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BizReport : Social Marketing : July 29, 2008

Bazaarvoice's 'Stories' extends consumer engagement

The human race has always told stories, and the online generation is taking theirs to the Internet in many forms. Blogs, social networks and online video are all being used to communicate online. Bazaarvoice has launched a new product that extends online storytelling and merges it with marketing to give new strength to word of mouth.

by Helen Leggatt

bazaarvoice%20logo.gifBazaarvoice has added to its arsenal of user review and ratings tools. Its latest product, Stories, enables customers to extent their current product-centric reviews by encouraging the inclusion of background and context.

According to Sam Decker, Bazaarvoice's CMO, "Stories are interesting forms of brand-related UGC, because they show how consumers have been involved with a brand on a deeper level.”

How would user-generated content in Stories differ from a regular review? Instead of a consumer reading that Customer X bought a set of golf clubs, they might read of the reasons behind that decision to buy the particular set, the customer’s product requirements, any product comparisons made, the quality of the seller’s customer service and sales process - right up to the first use of the golf clubs.

So far only a small number of companies have implemented the white-label product but initial results are positive. Cosmetics firm Philosophy promoted their Stories function via paid search and email in April this year. By May, 40% of all traffic to their homepage originated from their Stories page.

Visitors who arrived at Philosophy’s via Stories also spent more time on the site, spent more per order and purchased more items per order than those who arrived via other channels.

Tags: consumer reviews, user-generated content, word of mouth

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