Department store retailer John Lewis is making product reviews available on its website for the first time today.
The firm hopes that added feedback from customers and advice from experts on the transactional johnlewis.com can create its shop floor experience online.
Around 100 of the John Lewis Partnership’s employees have already contributed product knowledge to the site ready for today’s launch and a large number of customers have also been approached to provide reviews for the service.
“As a multichannel retailer it is a challenge to recreate the in store experience online,” said Andrea O’Donnell, Commercial Director for John Lewis.
“We have already introduced made-to-measure services, ‘how to’ videos and buying guides, and the launch of product reviews is a really exciting next stage.”
“We have also approached customers as they are really keen to interact with us and we’re thrilled that so many have shared their views. This has enabled us to launch with over 25,000 reviews which will benefit other customers.”
Retailers are increasingly acknowledging the power of personal recommendations to commerce, reflected in the number of companies setting up Facebook stores over the last year or so.
The logic behind personal recommendation suggests that a consumer will be far more motivated to buy a product which is endorsed by a fellow consumer then they are to be inspired to buy by an advert.
John Lewis has high hopes that this innovation will boosts it already successful ecommerce channel, which has seen sales rise by 26.5 per cent in the year-to-date, and hopes to provide as many as 130,000 reviews by the end of 2011
O’Donnell added: “We are always looking for new ways to find out what our customers think of our products and services and our buyers are excited about being able to receive real-time feedback.
“We will be acting on what customers say, be it positive or negative.”