Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Walmart-Embracing CGM for better Search Engine Rankings?

Another new addition to the world of Consumer Generated Media...Walmart allows it's consumers to post product ratings and reviews
'Real Opinions-Smart shopping-See what walmart customers from coast to coast are saying about our huge selection of products.'

Chief Marketing Officer Cathy Halligan was quoted in a Reuters report as saying the opportunity to review products is the No. 1 customer-requested feature. Being the world's largest retailer, Wal-Mart has been putting up efforts in the last few weeks to integrate its Web site more closely with its stores.

According to the Wal-Mart estimates, roughly 130 million customers visit one of its stores or its Web site every week and 75 percent of those customers are active online.

So what are the benefits Walmart can hope to accrue from this move?

1.Better Search Engine RankingsAs per an adage article, the real outcome maybe an improved performance with respect to search engine rankings-a crucial factor in the performance of online retailers.

The reviews give Wal-Mart thousands of additional pages of content to be indexed by major search engines, which look favorably on unique content, such as reviews, compared with pages with basic product details that any retailer could have.
"Searches related to product reviews typically get a high volume of queries, so Wal-Mart could see a material increase in organic search traffic to its site," said Peter Hershberg, managing partner at the search-marketing firm Reprise Media.

2.Increased consumer loyalty

3.Encouragement to consumers to return to the website more often.

4.Incorporation of consumer feedback to facilitate product-decisions.

5.Influencing consumer purchase as large no. of consumers depend on peer reviews

The above endeavours usually lead to better consumer engagement which eventually leads to increased purchase intentions. How much these will impact sales, only time will tell.

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