The 2009 Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide lists PowerReviews and Bazaarvoice as the top customer reviews service providers for US e-commerce sites. BizRate, part of Shopzilla Inc (who recently partnered with PowerReviews to distribute PowerReviews’ product review solutions in Europe), is cited as the 3rd player in the market.  Data was gathered by Internet Retailer in Q1, 2009, and rankings for the ‘Reviews and Forums’ service providers were based on frequency that providers were cited by top merchants.  Together the Big 2 supply 88 Top 500 retailers with technology that lets a customer speak her mind on products and services.

  • PowerReviews Inc. (48 Top 500 clients, including: Staples Inc. (No. 2), Toys ‘R’ Us Inc. (No. 39), Recreational Equipment Inc. (No. 67))
  • Bazaarvoice (40 Top 500 clients, including: Office Depot Inc. (No. 4), Sears Holdings Corp. (No. 7), Best Buy Co. (No. 10))
  • BizRate, Scripps Networks Interactive (3 Top 500 clients, including: Inc. (No. 195), Liz Claiborne Inc. (No. 300), Carrot Ink LLC (No. 489))

The guide also lists a rubric for ‘Personalization’ software to enable merchants to make relevant offers.  The top players (Certona, MyBuys and ATG) appear to focus on personalization based on individual user behavior and preferences.  Can’t help thinking that one future of this space is more social than individual, Amazon and Netflix style, with personalization based on collaborative filtering technology, that is, based on the behavior and preferences of “people like me”.