Stik’s Review Platform Adds Referral Product for Service Providers

12/2/13Follow @XconomyDET

Stik.com was the toast of Detroit a little over a year ago, after it announced it was shuttering its Bay Area operations and moving the company to Detroit, to an office in Dan Gilbert’s Madison Building. Since that time, Stik has continued to grow and raise money—a Series A round of $2.3 million was announced in March. Today, the Internet startup company announces a new referrals feature.

Stik offers its users a way to leverage their Facebook network to ask for and give recommendations for local lawyers, realtors, and other professional service providers. It’s free for both consumers and service providers, though there is a premium version available to service providers for a fee, which is how Stik generates most of its revenue.

Stik co-founder Jay Gierak calls the new referrals product a simple extension of the core review function built into the site. “We want to help providers stand out online with great reviews,” he explains.

Once Stik users write a positive review about a service provider, they get a prompt asking if they’d like to recommend the person to their friends. If the answer is yes, users fill in their friends’ email addresses and an optional name and phone number. Gierak says he’s excited about the early traction the referral product is getting. “It’s an easy way to generate referrals,” he adds. “Ten percent of people writing reviews are also writing referrals.”

At the moment, Gierak says there is no incentive for users to write referrals other than people love to help their friends. “That process happens all the time in the offline world,” he says. “This brings offline behavior to the online world.”

Stik has been testing the referral feature on a small number of users in a beta test, but it will be rolled out to the public very soon, Gierak says, adding that just under 200,000 local businesses and professionals use Stik at the moment. So far, Stik has collected a total of more than 2.5 million reviews.

Gierak says the company will soon announce “a couple of exciting milestones” at the end of the year. It also recently outgrew its space in the Madison Building and moved around the corner to a building on Woodward Ave. As the Stik team has grown to more than 20 people, Gierak says the company will continue to serve providers as well as consumers.

“The new referral product is getting tons of great feedback,” he notes. “We’re happy to be closing the loop and delivering real business.”

Sarah Schmid is the editor of Xconomy Detroit. You can reach her at 313-570-9823 or sschmid@xconomy.com. Follow @XconomyDET

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