TWOSEVENTHS:Mystery Shoppers Rate for a Michelin Guide of Activities

The three co-founders of TWOSEVENTHS, Tina Yang, James Chu and BY Wang, are all experienced enthusiasts who had trouble finding relative reviews to the activities they want to try.

“The sharing that we could find are mostly advertorials or run-of-the-mill logs of events.”
“There are review systems for products and hotels. Why isn’t there one for activities?”

“We think services should also be quantifiable,” said James. Those are the reasons behind them founding TWOSEVENTHS. They want to build a review system for activities that would help people to make the most out of their leisure time.

Co-founders of TWOSEVENTHS (BY, James & Tina)

Undercover visits

TWOSEVENTHS provides a variety of activities according to the season and what is trending, but how do readers know if the services are good? How do they build an impartial and objective review mechanism?

TWOSEVENTHS drew inspiration from the Michelin Guide and decided that they need mystery shoppers to gain firsthand experience so that they can tell readers what it is like. TWOSEVENTHS values consumer experience and made three promises:

  1. Fair reviews. Mystery shoppers do not notify service providers in advance.

The next challenge for TWOSEVENTHS is to establish a mechanism to ensure quality. TWOSEVENTHS sought out enthusiasts and heavy users to be mystery shoppers, who would fill out evaluation forms for the respective categories created based on the concerns of consumers. Articles will then be checked by the head of the region, the editorial manager and the editor-in-chief before making their way onto the website.

“We are not trying to find the best provider in each category, but to help readers find the one that best suits them,” said Tina. TWOSEVENTHS only speaks the truth, no matter pleasant or unpleasant. The “Before Reading” and “Quick Answers” sections are provided with the readers in mind and are very well-received. To establish credibility, all of the reviews come with an editor’s note and their profile picture.

Branding: End Customer and Business Partner both Matter

TWOSEVENTHS defines itself with the contents of its website and thus values the web traffic. The density of city population and the data in activity search are two keys by which they evaluate the market demand. They targeted Taipei, Taichung and Kaohsiung as the first three metropolitan areas they introduced their products to. The user reaction can be assessed by the following two indicators.

The first is the reading time — the time readers spend on the web page of the product — of which they feel proud of too. Usually web users stay at the same page for around 30 seconds to 1 minute, while those ones of TWOSEVENTHS can stay up to 8 minutes, which shows the information provided by the website not only meets the audience’s needs but is also easy to read. The other indicator is that there’s only 30% bounce rate. That means 70% users continue to view other pages after entering the website and thus suggests the contents of these pages effectively causes visitors to explore deeper into different themes.

When the posts get on the first page of a google search, the service providers would be more interested in establishing a further partnership and introducing customized packages with feature articles or introduction videos. According to their user analysis, 50% of TWOSEVENTHS’ readers click on links to the providers’ official websites, fan pages, or other contact information shown on the activity page.

Tina said, based on her 10 years of experience in digital marketing, a conversion rate of around 10% to 20% is already good, and that their performance is a massive jump, which is a convincing reason for service providers to enter a partnership with them. She emphasized that the service will only be optimized after rating.

In doing so, the selection process can remain objective and impartial. They can bring in more customers by offering accurate descriptions of a certain service and create a win-win situation for the website, the reader, and the service provider.

Now it’s the Time for Activities

TWOSEVENTHS was officially founded in February, the website up and running in May, registration done in September. Over 30 rating topics have been developed in just half a year and information is updated on a weekly basis. James said the idea of starting this business had been incubated for two years and that it was the right time to put it into action. After the coronavirus lockdown, there was a surge in domestic tourism in May to June, because of Taiwan’s relatively successful handling of the pandemic. Thanks to that, according to James, the website traffic has increased tremendously. As the pandemic eased, service providers are eager to attract customers, which also leads to a boost in TWOSEVENTHS’ business. James said it was somewhat a perfect coincidence.

Tina believes the wave of domestic travel will keep going on in 1–2 years and that it’s an opportunity to further increase the brand awareness. They are currently planning on vacation packages, not only for customers in the city, but incoming travelers as well. They’ll start with Kenting and Taiwan-held islands such as Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu as the destinations. TWOSEVENTHS is about to be something as they found a great entry point.

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The National Development Council and Taiwan’s startup communities have jointly built up the Taiwan national startup brand, Startup Island TAIWAN. Startup Island TAIWAN symbolizes a journey from a startup island to the international arena. It demonstrates to the world the strong ambition and capabilities of Taiwan startup companies as well as their intention and ability to contribute to other startup ecosystems around the world.