Consumers Seek Advice from Strangers
Forget the advice to never talk to strangers. An increasing number of consumers are getting advice from people they don’t know on a daily basis as more people flock to the internet
for reviews on products and merchants.
According to a report by Jupiter Research, 48 percent on online shoppers look for retailers that post product reviews, and the number of consumers who saw reviews as the most
important feature of a site doubled between 2005 and 2006.
Brett Hurt, founder-CEO of Bazaarvoice, told AdAge.com, “One of two people is going to leave your Web site if you don’t have ratings and reviews.”
Mr. Hurt’s company manages customer feedback for major retailer web sites including CompUSA, Home Depot, Macy’s and Sears.
Bazaarrvoice is now looking to expand the reach of its consumer reviews to bring more shoppers to its clients’ sites. The company has recently begun trying to broker deals with
major shopping portals such as MSN, Froogle by Google, Pricerunner.com and others, where it provides the sites with partial consumer reviews. If consumers want to see the whole
review, they click on a link and are brought directly to the merchant’s site where it originated.
“Our value proposition is that if you have customers who are going elsewhere to look for reviews, why not put these reviews where they go,” said Mr. Hurt.
Martin Andersen, general manager of Pricerunner.com, said, “The merchants are our clients, and we’re getting very good content from them. And if we give them good traffic, that
will help us in the end.”
Discussion Questions: Do you see consumer product reviews continuing to grow in importance as part of shopping behavior? Are merchants missing an opportunity
by failing to make use of these consumer reviews in physical store environments?