BusinessWeek says retailers are learning from social networking sites like MySpace and are now busy weaving the functionality found there into their own sites.
Customer reviews have long been part of cutting-edge sites like Amazon.com and Netflix, but the practice is spreading dramatically these days to a broader array of retailers. By the end of 2006, 43% of e-commerce sites offered customer reviews and ratings, almost double the 23% figure at the end of 2005, according to New York research firm MarketingSherpa.
In a survey of more than 1,300 people, MarketingSherpa also found that as much as 50% of customers aged 18 to 34 have posted a comment or a review on products they have bought or used. “That’s substantially more than the 34% who said they have downloaded music files,” says Stefan Tornquist, the firm’s research director.