NEW YORK, New York, September 15, 2019Influenster, a product discovery and reviews platform recently acquired by Bazaarvoice, today shared the results of a recent study, exploring how food and beverage shoppers interact with ratings and reviews. As grocery continues to embrace digital transformation, an increasing number of consumers are doing their shopping online, due in part to innovations like delivery services and curbside pickup. Influenster’s research found that whether shopping online or in store, grocery shoppers are turning to user-generated content (UGC), such as product ratings and reviews, for inspiration and guidance.

While the e-commerce landscape continues to evolve, consumers’ desire for authentic opinions to validate their purchase decisions remains constant. Brands and retailers that connect shoppers to each other through product reviews and other forms of UGC boost online and offline sales and stand out in the competitive grocery market. Influenster’s six million community members have generated more than 38 million reviews and continue to create more than a million reviews each month. Following their annual Review Report, which delved into the latest sentiments on rating and reviews from 10,000+ consumers, Influenster conducted two surveys with its community members in July 2019 to better understand how product reviews specifically impact grocery shoppers. The first surveyed 7,000 members about food and beverage purchases, while the second focused on wine, beer, and spirits and drew responses from 3,000 consumers.

Key findings from Influenster’s latest studies include:

  • The majority of people consult ratings and reviews when grocery shopping: More than two-thirds (68%) of consumers read reviews for food and beverage products in general, and more than half (53%) read reviews in advance of wine, beer, and spirits purchases.
  • Even when shopping in store, consumers rely on customer reviews to inform purchases: Nine in ten consumers shop in-store for both food (94%) and beverage products (93%), with over 50% consulting reviews on their phones while in aisle. Almost all consumers (97%) are buying wine, beer, and/or spirits in store, with 62% consulting reviews on their phone prior to making their purchases.
  • Authentic peer opinions are more persuasive than advertising, promotions, and influencers: When consumers look to purchase food and beverage products, reviews are nearly 3x more influential than advertising and 2x more than promotions. When shopping for wine, beer, and spirits, 63% of consumers rank “what their peers are saying” as most influential. This ranked higher than influencers (21%), expert sources such as Beer Advocate and Wine Spectator (15%), and reviews from celebrities (1%).

We’re excited to become a bigger part of the grocery shopping experience as it continues to transform, said Laura Brinker, SVP of Marketing at Influenster. The content generated by our highly-engaged members is invaluable because, no matter when or where people are shopping — or in what category — they rely on recommendations from peers when discovering and buying products. Influenster partners with brands to tap into the power of consumer advocacy at scale and to activate motivated shoppers to create reviews and social content, visit key retail locations, and more.

Together, Influenster and Bazaarvoice, the leading provider of product reviews and UGC solutions, help brands harness the power of word-of-mouth marketing at scale. The recent acquisition brings together Influenster’s engaged community of everyday consumers with Bazaarvoice’s industry-leading software and network of over 6,200 global brand and retailer websites, including those of leading grocery retailers and food and beverage brands.

Grocery players are having to rapidly innovate in e-commerce to keep pace with consumers’ shopping preferences. We have found that our best-in-class food and beverage clients see a 48% lift in conversion and a 57% increase in revenue-per-visitor when shoppers engage with UGC, said Dylan Hoeffler, Director of Product Marketing at Bazaarvoice. Our acquisition of Influenster allows us to strengthen our clients’ user-generated content strategy and ensure that they innovate to keep pace with shoppers’ ever-evolving expectations.

To learn more about how Influenster and Bazaarvoice’s integrated offerings provide brands with a comprehensive UGC solution, visit: https://bv-url.com/influenster-bazaarvoice.

About Influenster

Influenster is a social shopping experience where community meets commerce. The platform has more than 38 million product reviews, growing by one million monthly, written by nearly six million members. Members come to Influenster to read and write reviews, share photos and videos, participate in product discussions, earn rewards, and connect with brands and one another.

Brands partner with Influenster to generate reviews and social content, to license existing reviews to their brand- and retail-dot-coms or feature them in sales and marketing materials to improve conversion, and to gain new consumer and product insights through in-depth review analysis.

Headquartered in New York City, Influenster was founded by Elizabeth Scherle and Aydin Acar in 2010 and was acquired by Bazaarvoice in August 2019. Bazaarvoice is the leading provider of product reviews and user-generated content (UGC) solutions, with industry-leading software and a network of over 6,200 global brand and retailer websites.

About Bazaarvoice

Each month in the Bazaarvoice Network, more than a billion consumers create, view, and share authentic user generated-content including reviews, questions and answers, and social photos across more than 6,000 global brand and retailer websites. From search and discovery to purchase and advocacy, Bazaarvoice’s solutions help brands and retailers reach in-market shoppers, personalize their experiences, and give them the confidence to buy.

Founded in 2005, Bazaarvoice is headquartered in Austin, Texas, with offices in North America, Europe, and Australia. For more information, visit www.bazaarvoice.com.

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