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Bazaarvoice Data Indicates Dramatic Change in How People Shop and Buy
As social and mobile technologies transform shopping, retailers embrace innovative strategies for using customer conversations to stay close to consumers.
Posted Dec 6, 2010
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Bazaarvoice unveiled new holiday shopping data that shows the increasing influence of customer conversations on holiday purchases and brand relationships.

Bazaarvoice connected global consumers to more than 2.7 billion customer opinions, answers, and stories over the course of Thanksgiving Week, a 44 percent increase over 2009 and 128 percent increase over 2008. Consumers continued to turn to each other in record numbers over the Black Friday weekend and tapped into more than 550 million conversations on Cyber Monday alone. At the busiest times, Bazaarvoice passed nearly 10,000 opinions per second from customer to customer.

Compared to previous holiday seasons, global consumers accessed these opinions through mobile devices, on social networks like Facebook and Twitter, and in Google search results in much higher numbers than ever before. While mass adoption of mobile and social technologies is driving this shift, Bazaarvoice also found that retailers play a significant role in enabling this transformation. Across the board, retailers are taking a much more strategic approach to customer conversations this year. Luxury beauty brand Benefit Cosmetics added product ratings and reviews capabilities to its Facebook fan page, allowing any customer to share, read, or retrieve product reviews without ever leaving Facebook. Top brands such as QVC and Express are also integrating reviews into their mobile applications to provide instant access to the customer voice.

The increasing use of user-generated content mirrors the growing trend in online shopping shown in a recent comScore report, with Cyber Monday surpassing $1 billion in U.S. spending – the heaviest online shopping day in history. This year’s online shopping boom showed a 16 percent increase over 2009 and marks the first time $1 billion threshold has been surpassed.

“Shopping has evolved into a multidimensional, global experience that bears little resemblance to how we researched and bought products 10, or even five, years ago,” said Brett Hurt, founder and CEO of Bazaarvoice. “Social commerce has shifted power to the consumers, and we are seeing mobile accelerate this change. We work in lockstep with our clients to deliver the innovation they need to stay close to their customers in this new world. The holiday strategies and tactics that are defining 2010 are a leading indicator of a sea change in business as companies and brands embrace customer conversations as the most important driver of long-term value.”

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