September 10, 2009, 12:00 AM

Canon enables shoppers to get thousands of opinions while in stores

Canon U.S.A. has launched a mobile web site devoted to customer reviews. Now, when shopping in stores for digital cameras or copiers or binoculars, shoppers can gauge word of mouth on products on Canon’s e-commerce site via mobile phones.

In the highly competitive realm of digital cameras, good word of mouth can clinch a sale. Canon U.S.A. Inc. knows this, but also knows many consumers haven’t heard recommendations from friends or family and are looking at the complex devices in stores and have no one but a salesperson to help them.

Enter, a mobile web site devoted to customer reviews of not just Canon digital cameras but everything from camcorders to copiers to binoculars. The site, built using Bazaarvoice MobileVoice from Bazaarvoice Inc., accesses all reviews posted by customers on Canon’s e-commerce site.

Canon U.S.A implemented Bazaarvoice’s ratings and reviews software-as-a-service program earlier this year. With MobileVoice, Canon is able to provide its customers with immediate access to user-generated content to help them during the research and purchase process in stores, says Yuichi Ishizuka, senior vice president and general manager of the consumer imaging group at Canon U.S.A.

“We’re happy to offer a new service to our customers that will help them make more informed product choices when they are shopping offline for Canon products,” Ishizuka says.

Bazaarvoice contends bridging channels by bringing some of the e-commerce experience into bricks-and-mortar stores via mobile can only help retailers in an environment where shoppers rely more and more on social support.

“The bottom line is that shoppers trust the opinions of their friends and their peers more than any form of advertising,” says Brett Hurt, founder and CEO of Bazaarvoice. “By supercharging the store experience with mobile access directly to the voice of other customers, Canon is able to stand out in the channel and give consumers the information they need to make the smartest purchase.”

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