Consumers can now enhance their personal Stories with direct links to relevant products, inspiring new purchases and helping other shoppers easily discover new products
Austin, Texas – August 25, 2009 – Bazaarvoice, the market and technology leader in hosted social commerce applications that drive sales, today launched Social Recommendations for its popular Bazaarvoice Stories™ product. Built on the Bazaarvoice social commerce platform, Social Recommendations help consumers discover and purchase new products by directly tapping into the real-life experiences of other shoppers. With Social Recommendations, consumers can easily enhance their personal Stories with links to products that are relevant to their experience. Stories readers are now just one click away from purchasing a suggested product that has inspired, pleased, or helped a person like them.
For brands using Stories to build community and drive customer engagement, the addition of Social Recommendations delivers an immediate and measurable impact on product sales and cross-sell. For example, a customer may write a story about their new LCD TV, and include a link to the TV, but also include links to the TV stand, cables used to hook it up, sound system, etc.
“After serving more than 60 billion Answers, Stories, and Reviews for over 575 brands, we can say with certainty that consumer-generated content is most effective when it drives business goals,” said Brett Hurt, founder and CEO of Bazaarvoice. “Social Recommendations tap into the power of word of mouth to make a direct connection between personal Stories and product purchases. By introducing the ability to link to recommended products, companies using Bazaarvoice Stories give consumers a vehicle to further express themselves and help fellow shoppers by placing readers just one click away from purchasing a product that they may not have known existed.”
“Of the many community platforms and social media vendors, Bazaarvoice clearly leads the way as the only provider to give customers the ability to share their story and associate it with products they use, recommend, and enjoy.” said Mona Van De Weghe at CHEFS Catalog. “In sharing stories, we are seeing our customers find their voice and create a community. Within three days of going live, more than one-third of all Stories contained links to recommended products. It is exciting to see our customers creating a community where our products are prominently featured. As our customers develop an affinity within the community, we expect the unique social exposure of the product to drive incremental sales.”
Stories & Social Recommendations: The Next Generation of Online Merchandising
Social Recommendations is a key component for online merchandising, where customers convert browsers to buyers by incorporating powerful consumer input into the merchandising process. With Bazaarvoice Stories, companies can create a compelling online destination within their own sites where customers and visitors share their personal real-life experiences related to a product, service, or brand, including how and why they purchased and what happened next. By encouraging consumers to share their life stories about products and services, Bazaarvoice Stories helps companies effectively increase brand involvement, drive sales, and create new opportunities to leverage engaging consumer-generated for use in multichannel contests, campaigns, and promotions.
How it Works
More often than not, Stories contain references to products or a set of products. Social Recommendations now give consumers the ability to link a brand’s products or services when they submit their story. Consumers simply select the products they wish to recommend by using an interactive search widget that integrates with the company’s product catalog. When the story is posted for other shoppers to read, product recommendations are included in the display.
“Consumer-generated content is the ultimate driver of product sales, but many marketers and executives are still struggling to understand the best way to capture and use this asset,” said Sam Decker, CMO of Bazaarvoice. “Social Recommendations is a great example of a social commerce innovation that builds engagement and also drives reportable sales. When it comes to social, companies shouldn’t settle for anything less.”
Bazaarvoice’s Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions have served more than 60 billion pieces of customer-generated content on more than 575 brand web sites like Best Buy, Costco, Dell, Macy’s, Overstock, P&G;, Panasonic, QVC, and USAA in 36 countries. The company connects organizations to their influencers through a unique network that reaches hundreds of millions of consumers around the globe, enabling authentic customer-powered marketing. Through syndication, analytics, partnerships, and consulting, Bazaarvoice brings the voice of the customer to the center of their clients’ business strategy, proving “social” can drive measured revenue growth and cost savings for manufacturing, retail, travel, and financial services companies. Headquartered in Austin, the company has offices in London, Paris, and Singapore. For more information and access to client success stories, visit www.bazaarvoice.com, read the blog at www.bazaarblog.com, and follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/bazaarvoice.