Thursday, March 01, 2007

The Pre-Search Space

A found these guys when they launched and their name caught my attention, BazaarVoice. Their new service SyndicateVoice does something very interesting. It takes authentic customer reviews, and makes them searchable under natural language terms, i.e "is the dell x90 any good?". They provide some good statistics on why "user reviews" are important: * RoperASW reports the value of word of mouth as the best source of information on products has exploded from 67% in 1977 to 93% in 2001. * BizRate found that 59% of their users considered customer reviews to be more valuable than expert reviews. * Marketing Experiments Journal® tested product conversion with and without product ratings by customers. Conversion nearly doubled, going from .44% to 1.04% after the same product displayed its five-star rating. * The State of Retailing Online study, conducted by Forrester Research, found only 26% of the 137 top retailers surveyed offered customer ratings and reviews, but 96% of them ranked customer ratings and reviews as an effective or very effective tactic at driving conversion. When combined with the potential of something like the pre-search environment is becoming very interesting from a marketing perspective.

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