Macy's reviews will be rolled out on all their product categories in the coming months. The site will use a technology platform provided by Bazaarvoice, which provides ratings and reviews for other online retailers including CompUSA, Overstock.com and PetCo.
JupiterResearch analyst Patti Freeman Evans praised the move, saying it will likely encourage consumers to shop at the site. "Consumers who write reviews a lot and those who use them tend to shop more frequently, be more loyal, and return the items they buy less frequently," said Evans. "It should help Macy's business by solidifying the loyalty of those customers."
She added that even brick-and-mortar businesses, which do the bulk of their sales offline, can benefit from online reviews. "As with any multichannel retailer, their offline business is likely to be much larger than their online business, but that doesn't mean their reviews won't be helpful," she said. "So many people research their purchases online and then make the purchases offline."
Although Internet pureplays like Amazon.com have long included consumer reviews on their sites, an increasing number of traditional merchants likely will incorporate this feature, Evans said. "Retailers who get into the game early will have some advantage before everyone else gets in the game by shoring up loyalty among their customers," she said. "I expect that we'll see more retailers across the board embracing this."