Borders adds talk to its site

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Borders.com announced this week it had selected Bazaarvoice, a provider of social commerce applications, to provide user ratings and reviews and other programs to its new e-commerce Web site.

Borders said it selected Bazaarvoice for the “interactive” experience it brings to e-commerce sites.

“When you walk through a Borders store, you quickly realize that customer conversations are an essential part of the shopping experience,” said Kevin Ertell, SVP of e-business for Borders Group, Inc, in a statement. “Our goal with the new Borders.com is to bring the bookstore experience to life online, and Bazaarvoice plays a key role by allowing us to infuse the voices of our customers and our staff throughout the site via customer, staff and expert reviews.”

Bazaarvoice Ratings & Reviews and Ask & Answer programs were conceived to allow for more interactive Web site for consumers, and to use user-generated content as a way to amplify traffic to a site, said Bazaarvoice CMO Sam Decker.

“The larger strategy beyond just offering ratings and reviews is to help companies invest in customer dialogue,” he said.

Other interactive applications offered by Bazaarvoice is the opportunity for users on a site such as Borders.com to link their product reviews to their own personal social network site, such as Myspace or Facebook.

Decker said Bazaarvoice tools also allow reviewers to upload photos and videos to their reviews, and for the Web client to set up customizable alerts. Borders, for example, could set up an alert where one of its managers or product buyers could receive a weekly alert of products that had user reviews of below three stars.

“It's about turning the customer voice into measurable business results,” he said.

Decker noted that Bazaarvoice also uses keywords in customer ratings and reviews to optimize “natural search” results.

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