The Social Commerce industry hit another major tipping point this holiday season. Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, has begun the process of integrating user-generated content into their stores. There are three integration points so far (see the bottom of this post for screenshots), with undoubtedly more to come:
- Store merchandise receipts: encouraging customers to write reviews and visit Walmart.com to shop by reviews.
- Store shelf fact tag: encouraging customers to research reviews prior to their purchase.
- In-store and newspaper circulars: encouraging customers to visit Walmart.com to shop by reviews.
In all three integration points, Wal-Mart is pointing their customers to a common URL: Walmart.com/ratings. This campaign "landing page" not only teaches the mass market how to write reviews (many of them for the first time) on Walmart.com, but it also teaches them how to shop by reviews. This is a great showcase of what is possible with our partner integrations – Endeca, in this case (see Brant's December interview with Endeca).
This is a nationwide campaign for Wal-Mart, and one of the best examples I have seen to date of multichannel integration. We have been giving webinars and advice on the topic through our Community Managers and, 2007 marked the year where we saw a lot of traction in this area (ask us for other examples). But to see the world's largest retailer launch this in such a powerful integrated fashion, just six months after launching Bazaarvoice, is extremely impressive. Congratulations to our Client Services team for proactively working with Wal-Mart and achieving such a milestone for both our company and industry.
Since the launch of this campaign, we have seen Walmart.com's customer review volume increase substantially.
For other ideas on multichannel integration, be sure to check out my December post on the topic (integrating for maximum Black Friday and Cyber Monday benefit) and ask your Community Manager for ideas. We are working hard to evolve with our clients in this area because we see the real impact of user-generated content extending far beyond the walls of your website.