BAZAARVOICE SUMMIT 2013 Takeaways- Part 1

By: Erika Werner, Vice President Business Development & Strategic Partnerships, Red Door Interactive

The Red Door Interactive team spent the past couple of days in Austin at the annual b:summit put on by Bazaarvoice. There were three optional tracks each day: Real-Time Brands, Revolutionary Leadership, and The Social Powered Omnichannel. I mostly attended the Leadership tracks but snuck into a few other sessions. Below are some key take-aways from the event. Businesses need ratings and reviews to be competitive in the connected economy. Reviews are an asset, commercially relevant, and have multiple use cases in business. It is no longer BtoB and BtoC, it is B&B and B&C.  Relevance, timeliness, volume, variety, and metadata associated with your brand’s content are key.


  • Build customer personas based on content from reviews.
  • Bridge the gap between the brand and retail experience.
    • To get insights from customers, Clinique launched an ipad app for makeup consultants to bridge the gap of knowledge that does not make it from the makeup counter to the brand.
  • Enhance your SEO strategy by leveraging keywords from your reviews.
  • Crowdsource search terms attributed to various products. Those terms become the sortable fields for browsing products on your website.
  • App discoverability in iTunes and Google Play is a challenge. Promote your app in your PPC strategy. If you want to make it easier for people to download your mobile app, you should use the App promotion template. This kind of ad allows people to download your app from iTunes or the Google Play Store.
  • Know the emotional responses to your product at each stage and develop a lifecycle messaging plan to support, including an SMS-based program.
  • Increase email subscriber rate with an interstitial acquisition model for new site visitors where the email sign up form overlays on the home page vs. waiting for your visitors to navigate to your email preference center for sign up.
  • Brands are beginning to syndicate data from ratings and reviews to retailers to position themselves as collaborative, strategic partners.
  • Spotlight evangelist reviews in email newsletter content. Brands like Step2 have seen an increase in open rate using this approach.
  • Don’t cross sell? Keep emails requesting reviews solely focused on requesting the review. No cross selling or upselling. Adidas found these emails have a 40% open rate and that reviewers actually had a higher propensity to shop and buy more after receiving this email when no products were marketed. Regardless of whether the customer provided a 1-star rating or 5-star rating, they still returned to shop and spent 35% more than customers that didn’t write reviews.
  • Consider different ratings and reviews sort orders such as relevance-based, most useful votes or most recent. Measure the results to see which drives the highest conversion activity.
  • Engage in-store associates in creating ideas and concepts that support cross selling.
  • Invert the shopping funnel. Take the end of the consideration cycle and bring it to the forefront. Patagonia flipped the shopping journey and created a UX that starts with reviews, and then drills down into product. A sample of this can be seen in the new Buzz Feed section at Patagonia.com that has yet to launch [they were still in the process of naming this experience/website section so it may change].
  • The notion of the large unveil is out of style. By gradually unveiling new features and programs, you can test and learn before releasing to the masses. It is unlikely you will ever test every point of failure on a new site, feature or program, so pick a geography or segment to pilot first, test, learn, modify and then launch.
  • Bazaarvoice launched a digital Mobile Handbook to help businesses establish a foothold into consumer culture. Here you'll find general guidance for designing websites and applications, with special attention given to social sharing, personalization and mobility.

  • I was not able to catch every session. Several blog posts are going up with additional content and videos of presentations available soon. Shareable ideas from the Summit ::  Part One  |  Part Two  |  Part Three

We managed to sneak in some time to explore Austin. Here are some recommendations for three stops you shouldn't miss if you find yourself at SXSW next week or in the downtown Austin area:
  • WHOLE FOODS FLAGSHIP STORE & HQ 525 North Lamar Street | Website An 80,000 square foot Whole Foods that has several different restaurants and a bar inside to taste locally crafted beers and wines. It includes a Culinary Center that offers classes for kids to international cuisine demonstrations. 
  • 24 DINER 600 North Lamar Street | Website Chef-inspired comfort food. Unassuming from the outside, this is one of the best restaurants I have been to… anywhere. It is a scratch kitchen that supports local farmers. They are known for their chicken and waffles. The veggie burgers were insane and we closed the visit with a North Coast Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout Roasted Banana Milkshake.
  • Moonshine 303 Red River Street | Website Moonshine has great food and afforded us the chance to try some Texan wine. I had to warm up to the idea with a Loredona Vineyards Viognier from Lodi but then was ready to get outside my California wine comfort zone with the McPherson Cellars Sangiovese from Lubbock, Texas. 
  Stay tuned for more BAZAARVOICE SUMMIT 2013 Takeaways.

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