Bazaarvoice: Twitter Moves Stocks, Answers Move Merch

Last week Bazaarvoice announced the launch of a new version of its Connections social commerce service, and followed up with a study showing that Twitter chatter has little correlation with search behavior.

The company released volume five of its conversation Index, a report based on analysis of 26 million tweets mentioning top brands. The conversation Index compared Twitter content with TV and radio mentions, stock price data, Google search queries and 270,000 pieces of consumer-generated content from online reviews for those brands.

The Bazaarvoice analysis found a remarkably high positive correlation between stock performance and the volume of tweets with brand mentions. A high volume of tweets tends to coincide with high closing price. However, the report does not attribute the stock price bump to tweets hyping the stock; rather, the company said, the same triggers that make stocks move upward tend to make social chatter spike.

The analysis revealed a steady downward trend in the proportion of brand-oriented tweets that include a link, from 68 percent in 2010 and 55 percent in 2011 to 51 percent in the first half of 2012. Meanwhile, while the volume of tweets per day has grown 143 percent year over year, the growth of mentions of brands on Twitter lags, at 113 percent.

The search analysis showed little relation between what people tweet about and what they are searching for. Peaks in Twitter mentions for a brand resulted in either no positive impact or a decline in search interest.

On the product front, Bazaarvoice Connections now lets companies engage directly with consumers by participating in conversations happing on retail and shopping sites. The brand receives alerts when new user-generated content appears. The service provides a custom portal for each brand with a categorized list of questions and comments about products. Brand managers can prioritize and answer questions or respond to reviews, submitting them through the portal’s interface. They can also recommend other products.

Once submitted, the consumer who asked the question is automatically notified that an answer is available. The answers can be syndicated across Bazaarvoice’s global network of client websites and mobile devices.

Simon Rodrigue, general manager of e-commerce for Walmart Canada, said, “The concept of social commerce is, how to bring people together – customers, our suppliers and us. This is a powerful tool to do that.”

Walmart Canada began using Connections two weeks ago, and some 200 of the company’s suppliers are already participating. In addition to customers getting their product questions answered by knowledgeable personnel, Rodrigue said the service also helps Walmart and suppliers identify content or product information that they should add to catalogs and websites, as well as gain insights about consumers’ research and decision-making processes.

“For the customer, it’s not only the marketing copy but also this rich conversation that involves all the parties talking about how a product can be used,” Rodrigue said.

Walmart Canada implemented Ask & Answer, another Bazaarvoice product, 10 weeks ago and saw a 10 percent increase in conversions. Rodrigue expects similar results from Connections.

Bazaarvoice measures the sales conversion impact of the content it hosts on retail sites by analyzing page views with Bazaarvoice content versus page views without it. Shawn Gaide, general manager of Bazaarvoice Network, said, “While we can’t measure the impact of a brand answering consumer questions directly, we can report that the average sales conversion lift for all participating suppliers at three of our top retail clients using Connections is 50 percent. To make those Q&A page views as impactful as possible, brands need to be there to provide their product expertise in answering questions.”

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