- Software solutions provider Bazaarvoice acquired product review platform Influenster last week to strengthen its user-generated content (UGC) and word-of-mouth platform for retailers and brands, per an announcement. Financial terms of the deal weren't disclosed.
- Bazaarvoice's software, integrated into more than 6,000 websites, helps brands and retailers analyze reviews, ratings, videos and other content posted by customers about their products. Influenster has 6 million members who read and write reviews of products, share photos and videos, participate in product discussions and earn rewards.
- Procter & Gamble and Coty are among the marketers that work with Influenster to run product sampling campaigns, raise brand awareness and generate and license organic reviews and social content. Bazaarvoice has about 750 full-time employees and will grow to 800 with the addition of Influenster, MediaPost reported.
Bazaarvoice's acquisition of Influenster comes as consumers seek reliable product information while shopping online and while using their smartphones to compare items as they browse brick-and-mortar stores. Consumers rely on honest recommendations from peers and other shoppers when researching products, but finding dependable advice can be difficult amid the persistence of "hijacked reviews" on Amazon and "fake reviews" on Facebook. Influenster has more than 38 million product reviews among users who create more than 50,000 pieces of content every day, per the deal announcement.
Bazaarvoice aims to help brands and retailers facilitate peer-to-peer (P2P) conversations by generating and highlighting UGC to boost online and offline sales and foster brand loyalty. The merger with Influenster means that Bazaarvoice clients have a source of authentic reviews and UGC to display on their websites and on the more than 1,900 retailer sites in the Bazaarvoice Network. The company uses natural language processing and human moderators to prevent the publication of fraudulent reviews, per its website.
Companies that make UGC available to shoppers drove an average 137% conversion increase and a 157% lift in revenue-per-visitor, according to Bazaarvoice's Shopper Experience Index. Its research found that 70% of brands and retailers have prioritized personalized offers and recommendations for shoppers.
Typically, consumers are more likely to trust posts from fellow users than from influencers or brands, making them a key source of feedback for brands and retailers. About half (51%) of consumers said they trust user images because they're more authentic and trustworthy than brand-owned creative, per a survey by Olapic and Cite Research. However, only 37% of consumers said they have posted a picture on social media to show themselves enjoying a product, the survey found, potentially indicating that brands and retailers need to urge customers to more frequently share their experiences on social media.