Comet unveils web 2.0 Q&A tool screengrab has embraced web 2.0' driven social commerce, after successfully asking its customers to contribute product reviews online.

The nationwide electrical retailer has added a new, customer-generated question and answer (Q&A) platform from Bazaarvoice following the implementation of its Ratings & Reviews product late last year.

Ryan Thomas, head of direct channels at Comet, said taking on the Ask & Answer tool was a natural progression from using the Ratings & Reviews tool.

"Customer reviews have made a significant difference to Comet; influencing our customer service and commercial teams in particular," he said.

He explained that the website has a vast product set, which raises queries among customers that are not always answered by product specifications.

The new Ask & Answer tool will offer customers the chance to ask and answer product questions among each other.

"We wanted to give customers their own platform to air product-related queries," added Thomas. "As well as creating a new space for customer interaction, it will give us clearer insight into our customers and their product needs."

In the six months since implementing the reviews capability, Comet has so far received more than 6,000 reviews across 1,825 products. This has enabled it to integrate user-generated content into its multichannel marketing strategy.

As a result, it now includes review requests in customer emails and uses in-store flyers to invite customers to read product reviews. In addition, the retailer now plans to use Ask & Answer content in future marketing activities.

Miya Knights

A 25-year veteran enterprise technology expert, Miya Knights applies her deep understanding of technology gained through her journalism career to both her role as a consultant and as director at Retail Technology Magazine, which she helped shape over the past 17 years. Miya was educated at Oxford University, earning a master’s degree in English.

Her role as a journalist has seen her write for many of the leading technology publishers in the UK such as ITPro, TechWeekEurope, CIO UK, Computer Weekly, and also a number of national newspapers including The Times, Independent, and Financial Times.