Reviews have been a mainstay of Google Product Search for awhile, but what is distinctly new is that reviews have previously been sourced from a small subset of large independent publications such as Cnet, or large e-commerce websites like Amazon.
However, with integration of Bazaarvoice's 'SyndicateVoice for Search' offering, Google now accepts reviews published on behalf of brands themselves. This move will essentially open up the long tail of sources for reviews and, more importantly, accommodate the behavioral long tail of Internet access points. Bazaarvoice's shopping stats page suggests that online advertising has an impact on in-store traffic to brick-and-mortar stores, arguably via mobile, where users are searching for reviews of products while they are in-store or using Twitter to ask and provide product information.
Online Shopping is no Longer Chained to the Desktop
"Social is clearly having a big impact on commerce," said Sameer Samat of Google Product Search at his presentation at the Social Commerce Summit earlier today. "We would like to work with retailers and manufacturers and surface [their product reviews] for users in a number of different ways, in search, in advertising, and mobile. Consumers will interact with any channel they want, when they want... are you bringing online information to your shopping aisle?"
Bazaarvoice powers user-generated product reviews for about 800 brands, including Best Buy, Costco, Dell, Samsung, QVC, and JC Penney.
Conversion Funnels & Buying Personas Need to Accommodate In-store Shoppers at the Checkout
Most search marketers already know that fresh content and using the language of the customer is a defining factor in the success of the customer conversion path. User-generated content provides fresh content that relates directly to products in the customer's language, using the same words shoppers would use to find products. These two factors combined could help manufacturers and retailers influence in-store shoppers making their purchase decisions at their bricks and mortar store.
SyndicateVoice for Search allows Bazaarvoice customers to boost brand exposure and increase sales. This means that retailers and manufacturers using Bazaarvoice can leverage their own product review content to drive more traffic from Google. The integration provides retailers and manufacturers the opportunity to boost brand exposure through:
- Full Length Reviews with Branding in Google Product Search: Retailers and manufacturers benefit from the opportunity to use reviews to gain greater visibility and brand recognition during key points in the shopping process.
- Ratings Information Through Web Snippets in Google Search Results: Bazaarvoice's automated integration will allow review content to appear in Google's natural search results.
- Aggregate Star Ratings in Google Advertising: Retailers and manufacturers will be able to leverage product ratings in Google advertising products.
I must disclose that Incisive Media has also recently integrated Bazaarvoice's user-generated review platform into it's publications. If you're ready to start submitting your own reviews for products and services relevant to search marketers, then head over to our new project, ClickZ iReviews.