November 30, 2007, 12:00 AM

Sporting Goods Sites give customers bragging rights

(Page 4 of 4)

The second addition to the site--customer reviews--has generated an outstanding response, Brown says.

"It`s something our members and customers have been asking for for a very long time," he says. Since REI.com, the online arm of Kent, Wash.-based Recreational Equipment Inc., launched the feature at the end of August, customers have posted more than 18,000 reviews. On one popular tent, customers wrote 185 reviews. "They just keep coming in," Brown says, adding the response "confirms that our customers are willing to engage with us."

He says REI.com made a big push to get the customer review feature in place before the holiday shopping season.

REI.com also chose the end of August to revise product pages, moving to a mid-page tab format for product information and related items. The revised page also places thumbnails of alternate images of a product--which shoppers can click on for a larger view--under the main image.

"REI does a wonderful job," says Kim Painley, president of Kinetic Marketing Consultants. "It`s well laid out, it`s well categorized, and promotions are well done. And they have Flash on their site but it`s done well and it makes sense. It`s actually a good marketing tool, not just dictated by what the designers think it ought to be." Back to Top

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