Bazaarvoice Places Customer Reviews on Consumer Portals

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Bazaarvoice will launch a new service called SyndicateVoice that lets retailers feed customer ratings and reviews to major consumer portals and shopping comparison sites.

MSN, Pricerunner.com and Smarter.com are the first major consumer sites in the SyndicateVoice network. The reviews also will be syndicated to Froogle.

"Our clients can now use the voice of their customers to extend their brand and acquire new customers on search engines and shopping comparison sites, " said Brett Hurt, CEO of Bazaarvoice, Austin, TX. "Companies who silo reviews to their product pages or a single portal outlet are missing a tremendous opportunity to build their business."

Bazaarvoice  offers a hosted and managed solution for on-site customer ratings and reviews.

With SyndicateVoice, Bazaarvoice normalizes client reviews into feeds for portal partners. Syndicated reviews include client's branding, rating, review snippet, other review content and a live link back to the client site.

The retailer's branding is included in SynidicateVoice. These links are tracked and measured by Bazaarvoice. Tracking is also supported through Bazaarvoice's Web analytics partners.

Bazaarvoice clients can choose to receive product ratings and reviews from the SyndicateVoice Network through integrated XML. Retailers can receive free content in exchange for including the appropriate attribution and links back to the portal or shopping comparison site partner.

Alternately, retailers can pay the portal or shopping comparison site partner for its review content.

SyndicateVoice is available to all Bazaarvoice clients and participation is optional. The SyndicateVoice Network is open to all portal and shopping comparison site partners. Portals receiving their content must sign a license agreement.

The SyndicateVoice news comes on the heels of a report from New York-based JupiterResearch, which said online retailers gain market share through user-generated product ratings/reviews.

Key findings from the "Retail Marketing: Driving Sales Through Consumer-Created Content," report include:

  •  Reviews are increasingly important to shoppers: The number of online buyers who cite customer ratings and reviews as the most useful shopping site feature has more than doubled from 2005 to 2006. User-generated ratings and reviews are now the second most important site feature behind search.
  •  Reviews create loyalty and drive sales: Online shoppers who find user-generated product ratings and reviews useful are heavier online spenders than average online buyers. Online buyers who write a lot of product reviews make up only 20 percent of the online shopping population, but account for 32 percent of online sales.
  • Reviews are positive: 60 percent of online shoppers provide feedback about a shopping experience, and are more likely to give feedback about a positive experience than a negative one.
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