New data from social commerce solutions provider Bazaarvoice underscores the dramatic change taking place in the shopping behaviors of online consumers.
Bazaarvoice is one of the leading providers of user-generated ratings and reviews, sharing the competitive space with PowerReviews and several others. The company has just revealed that during the course of Thanksgiving Week 2010, online shoppers consumed more than 2.7 billion customer opinions and recommendations through Bazaarvoice.
To put the data in perspective, that number was a 44-percent increase over the same period in 2009 and a 128-percent increase over 2008. Consumers are turning to each other for guidance in record numbers, and more than 550 million conversations were tapped into on Cyber Monday alone. Bazaarvoice reports that it passed nearly 10,000 opinions per second from customer to customer during the peak times.
In addition to the much higher volume, the other dramatic change this year has been in how consumers are accessing this user-generated content. Social networks such as Facebook and Twitter have become the most popular places to gather and share the information, and mobile devices are rapidly becoming the mainstream technological tools for doing so.
Bazaarvoice pointed to several brands that effectively changed their strategies to meet these new demands from consumers. By adding product ratings and reviews capabilities to its Facebook Fan Page, Benefit Cosmetics successfully enabled customers to share, read or retrieve product reviews without ever leaving Facebook. Top brands such as QVC and Express also integrated their reviews into their mobile applications to provide instant access to the customer voice.