Comet will let customers ask and answer each other’s questions about products using a service it is to add to its website.

The feature will be an extension of the customer ratings and reviews service the electricals retailer introduced six months ago.

The decision to add this social networking-type feature was made after Comet noticed that customers were using the ratings and reviews tool to ask questions about particular items. The new functionality is being provided by Bazaarvoice, which also runs Comet’s ratings and reviews service.

Comet head of direct channels Ryan Thomas said the addition is a natural progression from providing basic ratings and reviews. He said the extra information was useful to the retailer as well as its customers. “The website has a vast product set with questions not always answered by product specifications, so we wanted to give customers their own platform to air product-related queries. As well as creating a new space for customer interaction, it will give us clearer insight into our customers and their product needs.”

The retailer claims to have already benefited from the content customers have generated on its site. Customers have written more than 6,000 reviews of 1,825 products in the past six months. Thomas said: “Customer reviews have made a significant difference to Comet, influencing our customer service and commercial teams in particular.”

Comet has been able to make use of this user-generated content in its marketing, using in-store flyers to invite customers to read product reviews. It also plans to use content from customers’ questions and answers in future marketing activity.