March 05, 2013 at 09:00 AM EST
Bazaarvoice Unveils New Social Business Capabilities that Promote Authentic User Content to Enable World-Class Digital Shopping Experiences

AUSTIN, Texas, March 5, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- BAZAARVOICE SUMMIT -- Today at its sixth annual Summit, Bazaarvoice, Inc. (Nasdaq:BV), a leading social and e-commerce software company, announced a collection of platform advancements that give brands and retailers new ways to participate in consumer conversations. The additions to the Bazaarvoice platform, as well as a new mobile application, further enable the authentic, informative content that helps attract and convert shoppers and nurture brand advocates.

Bazaarvoice Connections Adds Ability to Respond to Reviews

Last fall, Bazaarvoice announced Bazaarvoice Connections, a technology solution that allows brands to engage shoppers by providing expert answers to consumer questions on participating retailer sites in the Bazaarvoice Shopper Network. With more than 450 clients representing over 1,000 brands participating in Q&A on 20 different retailer sites, Bazaarvoice Connections is leading the way for suppliers and manufacturers to engage in-channel in an authentic way. To help deepen the opportunity for retailers and brands to offer more of the helpful content consumers seek, Bazaarvoice is expanding the scope of Connections to allow manufacturers and suppliers to also provide a branded response to reviews of their products on retail sites.

According to a recent survey conducted by Wakefield Research, consumers view products with negative reviews much more favorably when brands provide a response. On average, consumers stated they were twice as likely to purchase a product when seeing a negative review that included a brand's response versus seeing the negative review by itself. Through the Bazaarvoice Connections review response feature, brands can quickly prioritize and respond to consumers' reported issues, solve problems and correct misperceptions, all while gaining valuable product improvement insights. As a result, brands gain the opportunity to protect their reputation in the retail channel, retailers can create a preferred shopping destination with rich content that increases site traffic, and both can benefit from higher sales conversion.  

The new review response feature has been piloted since January 2013 by several brands on Best Buy's website and is now accessible to all Bazaarvoice retail clients and their vendors.

Bazaarvoice Loyalty Incentivizes Content Creation and Interaction

Consumers rely on word of mouth to guide important purchases, but how can brands encourage customers to interact, create advocates and keep customers coming back?  Available today for clients using the Bazaarvoice Conversations 2013 platform, Bazaarvoice Loyalty brings together several proven techniques—ratings and reviews, Q&A, game mechanics, social sharing and more—with key features including:

  • Loyalty leaderboard: Reflects a site's unique personality with a fully customizable solution that recognizes and displays top contributors and encourages competition. Customers will move up the leaderboard as they earn points and badges engaging with a brand by creating or sharing social content.
  • Social content integration: Reward customers with points, badges and other incentives for writing reviews, answering questions and sharing content.  Out-of-the-box integration with applications for Facebook and other social networks allows brands to award points for social sharing activity, and Bazaarvoice Loyalty also easily syncs to existing loyalty rewards program to create a seamless customer experience.
  • Customizable control of the experience: Enjoy full control and flexibility to assign points and badges for all online actions including automatically assigning level badging based on points earned.
  • Robust, easy-to-use portal and reporting: Zero-code implementation and an easy-to-use dashboard interface make it simple to activate a loyalty program and quickly make changes.  Meanwhile, comprehensive reporting allows clients to identify the most engaged users and access detailed reports to optimize their site experience and increase social ROI.

Mobile Associate App Brings User-Generated Content to the Store Aisle

Consumers simply demand connectedness, including when they're shopping in brick-and-mortar stores.  According to Pew Research, 35 percent of consumers that compare price on a mobile device in-store decide to purchase at that store, while 19 percent purchase the product online. For this reason, Bazaarvoice is now piloting the Mobile Associate App to help brick-and-mortar store associates convert visitors into customers. Powered by user-generated content, the app turns store associates into trusted advisors by arming them with the knowledge and content that can convert "show-rooming" into sales.

Even when customers choose not to buy in-store, the Mobile Associate App can help bridge the brick-and-mortar and at-home/online shopping experiences with a follow-on e-mail that remembers what the customer was considering and leads them back to your website or physical store.  Designed for easy adoption, the app can be enabled on personal or store-issued devices, giving associates a simple and effective way to search for products by name or barcode scan, access product comparisons, highlight product pros and cons from reviews, and save products to a list that can be e-mailed to the customer.

Comments on the News:

"Product reviews give us critical insight about how VIZIO fans use our products in their daily life but monitoring these conversations on retail sites can be incredibly time consuming," said Gustavo Perez, SD Call Center Escalations Manager at VIZIO. "With Bazaarvoice Connections, we now have a centralized repository where we can quickly identify all products with reviews at a retailer site and prioritize those that need our response. It's a huge gain for Vizio customer engagement and brand power because we are able to reach customers directly at the retail level, where we can influence sales and track common issues and questions that help us improve our products and customer support."

"Consumers intuitively connect with each other to share information, which is why product reviews are so influential in the purchase process. The opportunity for retailers and brands is to become part of those conversations by connecting with consumers when they're most in need of product insight," said Neville Letzerich, executive vice president of Product Management at Bazaarvoice. "Whether consumers are online or wandering in a store aisle, our focus at Bazaarvoice is on delivering the solutions that help acknowledge their needs, deliver the right information at the right time, and deliver a more satisfying experience."

About Bazaarvoice

Bazaarvoice, a leading social and e-commerce software company, assists clients in bringing the voice of the customer to the center of business strategy.  With over 2,000 clients globally, including over half of the Internet Retailer 500, over 20 percent of the Fortune 500 and over one-third of the Fortune 100, Bazaarvoice helps clients to leverage social data derived from online word of mouth content to increase sales, acquire new customers, improve marketing effectiveness, enhance consumer engagement across channels, increase success of new product launches, improve existing products and services, effectively scale customer support, decrease product returns and enable retailers to launch and manage on-site advertising solutions and site monetization strategies. This online word of mouth content can be syndicated across Bazaarvoice's global network of client websites, shopper media sites and mobile devices, making the user-generated content that digital consumers trust accessible at multiple points of purchase. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, Bazaarvoice has offices in Amsterdam, London, Munich, New York, Paris, San Francisco, Stockholm and Sydney. For more information, visit www.bazaarvoice.com, read the blog at www.bazaarvoice.com/blog, and follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/bazaarvoice.

The Bazaarvoice logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=13784

CONTACT: Media Contact:
         Matt Krebsbach
         Bazaarvoice, Inc.
         (512) 551-6612
         matt.krebsbach@bazaarvoice.com
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