Bazaarvoice Debuts Quarterly Conversation Index

New report provides analysis of the social consumer — who they are, what they want, and how they talk about products and services

Bazaarvoice today unveiled its new quarterly report, The Conversation Index. Bazaarvoice has served nearly 250 billon customer conversations, collecting massive amounts of social data for the world’s leading brands. Bazaarvoice clients benefit from access to real-time social data and insights that fuel customer powered decision-making across their business.  The Conversation Index extracts key findings from this social data set to provide a deeper understanding of global consumer trends, as well as factors that influence user-generated content (UGC) language, sentiment, and adoption worldwide.

The Conversation Index: 30-Second Take-Aways

The Conversation Index combines product- and customer-specific intelligence to offer actionable insights into how brands can put their customers at the center of their business.  The 14-page inaugural report, available here, aggregates more than 5 million product and customer data points from consumers in 210 countries around the world to provide a first-ever snapshot of major influences on UGC, ranging from macro-economic trends to customer demographics to country of origin.

Conversations Change in Volatile Economic Times

The way consumers talk about products changes during economic downturns, and the way companies market and describe their products should reflect these changes to resonate with consumers.

  • Mentions of “Price” become more frequent as the Consumer Confidence Index drops. For example, the Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) sank to its lowest point in February 2009, the same month “price” mentions hit a new high - 11.5% of all US reviews written that month explicitly mentioned price.
  • Since July, 2007, conversations about price in UGC have risen as the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) has fallen, and vice versa, reflecting a correlation of -.68 overall.
  • Poor Customer Service Destroys Product Sentiment
  • Product quality and interactions with brand representatives are inseparable in the minds of many consumers—poor customer service is the product sentiment killer.
  • Across industries, 6% of reviews mentioned customer service in Q2. Overall, the average rating for these reviews was a staggering 91% lower than the general average rating.
  • Financial services saw the highest portion of reviews that mention customer service (17%).

Positive Feedback Contains Constructive Criticism

Innovative product improvement ideas, as well as flaws, can be found just as readily in positive reviews as in negative reviews by searching for pivot language.

  • For example, 75% of customers who “wish” a product was better in some way still rated the product four or five stars.
  • 87% of reviews that identified a product’s “only problem” also rated the product four or five stars.

The Friday Facebook Flood
Onsite and offsite consumer behavior is largely similar in some areas, but Facebook behavior is unique.

  • Nearly a third (32%) of all reviews collected on Facebook in Q2 were submitted on Fridays. The remaining reviews were collected fairly evenly throughout the week. In contrast, Fridays accounted for only 11% of onsite review submissions – only Saturdays (9%) saw lower activity rates.
  • Facebook reviewers are also more positive, with a 12% higher average sentiment for Facebook reviews over reviews not collected on the social network.

Females Fuel Word of Mouth

  • Women dominate onsite social use, with women producing 60% of all UGC in Q2.
  • Women were also more positive than men. The average rating for female-written reviews was 4.43 stars, as compared to the male average of 4.32 stars.
  • Overall, consumers age 35-44 contributed the most UGC across Bazaarvoice clients this quarter. Collectively, consumers between 25 and 54 years old were the biggest content drivers, contributing 70% of all UGC.
  • In consumer package goods (CPG), the vertical with the highest average sentiment (4.68, 11% above cross-industry average), women contributed a huge majority of UGC in Q2 (84%).

Comments on the News

  • “Social data is the most powerful asset that companies can tap in order to become truly customer-centric enterprises.  Brands that lead, capture, and analyze customer conversations develop a deeper understanding of what they must do to meet and exceed expectations – and how they can finally put the customer at the center of everything they do.” – Brett Hurt, Founder and CEO of Bazaarvoice
  • “UGC is insight-rich social data that enables analysis at every level of focus and all degrees of granularity. But these learnings are only as powerful as the actions they drive and the customer-centric choices they inform.  The companies who can truly integrate their social insights across the business are the only ones who will fully capture the value of social data.” – Erin Nelson, CMO of Bazaarvoice

Additional Resources