August 25, 2011, 12:50 PM

Google +1 is about to get a whole lot more prominent

Bazaarvoice and PowerReviews make it easy for retailers to add the +1 button.

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Google Inc.’s +1 button, which lets a consumer influence the search results her friends see on Google, including promoting products she likes, is about to get a whole lot more prominent. Consumer reviews platform vendors Bazaarvoice Inc. and PowerReviews Inc. today both introduced updates that make it easier for e-retailers like Golfsmith International Holdings Inc. and Jockey International Inc. to add the Google +1 buttons to their product pages. Bazaarvoice and PowerReviews are the top two vendors of customer review programs to e-retailers listed in Internet Retailer’s Top 500 Guide.

Having vendors do the work of coding the integration with the Google +1 system can represent a significant time savings for retailers with thousands of products, says a Bazaarvoice spokesman. Both vendors already offered similar code enabling retailers to put the Facebook Inc. Like button on their sites.

However, because it can change Google search results, Google’s button may ultimately be more useful for retailers than the Like button, says Eric Mahlstadt, online general manager at Golfsmith, No. 210 in the Top 500 Guide. “What really sets it apart is the additional weight that Google is giving the button,” he says. “If you note that you love a product on Golfsmith, that will get additional weight for others in your social circle, which has the potential to be extremely valuable.”

Golfsmith worked with Bazaarvoice to add the +1 button earlier this month. Mahlstadt says it remains to be seen whether the button can drive traffic. However, he’s not taking much of a risk because it took less than a week—and fewer than 20 minutes of work on his end—to add the +1 button. And, he says, consumers are already clicking on it at a rapid rate.

“This is really about helping consumers find your products that are most relevant to them in the easiest way possible,” he says.   

Adding the button will also make it easier for consumers to quickly recommend a product to their friends without having to craft an entire review, says Chris Smith, vice president, e-commerce and catalog, for Jockey, No. 291 in the Top 500 Guide. Jockey worked with PowerReviews to add the button in June.

“As the Internet continues to grow more social so too does the act of online shopping, which is why Jockey consistently looks for ways to engage our customers in a meaningful dialogue that helps us improve our products and create brand loyalty,” he says. “With PowerReviews’ +1 integration we have a very simple way to extend that engagement beyond the boundaries of our site in order to generate more traffic and conversions.”

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