If you have a website and you sell things from it then chances are you probably want to know how to increase shopper loyalty and encourage consumers to return to your site, don’t you? So you dream up all kinds of things that may or may not work, but by far one of the greatest ways to get people trusting your site and coming back is to allow users to post reviews and critiques of merchandise. I think it is safe to say that this is one of the features that propelled Amazon to the head of the class. And others would agree. When massively wealthy retailers add this feature to their websites you know there is money in them thar reviews.
Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer, has been working to integrate its Web site more closely with its stores and just recently added the capability to allow shoppers to add product reviews on their site. This simple word-of-mouth marketing approach is being hailed by some analysts as a tipping point because Wal-Mart is exposing new categories of consumers who have never used the review sections on high-end travel and shopping sites. Last year 28% of consumers reviewed something online. Soon everyone will be doing it.