Online Retailers Giving Consumers a Voice with User Reviews

Word-of-mouth communication about one's experiences with companies and brands has been around as long as companies and brands have been around. Now, word-of-mouth meets Web 2.0 as more companies are giving customers a voice to rate products on their web sites. According to a survey sponsored by Internet Retailer, retailers' number one spending priority in the coming months is to add user reviews to their web sites. Interestingly, it is the top priority of all three types of retailers surveyed: store based firms, web based firms, and catalog firms.

User reviews, coupled with the number two priority of integrating blogs or forums to web sites, shows that retailers want to engage their customers in meaningful exchanges of communication. The days of marketers "talking down" to their customers are history! Greater flow of communication from retailer to customer and customer to customer will add value to the shopping experience and serve as a means for nurturing relationships.

Link: eMarketer - "Web Stores Score with Customer Ratings"

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