January 14, 2010, 12:00 AM

Bazaarvoice introduces social commerce app for Facebook users

A new Facebook Connect application from Bazaarvoice lets shoppers visiting the product page of a client retailer automatically send all of their product reviews and other content to their personal page on Facebook.com.

A new Facebook Connect application from Bazaarvoice lets shoppers visiting the product page of a client retailer automatically send all of their product reviews and other content to their personal page on Facebook.com.

“We think this will emerge as a major social commerce application,” Bazaarvoice CEO Brett Hurt says.

The Bazaarvoice application, which like other applications is using the application programming interface that Facebook makes available to outside developers to connect with its web content, is available with all of Bazaarvoice’s products at no additional cost, says Samuel Decker, Bazaarvoice chief marketing officer.

Bazaarvoice’s products enable online retailers and other web site operators to publish and manage user-generated content, including product ratings and reviews, longer stories and consumer experiences, and question-and-answer content contributed by shoppers, retailers and product manufacturers.

Bazaarvoice, which quietly launched its Facebook Connect application last fall, demonstrated a concept of it at the National Retail Federation trade show earlier this week.

Demonstrated as a possible future use on a mock-up web site of one of its client retailers, Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s Walmart.com, the Bazaarvoice/Facebook app showed what may emerge as a final feature for retailers: When a registered shopper who is also registered on Facebook browses one of the mass merchant’s product pages, he sees a row of images of Facebook friends who have written reviews related to the same products on the page. Clicking on any of the friends’ images activates a scrolling view of related product reviews and other related content.

The Bazaarvoice applications are all delivered in a software-as-a-service environment.

Bazaarvoice hasn’t said when it will finalize its Facebook Connect application, though Decker notes it has generated strong interest among retailers seeking a way to engage consumers through social networks.

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