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TheStreet Open House

Bazaarvoice Research Reveals Connections Between Reviews And Seasonal Shopping Patterns

AUSTIN, Texas, May 14, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- BAZAARVOICE SUMMIT -- Bazaarvoice, Inc. (Nasdaq:BV), the network connecting brands and retailers to the authentic voices of consumers wherever they shop, today released a preview edition of The Conversation Index Volume 7. Based on an analysis of sample data from the Bazaarvoice network, including more than 57 million reviews and upwards of 35 billion product pageviews, the latest issue of Bazaarvoice's semi-annual research series reveals how retailers and brands can capitalize on seasonal trends in online customer conversations to understand shoppers' purchasing behaviors and maximize sales.

Key Facts & Highlights:

The year's second-biggest shopping season began within days of the start of summer vacation.

  • Shoppers started researching back-to-school purchases as early as mid-June—approximately the same time as the end of the school year for many students across the United States. Research peaked in the first week of July—weeks earlier than consumer surveys predicted.
  • Retailers who ran back-to-school campaigns stocked with consumer reviews were best prepared to earn shoppers' sales during the 2013 back-to-school season. Visitors to consumer electronics or office supplier product pages were 37% more likely to buy if they interacted with reviews, and revenue per visit in these industries increased 28% and 48%, respectively.

Consumer reviews are inextricably linked to Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales.

  • According to the Census Bureau of the U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. e-commerce sales for the fourth quarter of 2013 totaled an estimated $83.6 billion—31.7% of the estimated $263.3 billion in e-commerce sales for the full year. Similarly, review pageviews for November and December exceeded the monthly average for the rest of the year by 38% and 48%, respectively.
  • Data from ComScore shows online spending on Black Friday and Cyber Monday reached $1.2 billion and $1.7 billion, respectively—increases of 169% and 239% over the daily e-commerce average for the first 29 days of November 2013. Likewise, Black Friday and Cyber Monday were the most review-trafficked days of the year, beating the November daily average for review pageviews by 77% and 84%, respectively.
  • To draw in customers during the most heavily shopped days of the year, retailers and brands should prominently display reviews for their predicted holiday bestsellers, such as providing a "top rated" gift list online and in marketing content. In addition, consider a product sampling program to load up review volume before the holiday shopping season kicks off.

Shoppers form new mobile habits during the holidays, contributing to a higher likelihood to buy.

  • While mobile traffic to review pages consistently jumps from October to December, traffic does not fall back to pre-holiday levels after the New Year, suggesting that newly converted mobile shoppers continue to shop on their mobile devices even after the gift-buying season.
  • Shoppers who read reviews on a mobile device are 127% more likely to buy than those who don't, compared to 66% for desktop shoppers, making reviews an essential part of an effective mobile experience.

Travel reviews show seasonality in traveler type and which amenities are most important.

  • Positive reviews from all types of travelers most often mention the destination's location, breakfast and the friendliness of the staff. However, seasonal trends reveal when to target different types of travelers and what amenities should receive special attention to avoid negative feedback:
    • Target your marketing messages to families and pleasure travelers in the peak spring and summer months, and look for opportunities to improve areas that most often cause these travelers to write negative reviews: water temperature and pressure, small rooms and pool, cigarette smoke, and street noise.
    • Switch your marketing focus to friends and business travelers in the off-peak fall and winter months. Hoteliers that cater to business travelers should emphasize high quality internet service and fitness rooms, while travelers with friends are sensitive to the quality of the sofa bed, A/C, and bathrooms.

Supporting Quotes:

Lisa Pearson, chief marketing officer at Bazaarvoice:

" The Conversation Index showcases the unique insights the Bazaarvoice network can uncover to better understand consumer shopping behavior. From travel and tourism to apparel, home improvement, and dozens of brand categories in between, our social data helps clients uncover trends they can act on to create stronger relationships and better experiences for their customers."

About Bazaarvoice

Bazaarvoice is a network that connects brands and retailers to the authentic voices of people where they shop. Each month, more than 400 million people view and share authentic opinions, questions, and experiences about tens of millions of products in the Bazaarvoice network. The company's technology platform amplifies these voices into the places that influence purchase decisions. Network analytics help marketers and advertisers provide more engaging experiences that drive brand awareness, consideration, sales, and loyalty. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, Bazaarvoice has offices across North America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific. For more information, visit http://www.bazaarvoice.com, read the blog at www.bazaarvoice.com/blog , and follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/bazaarvoice .

CONTACT: Media Contact:
         Matt Krebsbach
         Bazaarvoice, Inc.
         512-551-6612
         matt.krebsbach@bazaarvoice.com

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