I think I would like it if retail sites had trackbacks on their products, so that you could see who linked to them and talked about them. For instance, if you were looking at an interesting pair of shoes on Nordstrom you could check what the fashion bloggers were saying about them. I know plenty of retailers already allow for user reviews, and judging by the amount of negative reviews on some sites, they don’t necessarily filter out the bad ones. Trackbacks could be another way for them to listen to their customers.
Of course, this would be difficult to implement, and some items would have pages and pages of trackbacks (iphone, anyone?), and not everyone who writes about a product on their blog includes a link back to the source. Also, some products are sold on multiple websites, so you wouldn’t necessarily get the whole conversation. Still, I think it could be cool.
After all, I know that I’m much more likely to talk about a product on my blog than to write a review on a site. In addition, many bloggers are very savvy and passionate about their topic area - wouldn’t you trust say, a tech blogger’s opinion on the latest shiny object more so than a random website review? Bloggers are typically a little more accountable than an anonymous person writing a review as well.
Yes, I know you can search for something on Technorati or Google Blogsearch or whatever, but I’m willing to bet most consumers are a little lazy in that regard and like things to all be on the same page. It might help keep them on the retailer’s website too.
Does this already exist somewhere and I’m just being a dimwit?
Speaking of cool things that retail websites do, I wish that more stores would get on Nordstrom’s bandwagon and start publishing RSS feeds of their new stuff, but I tend to use that as more of a tool to find stuff to write about (I write for a lot of fashion/lifestyle type publications) than to actually shop, so maybe that’s not quite as beneficial for them (although you could also argue that featuring a particular item in a positive light is probably more beneficial for them than me just buying it and not telling anyone).
Cross-posted on my personal blog.