The move follows the industry-wide trend of using rich media and user-generated content on e-commerce sites to complement simple product information and pictures.
An M&S spokeswoman told Retail Week that the retailer is testing customer reviews on its site for a number of product categories, including schoolwear, wine, maternity, handbags, technology, skincare and cosmetics, underwear and flowers.
The reviews are displayed on individual product pages, along with a five-star rating measure. Anyone can read a review, but customers have to be registered with the site in order to write a review or vote on whether the review was useful or not.
The spokeswoman said: “Customer product reviews are fast becoming common practice across many web sites, as it’s a good way for customers to share honest views on products – including style, performance and price.”
She added that the reviews could help with future product development. “It could prove to be another way for us to capture valuable customer feedback, which we can use to make further improvements to our products.”
In addition, M&S has created product videos for a few items within its womenswear and lingerie ranges. However, it says that this feature is still in the early stages of development. M&S is also running its latest TV ad campaign for its womenswear on the homepage of its site.
Since M&S relaunched its site in spring last year, it has also introduced a selection of products that are available exclusively on the web. These have included fringe sizes – such as “big and tall” in menswear – made-to-measure shirts and a jewellery range. It is also offering web-only products in categories such as womenswear, although the spokeswoman said that internet exclusives still represent under 5 per cent of M&S’s entire product range.