January 22, 2009, 12:00 AM

Bazaarvoice unveils mobile reviews, designed to help shoppers in stores

MobileVoice creates a mobile web site for a retailer, populating it with customer reviews listed by product category. The site also enables shoppers to search by keyword or SKU number.

Customer reviews have grown in popularity and power to become part of the mainstream of e-commerce. Mobile commerce, however, is still young-but growing. Customer reviews technology vendor Bazaarvoice believes m-commerce to be an important channel and has combined m-commerce and customer reviews in a new offering that brings reviews on a retailer’s web site to shoppers’ mobile phones.

The hosted social commerce application, MobileVoice, creates a mobile web site for a retailer, populating it with customer reviews listed by product category. The mobile site also enables shoppers to search by keyword or SKU number.

“Reviews have become a core part of the shopping experience-Nielsen reports that eight out of 10 shoppers read product reviews this holiday season, and we served over 1.2 billion review impressions over the course of Thanksgiving week,” says Brett Hurt, founder and CEO of Bazaarvoice. “Now, with MobileVoice, shoppers don’t need to research online before their shopping trip. Instead, they can access reviews in real time, in the store, to make sense of their choices and ensure a considered and careful purchase.”

One of the first retailers to launch mobile reviews from Bazaarvoice is Sephora USA Inc., No. 108 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide. The mobile site, m.Sephora.com, features thousands of reviews on bath and body, hair, makeup, and fragrance products.

“We want to deliver the best client experience to our shoppers, wherever they shop,” says Julie Bornstein, senior vice president of Sephora Direct. “MobileVoice allows us to amplify the voice of our clients by making reviews easily accessible through mobile devices. In-store shoppers can simply read the reviews written on any product, or use top-rated products as a guide, to select the right lipstick or blush.”

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