September 3, 2009, 12:00 AM

Customer reviews provide two-way feedback on Walmart.com’s new marketplace

As part of Walmart Marketplace, which Walmart.com launched this week with CSN Stores LLC, eBags.com and Dreams Inc., merchandise from each merchant will be included in Walmart.com’s customer reviews and ratings system.

In addition to getting exposure to as many as 30 million unique visitors each month, the merchants signing up for Walmart.com’s new marketplace also gain an added extra: getting up close and personal with web shoppers.

As part of Walmart Marketplace, which Walmart.com launched this week with online retailers CSN Stores LLC, eBags.com and Dreams Inc., merchandise from each merchant also will be included in Walmart.com’s popular customer reviews and ratings system. “Customers can provide feedback based on their experience with the Walmart Marketplace retailer,” says a spokesman for Walmart.com, the online division of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and No. 13 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide. “Leveraging our ratings and reviews functionality provides added convenience.”

By offering its marketplace retailers access to customer reviews and ratings data, those merchants get direct feedback on the merchandise they’re already offering and insight into future products that they might want to add. “Customers can provide feedback on whether items arrived on time and in good condition,” the spokesman says.

Walmart.com customers are serious about product reviews. Since the online reviews feature was first introduced in 2007, shoppers now post as many as 1,000 new reviews daily. Marketplace merchants will like hearing directly from Walmart.com customers, the spokesman says. Walmart.com also will use customer reviews and ratings to determine new retailers for its marketplace, which debuted with an inventory of about one million products. “We’ll continue to carefully select retailers that can deliver the strong experience customers expect from Walmart.com,” the spokesman says.

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