Case | HBS Case Collection | October 2000 (Revised March 2001)

by Youngme E. Moon


BizRate is a market research firm that collects point-of-purchase customer feedback data from retailing merchants. It then makes its findings available to consumers in the form of "BizRate star ratings," which are displayed on its website. To date, its primary revenue source has come directly from this market research (the company sells detailed customer feedback analysis reports to vendors). In October 1999 (Red October), BizRate introduced a number of e-commerce initiatives, which were so successful that the company's e-commerce revenues are now on the verge of eclipsing revenues from BizRate's research division. This has led to a debate over whether or not BizRate should dump the research side of its business altogether (i.e., continue to collect point-of-sale and follow-up data, but stop producing research reports for vendors) in order to focus on becoming an e-commerce referral site. Includes color exhibits.

Keywords: Business Education; Marketing Channels; Internet; Customer Relationship Management; Trust; Business Model; Marketing Strategy; Web Sites; Business Divisions; Debates; Retail Industry;


Moon, Youngme E. "" Harvard Business School Case 501-024, October 2000. (Revised March 2001.)