Casper and the middleman

Interesting observation in Recode's article about Casper:

In the booming world of online mattress sales, these reviews sites had accumulated massive power — often turning up high in Google search results for general queries like “mattress reviews” or brand-specific ones like “Casper reviews.” And without many showrooms to allow customers to try out these mattresses, online reviews carried even more weight.

Casper started with an idea to remove the middleman by selling online and allowing customers to deal directly with the manufacturer. The middleman then was the showroom. When the competitors followed Casper to the new battle ground, the Internet, and Casper was no longer the only one there, new middleman naturally appeared – the review aggregator.