic and conversion rates for the top rated retailers.

With comprehensive customer service ratings for nearly 300 of the most popular online merchants, STELLAService has quickly become a trusted guide and signal of quality for shoppers throughout the Web. Several months of preliminary data from Zoko highlights the impact of STELLA Ratings for both consumers and business. According to Zoko, when the asking price of a product from two merchants was equal, Zoko users were three times more likely to click-through to the higher rated merchant than the retailer with the lower STELLA Rating. Consumers benefit because they finally have a clear, transparent view of customer service quality, and merchants benefit because they are rewarded for providing truly great service, as validated by a credible, independent third party.

This win-win environment adds to the uniqueness of Zoko, which differentiates itself by offering a separate platform for each individual product category as well as allowing for real-time price competition through a cash back program. For each product category, Zoko shows the 10 best and most trusted retailers based on product selection, price and quality of service. While product information and pricing are straight-forward and publicly available, the partnership with STELLAService enables Zoko to quantify customer service levels for listed retailers and therefore provide complete information to its users.

Zoko launched baby car seats and related items as its first product-specific Web site, displaying information for almost one thousand products. The 10 listed merchants for this product category all achieved “Elite” or “Excellent” STELLA Ratings, which represent the two highest designations awarded to retailers by STELLAService. Diapers.com secured the number one spot for customer service in the category while Amazon.com, BabyEarth.com and EliteCarSeats.com rounded out the other “Elite” retailers.

“Consumers are increasingly shopping online to accommodate their busy schedules,” said Jacco de Bruijn, founder and CEO of Zoko. “When looking to purchase a necessity like a car seat or a travel system, time-constrained parents need a quick and easy way to compare relevant retailer information. We aim to empower the consumer, and by integrating STELLA Ratings into our comparative grid, we’re giving shoppers the tools and resources necessary to make the best possible decisions.” 

In addition to integrating its ratings and seals with TheFind.com in early June, STELLAService’s partnership with Zoko illustrates the growing need and demand for more transparency around the service performance of Internet retailers. Through its extensive evaluations of hundreds of retailers, STELLAService is helping millions of online shoppers make better and more informed purchasing decisions while also highlighting the best online merchants when it comes to customer service.

“As advocates for increasing transparency in the online marketplace, we support Zoko's mission to place more information and control into the hands of consumers,” said Jordy Leiser, CEO of STELLAService. “With its platform for real-time price competition, combined with our in-depth and objective customer service ratings, Zoko has fundamentally improved the way consumers make online purchasing decisions.”

About STELLAService

STELLAService is the first and only company dedicated to publishing objective, in-depth ratings on the customer service performance of online businesses. STELLAService adheres to the highest evaluation standards; retailers cannot pay to be rated nor can they influence the ratings in any way. The invaluable data obtained by STELLAService is used by consumers to make more informed online buying decisions and by companies to obtain crucial business and industry intelligence. Ratings are syndicated on TheFind.com, Zoko.com and other shopping Websites. Formed in April 2009, the company’s Advisory Council and highly trained analysts represent today’s thought-leaders in the area of online customer service. For more information, please visit: http://stellaservice.com. 

About Zoko

Zoko is the first online market where retailers compete in real-time. For each individual product category, Zoko brings together the 10 best and most trusted retailers based on product selection, price and quality of service. Unique within the online shopping realm, this highly curated, niche approach enables retailers to promote their merchandise to a targeted consumer base. By displaying comprehensive product, price and service information, and by offering additional savings through its cash back program, Zoko makes it easier than ever for retailers to outbid competitors and attract potential customers while simultaneously offering the ideal comparison shopping experience for consumers. Founded in 2009, Zoko combines the latest digital technology with human curation to bring the old-fashioned marketplace and its social and competitive nature to the Internet. To view the Zoko Web site for car seats, please visit: http://www.Zoko.com or http://www.CarSeatsZoko.com. Additional information about Zoko can be found at: http://www.CarSeatsZoko.com/Help.html.

For more information, please contact:

STELLAService Public Relations

Office: 212-366-1483; PR@stellaservice.com

Press materials are available at: http://stellaservice.presslift.com.

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