Bazaarvoice launches

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After many months of being in stealth mode, and working with great clients such as CompUSA, Golfsmith and PETCO, the Bazaarvoice solution is now announced to the public. You will see the following press release go across the wires Monday morning…

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For more information contact:
Emily Brady or Anna Jarrard
650.692.6107 or 510.521.4830
emily@bradypr.com or anna@bradypr.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Bazaarvoice Introduces New Customer Ratings & Reviews Solution for Businesses Online

Bazaarvoice is the first to combine outsourced technology, community management services, analytics, & syndication to help companies harness & encourage word of mouth on their websites

Austin, Texas * Feb. 6, 2006

Bazaarvoice, a new company that helps online brands enlist their customers in building their businesses, today unveiled the world’s first hosted and fully managed solution for on-site customer ratings and reviews. With Bazaarvoice, online businesses can empower their customers to connect with and influence each other to make more informed and rewarding purchase decisions, without delving into complex IT work or the laborious process of community management.

"By placing the voice of customers at the center of the eCommerce experience, Bazaarvoice helps businesses use relevant and credible customer-generated content to increase multichannel sales and conversion, attract new customers, and improve customer satisfaction and loyalty," said Brett Hurt, co-founder and CEO of Bazaarvoice.

The Bazaarvoice solution is the first to combine outsourced technology, community management services, analytics, and syndication to help clients harness and encourage word of mouth marketing, and bring it closer to their brand and customer experience. Bazaarvoice clients such as CompUSA, Golfsmith, and PETCO are already realizing real business benefit from integrating customer reviews into their sales, marketing, merchandising, and manufacturing processes.

CompUSA, for example, implemented the Bazaarvoice solution in less than 10 hours of IT time to offer its customers the ability to rate and review any of the company’s products available online. The results quickly exceeded CompUSA’s expectations. Visitors who came to the CompUSA site after finding a customer review on AOL, Google, MSN and Yahoo! had a 50 percent higher conversion rate and spent an average of 20 percent more per order than the typical CompUSA visitor. Customer reviews also boosted CompUSA’s natural search results and drove tens of thousands of new visitors to the www.CompUSA.com site over the holiday season.

Word of Mouth: Top Trend for 2006

eCommerce has gone mainstream. Online shoppers spent a total of $30.1 billion during the 2005 holiday season, which is a 30% increase compared to 2004. (Source: Goldman, Sachs & Co., Nielsen//NetRatings and Harris Interactive, December 2005) However, in a world where a Froogle search for "stapler" turns up 25,000 products in a fraction of a second, consumers are faced with an overwhelming array of marketing messages. As a result, more and more consumers are turning to friends and family to help them make the right product choices. In fact, 56% of consumers say they avoid buying products that overwhelm them with marketing and advertising. And one third of consumers say the advertising they want most is "marketing that is personally communicated to me by friends or experts I trust". (Source: Yankelovich, Inc, April 2005)

Online businesses understand the value of word of mouth. Typically, online businesses have failed to deploy ratings and reviews because they lack the necessary IT resources, staff, and expertise. Only 26% of 137 high-profile retailers surveyed offered customer ratings and reviews, although 96% of them ranked ratings and reviews as an effective or very effective tactic in improving conversion. (Source: Shop.org and Forrester Research, "The State of Retailing Online 8.0", May 2005).

Bazaarvoice offers a fast, easy way for businesses to facilitate and listen to online customer-to-customer conversations, increasing sales, margins, and customer loyalty and retention. Users who contribute product reviews visit a site nine times more often than average users, and they remain twice as loyal and buy twice as often. Meanwhile, regular users of feedback areas generate 2/3 of sales, yet only account for 1/3 of visitors. (Source: McKinsey & Co., and Jupiter Media Matrix, January 2002)

Sam Decker, who led eCommerce and customer-centricity strategy at Dell, and is now vice president of marketing and products at Bazaarvoice, explains the future of eCommerce: "We’re in an over-supply, over-advertised market. Increasingly, more customers are going to purchase only when they can find authentic recommendations, and more of them are likely to share these opinions when it’s easy to do so."

The Bazaarvoice Solution

Bazaarvoice is a hosted and fully managed word of mouth solution for eCommerce websites. The solution integrates seamlessly on a client’s site to allow customers to share product or service opinions with other customers online. Bazaarvoice also provides a dedicated community management team that works with companies to create actionable insights and derive maximum value from authentic customer opinions.

The company breaks new ground in four areas:

Hosted Technology: Bazaarvoice offers a software-as-service solution that works with virtually any eCommerce platform. An average deployment takes less than 20 IT hours with no software or hardware to buy, install, upgrade, or maintain. Bazaarvoice’s customer ratings and review functionality seamlessly integrates into product page templates, and can also integrate into authentication login for additional customer authenticity and trust. The service is designed to meet stringent IT requirements for load balancing, redundancy, recovery, backup, and security.

Community Management: Bazaarvoice is an expert in building credible communities around a brand. Automated rules, human review, and best practice policies work together to ensure accuracy and relevancy, as well as protect privacy on each review. Bazaarvoice’s community managers also work closely with each retailer to execute a proven community and content development strategy.

Analytics: Designed by Brett Hurt, who led the mainstream adoption of enterprise-level Web analytics as founder and former CEO of Coremetrics, and Brant Barton, founder and vice president of client services at Bazaarvoice, Bazaarvoice is the only solution to incorporate actionable analysis of review content and trends to drive greater impact from word of mouth. Each Bazaarvoice client is assigned a dedicated community manager to develop recurring insights, reports, and executive presentations to drive business improvements. Community managers also provide tactical and strategic recommendations across multiple product categories to improve product merchandising, product management, customer service, and marketing.

Syndication: Bazaarvoice clients are also able to extend the business impact of customer-to-customer conversations and take review content beyond their websites to attract new customers. Bazaarvoice’s Review Landing Pages are optimized for search engine visibility and use all current review tag standards. Clients can also use authentic customer-generated content for catalogs, emails, ads, and product marketing materials.

About Bazaarvoice

Based in Austin, Texas, Bazaarvoice offers outsourced technology, community management services, analytics, and syndication to encourage and harness word of mouth marketing, and bring it closer to a company’s brand and customer experience. The company’s flagship hosted and fully managed customer ratings and review service allows businesses to enable, encourage, and analyze customer ratings and reviews on their websites. With Bazaarvoice, online brands can empower their customers to share honest opinions and influence each other to make more informed and rewarding purchase decisions. Clients like CompUSA, Golfsmith, and PETCO benefit from a credible and reliable customer-to-customer community, without having to delve into complex IT work or the laborious process of community management. For more information, please visit the company’s website at www.bazaarvoice.com or email info@bazaarvoice.com.

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