There is strength in numbers, especially when shopping online. The more positive user reviews a product has, the more confident you can be in purchasing it. The only problem is great review sites like Amazon don’t always have the lowest prices. So you head on over to Pricegrabber or Shopping.com to find the cheapest prices there. Well, a new shopping site, Wize.com, has just changed the game considerably.

Wize.com’s home page has this simple mantra: “product research simplified.” Not only does it show the lowest prices and lots of reviews, but the real beauty is how it ranks products. First, it seperates the reviews into the two categories of user and expert. Then it takes into account how much “buzz” a product has, based upon how many times it’s recently been written about across the Web. Then it pulls all that data into one easy ranking, the WizeRank. Here’s a more in-depth look at the process.

We are constantly compiling review data, using our proprietary algorithm to objectively rate products from zero to 100. Because we believe in the value of collective wisdom, a product needs at least five reviews to receive a Wize Rank. As more reviews are added, the Wize Rank becomes more accurate. Vastly simplified, our formula looks like this:

Users + Experts + Buzz = WizeRank

Wize Rank doesn’t play favorites – manufacturers and advertisers can’t buy higher ratings. The only thing that can improve a Wize Rank is more positive data collected from independent sources.

The best part about Wize is how simple everything is. It’s taken a highly technical and confusing set of data and made it so everyone understands what it means. I hope this will be the way of the future with online shopping.

You can see other reviews of Wize.com at TopRankBlog and LifeDev.

[tags]online shopping,wize.com,user reviews,social shopping,wize[/tags]