Walmart.com adds reviews – changes marketing instantly?

My buddy Andy brought to my attention that Walmart.com has added users reviews. Andy’s pretty pumped about the implications and makes the argument that this is a fundamental, game-changing moment. What do youthink?

I think this is going to fundamentally change the marketing environment. More important, it is going to give consumers extraordinary power to fight back against businesses that don’t deliver on their promises.  Why?

1. Everything gets reviewed

This is the first time reviews have been extended to virtually every consumer product.  Consumers can reject or praise a toothbrush, batteries, and glue. No consumer products manufacturer can avoid facing open, honest feedback.

2. Reviewing goes mainstream

WalMart exposes customer feedback to new categories of consumers who have never used the review sections on high-end travel and shopping sites.  Last year 28% of consumers reviewed something online.  This is the tipping point – soon almost everyone will be doing it.

3. WalMart becomes a consumer activist

Whatever views you have about WalMart, nobody questions that they are badasses who fight for what they want. The flood of reviews is going to tell them exactly what their customers don’t like (and won’t buy). I guarantee that manufacturers are going to hear about it.  Reviews enable WalMart to turn their badassedness against companies that make products that aren’t making people happy.

I don’t know how big this is going to get, but I expect very, very big.  QVC.com is getting 2,000+ reviews every day. This will be much bigger.