Customer reviews are becoming more important for online marketing. Consumers rely heavily on reviews from peers when evaluating various products and services. Businesses that showcase reviews on their web sites reap the benefits of displaying honest consumer commentary, and honesty is often a preeminent criterion in brand choice and loyalty. Bazaarvoice has built a business around customer reviews and their customer content software continues to see increasing demand.
Bazaarvoice will soon be extending its product line into advertising. More specifically, Bazaarvoice will allow clients to advertise on its extensive list of client websites, using particular customer reviews as the ad itself. In a similar fashion to Facebook Stories, using peoples’ likes and comments in ads, Bazaarvoice will display actual customer reviews about a specific business’s product as an advertisement. This is a brilliant way to extend the value of compelling, honest, and genuine consumer feedback into paid testimony for businesses.
This innovation underscores the surging importance of social commentary and interaction in the online marketplace. Just as consumers depend on word of mouth when shopping, consumer reviews are a pertinent factor in the online purchase decision. Essentially, Bazaarvoice is creating its own advertising display network, similar to the millions of Yahoo and Google partner sites that make up their respective display networks. Search engines already take social mentions and reviews into account when ranking organic results, and I expect this Bazzarvoice-esque reviews for ads experimentation to spread into paid search in the near future.