July 15, 2010, 3:24 PM

Review this: Customer reviews lead social commerce strategies

Many U.S. online adults say they find customer reviews trustworthy, Forrester Research says.

When it comes to trying out many of the new ways to engage online consumers through social commerce strategies, customer ratings and reviews stand out as the most proven for producing long-term benefit, says Sucharita Mulpuru, vice president and principal analyst for e-business and channel strategy at Forrester Research Inc.

50% of U.S. online adults say they trust customer ratings and reviews about consumer products and services, making rating and review content a valuable tool for engaging online shoppers, says Mulpuru, who writes about ratings and reviews as well as other social commerce tools and strategies in the August issue of Internet Retailer.

She adds that the smartest companies use ratings and reviews as an effective market research tool to quickly gather information about the strengths of weaknesses of their core products to support product development efforts.

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