Episodic transactions

Some purchases happen once in a consumer's lifetime or a decade - booking a wedding venue, purchasing a house, buying an engagement ring, buying a mattress, hiring a lawyer for a law suit, finding a job, making funeral arrangements etc. 

These episodic transactions are challenging for consumers because they don't have enough knowledge of the market to select the right vendor, pick the right product or service, negotiate reasonable prices, assess quality of the services, or pursue remedies if things don't right. When I was looking for decorators and catering for my wedding, I was pretty lost - is $5000 a reasonable price for flower decorations? Should I order 2 trays or 4 trays of dessert? Would it make my experience better with a wedding coordinator?

There's a significant asymmetry in information between consumers and businesses, which means consumers can be more easily taken advantage of. Compared to frequent transactions like finding a restaurants, there are few websites that aggregate these episodic services and have reliable peer reviews because the transactions are sparse and the reviews are selectively negative or favor businesses who pay these websites. Typically, consumers rely on recommendations from friends or lean on one main agent or vendor - like broker for home purchase, wedding planner or venue for weddings - to bundle or recommend multiple services from other vendors - like title insurance for homes, decorators for weddings. 

Businesses face the challenge of frequent customer churn, low conversion rates. high customer acquisition costs - in advertising or to agents that bundle their services. 

There definitely seems to be an opportunity to create an aggregator or full stack businesses in these areas and differentiate by being digital-first, newbie-customer-friendly, trustworthy, and customizable. Being smart about customer acquisition would be essential to survive, improve margins and prices.