11/18/08

Bazaarvoice Introduces BrandVoice to Allow Manufacturers to Share Product Ratings & Reviews with Retailers

Katie Evans , Managing Editor, International Research

Manufacturers can now easily syndicate user-generated content to major retail sites in order to win consumer attention and improve conversion, brand perception and positive word of mouth

Austin, Texas – November 17, 2008 – Bazaarvoice, the market and technology leader in hosted social commerce applications that drive sales, today launched BrandVoice, a new program that allows manufacturers to syndicate user-generated product ratings and reviews to major retailers in order to stand out in the channels where consumers shop. Manufacturers using BrandVoice can now collect and display Bazaarvoice Ratings & Reviews™ on their own brand web sites, and then automatically push this content to retail sites that carry their products. By increasing the number of product ratings and reviews available at the point of sale, manufacturers power their online sales channels with authentic user-generated content that is proven to increase conversion rates, lower return rates, and improve brand loyalty.

Manufacturers can also publish high-impact Ask & Answer and Stories content from their brand web site to the retail sites in the BrandVoice network. All syndicated content is seamlessly integrated with the retailers’ content, increasing the likelihood that the manufacturer’s products are merchandised by the retailer through top rated products navigation, site search, and advertising campaigns. Unlike traditional channel marketing initiatives, all results are measurable and transparent to the manufacturer. And, unlike paid search, BrandVoice reaches consumers at the point of sale and targets highly-qualified shoppers with trusted information, creating unprecedented value for the manufacturer, retailer, and consumer.

“Study after study has shown that consumers are heavily influenced by user-generated product reviews,” said Brett Hurt, founder and CEO of Bazaarvoice. “Reviews are now so important and so prevalent that a manufacturer who doesn’t have reviews on a product at a retail site is turning away business and hurting their brand. BrandVoice offers a simple and effective way for manufacturers to change the game by leveraging authentic word of mouth marketing to gain a competitive edge in the sales channel. By placing as many reviews in as many shopping areas as possible, manufacturers can increase the ‘voice share’ that leads to sales online and in the store.”

The BrandVoice Opportunity
According to JupiterResearch, more than 77% of online shoppers seek customer product reviews before making a purchase decision. To meet this demand, manufacturers are increasingly adding ratings and reviews to their branded eCommerce sites. For example, Bazaarvoice clients in the competitive consumer electronics vertical currently account for more than 75% of all U.S. sales. These manufacturers are highly successful at generating reviews on their branded sites, providing them with an extensive archive of user-generated content that can be used in direct and channel marketing efforts.

Now, with BrandVoice, manufacturers are able to syndicate these reviews to their retail channel partners. Bazaarvoice research has shown that conversion rises as review volume grows. BrandVoice increases the number and breadth of reviews available to shoppers at retail sites, providing a significant competitive advantage for the manufacturer and driving a significant increase in sales for the retailer who receives the reviews.

Leading electronics manufacturer Kingston has already increased indirect sales by using BrandVoice to syndicate reviews from http://www.kingston.com/ to www.officedepot.com. Through Brandvoice, Kingston increased the average number of reviews per product on www.officedepot.com from 1 to10 and drove a 92% overall conversion increase for all Kingston products on the Office Depot site.

Seamless Content Syndication
The BrandVoice program seamlessly integrates a manufacturer’s own ratings and reviews with existing ratings and reviews on participating retail sites drawn from over 290 market leaders in 15 industries. The program features product matching between the manufacturer and retailer; syndicated content that matches the look and feel of the retail site; and complete analysis on usage and results. BrandVoice takes advantage of Bazaarvoice’s customizable hosted technology, reliable and accurate content moderation, dedicated client services, and seamless integration with over 30 leading eCommerce partners to allow manufacturers and retailers to maximize marketing impact and conversion rates.

“Simply put, more user-created content about products equals more sales in the channel,’ said Sam Decker, CMO of Bazaarvoice. “Brandvoice is a true win-win-win: manufacturers win because they create new engagement opportunities with customers; customers win because they find credible information to help make purchase decisions; and retailers win because they are able to sell more products in a tough economic climate.”

About Bazaarvoice
Bazaarvoice offers outsourced technology, services, analytics, and expertise to help companies enhance the online shopping experience with social commerce applications that drive sales. Bazaarvoice Ratings & Reviews™, Ask & Answer™, and Stories™ deliver immediate success by minimizing implementation risk and maximizing the strategic impact of user-generated content through complete customization, deep integration, community management, advanced analytics, search engine optimization, and syndication across the Web and to offline channels.

Bazaarvoice`s recent awards include the 2008 ClickZ Marketing Excellence Award for Best Social Media Marketing Platform and the Austin Business Journal`s 2007 Tech Innovator Award. Bazaarvoice currently serves over 290 eCommerce leaders including Borders, Dell, Macy’s, Office Depot, Inc., Overstock.com, PETCO, P&G;, QVC, Sears, and ZipRealty. The company has headquarters in Austin, TX, and offices in London, Paris, and Singapore. For more information, please visit the company’s Web site at www.bazaarvoice.com, read the blog at www.bazaarblog.com, or email info@bazaarvoice.com.

Topics:

Dell, Online retailers, Online shopping, Publicly traded companies, Retailing

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