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Bazaarvoice Research Reveals How Network Distribution Increases the Benefits of Consumer-Generated Content for All Market Participants

Monday, January 12, 2015

AUSTIN, Texas – Bazaarvoice, Inc. (Nasdaq: BV), the network connecting brands and retailers to the authentic voices of consumers wherever they shop, today released The Conversation Index Volume 8. Based on an analysis of sample data from the Bazaarvoice network, including over 57 million reviews and more than 35 billion product page views, the latest issue of Bazaarvoice’s semi-annual research series exposes how companies that harness the power of networks are poised to drive significant increases in content volume, search traffic, sales conversion, and consumer insights.

Key Facts & Highlights:

Syndication increases content volume, yielding several benefits that manifest at different “zones”.

  • Companies in the Bazaarvoice network achieved as much as a 324% increase in review volume due to syndication, translating in up to a 26% increase in product coverage.
  • Page visitors who interact with reviews show an average 58% increase in conversion rate compared to those who do not interact with reviews. However, sales conversion is just the first of three “Zones of ROI” (return on investment) resulting from the network effects of consumer-generated content:
    • Zone 1 (1+ reviews): Sales conversion continues to build as review volume builds over time. On average, 1 review yields a 10% lift, 50 reviews produce a 37% lift and 200 reviews generates a 44% lift, with incremental revenue opportunity even beyond 500 or 1,000 reviews per product.
    • Zone 2 (8+ reviews): Reviews increase the total product-specific content on the page; content that is rewarded by search engines with higher search results. Capturing more reviews on a regular basis creates a stream of fresh, diverse content that search engines continue to crawl and index, which typically results in a 15-25% increase in search traffic for clients in the Bazaarvoice network.
    • Zone 3 (100+ reviews): Higher volumes of user-generated content allows thematic and sentiment analysis that provides better product insights. Of note, 3 and 4-star reviews are more than twice as likely to contain product suggestions compared to reviews of any other rating, but both positive and negative reviews contain suggestions—a key factor in receiving helpfulness votes than can sway shoppers to make the purchase decision.

Network dynamics promote brand trust, expose the nuances of market categories, and provide deeper understanding of regional trends.

  • Connectivity structures in networks, and the vast volume of data they provide, are crucial to safeguarding consumer-generated content against fraudulent behavior. The greater the size of the network, the greater the ability to discern sophisticated attempts of deception.
  • Being part of a robust network provides businesses with insights not only about their own products and customers, but also into important characteristics that define their industry or product category as a whole.
  • Global networks offer unique insights into regional trends. For example, analysis of the Bazaarvoice network shows that:
    • Australian apparel stores do not see the same back-to-school peak seen in many other parts of the world, but they do experience the same end of year holiday peak. However, compared to their mass merchant counterparts, who see a peak in reviews in December, Australian apparel retailers see a peak in January that suggests most apparel purchases occur during the after-holiday sales period.
    • Product pageviews on a mobile device grew by 8% in the past year, globally. The Asia-Pacific region, led by Singapore, Australia, and Japan, tops the rest of the world in mobile usage for shopping. Europe, led by the United Kingdom, sits second and is trailed by North America.

Supporting Quote

Lisa Pearson, chief marketing officer at Bazaarvoice:
“Collectively, we are so accustomed to consumer-generated content that we instinctively recognize online reviews are an important part of how consumers validate purchase decisions and businesses deliver the products people really want. The Conversation Index details a less intuitive reality—that the value of review content is greatly enhanced when it is distributed across a network of members. Today’s consumer journey is a highly connected social experience, and our most recent research makes clear that the quality, authenticity, and ultimate utility of reviews is greatly enhanced when it is shared across brands and retailers.”

About Bazaarvoice

Bazaarvoice is a network that connects brands and retailers to the authentic voices of people where they shop. Each month, more than 500 million people view and share authentic opinions, questions, and experiences about tens of millions of products in the Bazaarvoice network. The company’s technology platform amplifies these voices into the places that influence purchase decisions. Network analytics help marketers and advertisers provide more engaging experiences that drive brand awareness, considerations, sales and loyalty. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, Bazaarvoice has offices across North America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific. For more information, visit www.bazaarvoice.com, read the blog at www.bazaarvoice.com/blog, and follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/bazaarvoice.

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