Retail giant Wal-Mart announced today that it will allow customer reviews on Walmart.com for the first time. The move may be a small step e-commerce, but it’s a giant leap for corporate transparency and the growing popularity of word-of-mouth marketing.
The New York Times (Reuters) has the scoop:
[...] Chief Marketing Officer Cathy Halligan said in an interview the retailer decided to launch the new feature quickly following a three-week testing phase in which it received more than twice the number of reviews it was expecting.
“It is the No. 1 customer-requested feature,” she said of reviews and ratings.
. . . “We are not planning any specific sales acceleration as a result of launching this feature,” Halligan said. “But one could expect that providing our customers with the No. 1 requested feature and something that connects 130 million people to each other has got to accrue benefits.”
For more on the benefits to both business and customer, Andy Sernovitz’s blog has an appropriately biased — and spot-on — account of why this is a great day for Word-of-Mouth.
(Congratulations to Bazaarvoice on liberating the world’s largest retailer for its customers!)