Social Business, E-commerce and the Consumer Conversation

Social Business is everywhere. In 2012, we saw trends like Big Data, Cloud, Smart Mobility and even the rise of the next web, help shape its evolution and deployment. Given the major competitive advantages true advanced social intelligence delivers, pioneering companies who have invested and innovated in their platforms are gaining deeper understanding of their consumers, markets, products and competitors to strategically impact their acquisition and retention marketing, promotions, customer service, risk management and product development.

Bazaarvoice is perhaps an example of this trend. The firm is a social and e-commerce software company. Its platform advancements will offer brands and retailers new ways to engage in consumer conversations. Next to these new social business advancements, a mobile app is created to create and amplify authentic customer experiences.

The platform, Bazaarvoice Connections, is a technology solution that allows brands to engage shoppers by providing expert answers to consumer questions on participating retailer sites in the Bazaarvoice Shopper Network. To help deepen the opportunity for retailers and brands to offer more of the helpful content consumers seek, Bazaarvoice is expanding the scope of Connections to allow manufacturers and suppliers to also provide a branded response to reviews of their products on retail sites.

This is a great development, co-creating with the supply chain to make create an authentic and informative end-consumer experience. I’m not sure how this works on the platform however, but that Bazaarvoice is offering collaboration is great.

The Bazaarvoice Conversations platform also expands with ‘Loyalty’, providing retailers seven loyalty techniques in one place such as ratings and reviews, Q&A, game mechanics.

The key features are:

  • Loyalty leaderboard: Reflects a site’s unique personality with a fully customizable solution that recognizes and displays top contributors and encourages competition. Customers will move up the leaderboard as they earn points and badges engaging with a brand by creating or sharing social content.
  • Social content integration: Reward customers with points, badges and other incentives for writing reviews, answering questions and sharing content.  Out-of-the-box integration with applications for Facebook and other social networks allows brands to award points for social sharing activity, and Bazaarvoice Loyalty also easily syncs to existing loyalty rewards program to create a seamless customer experience.
  • Customizable control of the experience: Enjoy full control and flexibility to assign points and badges for all online actions including automatically assigning level badging based on points earned.
  • Robust, easy-to-use portal and reporting: Zero-code implementation and an easy-to-use dashboard interface make it simple to activate a loyalty program and quickly make changes.  Meanwhile, comprehensive reporting allows clients to identify the most engaged users and access detailed reports to optimize their site experience and increase social ROI.

Mobile app bridging bricks and clicks

Based on Pew Research’s outcome of 35 percent of consumers that compare price on a mobile device in-store decide to purchase at that store, while 19 percent purchase the product online, Bazaarvoice is piloting its mobile app to help brick-and-mortar convert visitors into customers. Powered by user-generated content, the app turns store associates into trusted advisors by arming them with the knowledge and content that can convert “show-rooming” into sales.

Retail is being challenged, here in the Netherlands more and more brick-and-mortar stores go bankrupt, not being able to adapt to trends. Innovative retailers, making use of smart customer-centric technologies such as Bazaarvoice are trying to create viable experiences, they way customers want, where and when they want, the challenge of shifting powers from producers to consumers.