User Reviews, Ratings Take Off at QVC

QVC implemented Bazaarvoice’s user ratings and reviews on its site. Within the two-week soft launch period users rushed to post comments and feedback on recent purchases.

It was the fastest organic growth for the soft launch of any Bazaarvoice initiative to date. The activity is “inherent of the word-of-mouth they have with their clients,” said Sam Decker, VP of marketing at Bazaarvoice. Regarding a few initial forum posts, which led to organic postings of reviews and ratings on product pages, he said, “We believe people in the forums are loyal customers. They probably went back to [all the products] they bought.”

A best practice established by Bazaarvoice includes e-mail messaging to customers who have transacted in the six months preceding the start of a review program. The object is to trigger customers to populate product pages with reviews. QVC took another direction. “Many of our clients launch with an immediate promotion,” said Decker. “There was a joint agreement [with QVC]; we wanted to see what organic growth would occur.”

Following discussion on QVC forums, the site’s regular shoppers responded by commenting on and applying star ratings to recent product purchases. The soft launch began in early April. By mid-month, many products had multiple reviews. However, analysis of user behavior and posting patterns is unavailable.

Due to the retailer’s strong television presence, it could leverage the ratings to sell products on TV and other retail channels. At present, plans are to use the Bazaarvoice implementation solely on QVC.com. Typically, Bazaarvoice clients integrate reviews and ratings with other platforms such as e-mail newsletters that promote reviews and top-rated products. The promotional phase generally initiates within the first three months of integration.

“[QVC] has an advantage to accelerate all of the marketing benefits of ratings and reviews, with their high volume,” said Decker.

Bazaarvoice launched its services early last year, and later began offering syndication of its reviews on shopping portals. The word-of-mouth company works with clients such as Bass Pro Shops, CompUSA, Overstock.com, Macy’s, and Petco. The service competes with review-sharing solutions like PowerReviews.

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