Ocado is to become the first retailer in the UK to introduce customer ratings and reviews for grocery products.
Developed by Ocado, with the assistance of Bazaarvoice, the new Ratings & Reviews service will let shoppers rate everything from Waitrose own-label groceries to well known food and drink brands and local artisan suppliers. The service will also cover a wide range of non-food lines including toys, flowers, magazines, and kitchenware.
The new service will encourage shoppers to share product reviews online with friends and family using social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter. The goal, says Ocado, is to to deliver the most engaging online supermarket experience — an experience offering the interactivity of shopping in a traditional store, but one that also gives shoppers greater control of their baskets.
"We at Ocado want to capture and inject the wisdom and views of our customers into our online shopping experience," says Tim Steiner, Ocado's chief executive. "Our Ratings & Reviews service will allow customers to swap valuable recommendations on groceries and see the ratings and reviews of products that are popular when feeding friends and families. It will give our customers, particularly new ones, increased confidence when shopping for food online."
"We're particularly excited to be at the forefront of delivering such an essential social networking experience to our customers," added Andrew Bracey, Ocado's chief financial officer. "It's a first, significant step towards a fully interactive online supermarket that will allow people to chat helpfully with one another as they fill their baskets."
The service is due to go live in February.