- 22 August 2019 06:00
Bazaarvoice’s 2019 Shopper Experience Index shows how user generated content is turning Australian shoppers into buyers and advocates
Sydney, 22 August 2019: Increasingly, Australian shoppers are seeking recommendations and approvals from other shoppers ahead of making purchases, with 81% interacting with buyers’ reviews and other user-generated content to inform their buying decisions.*
Australians greatly value the opinions and insights of shoppers who are just like them to help them pick the right product. Indeed, shoppers crave interaction before a transaction and reward companies that leverage user-generated content (UCG) with return visits, increased online and in-store sales, and most significantly among today’s shoppers, return visits driven by enhanced loyalty.
Kate Musgrove, Bazaarvoice’s Managing Director APAC, said shoppers had embraced the powerful voice they have been given to rate, review and post both photos and videos of products they have bought, as well as provide direct feedback to retailers about their shopping experience or ask questions about a product prior to purchase.
“Humans are hard-wired to seek word of mouth and the greatest influencers for everyday shoppers are the buyers who have gone before them. Indeed, the direct relevancy of their opinions rate well above those of social media influencers, models, sportspeople and even the Royals.
“Essentially, user-generated content fuels the shopping journey. Consumers are wary of shopping experiences that feel one-sided. They don’t just want to make informed decisions; they want to trust brands and retailers and they want shopping to feel more like a human interaction, not just a transaction,” Ms Musgrove said.
As a result, Australians are generously providing their feedback, which has led to explosive growth in the number of reviews being produced by Australian shoppers, with reviews for Australian brands and retailers rising from 11.8m to 25.9 million in the past 12 months on the Bazaarvoice Network.
“Forward-thinking Australian companies that have leveraged user-generated content for their shoppers have successfully increased online and in-store sales by an average of 80% and 60% respectively in the past year,” Ms Musgrove explained.
“Bazaarvoice’s 2019 research also highlights that our Australian retail partners have experienced a boost in sales conversion rates of more than 150% and revenue per visitor by 159%. They are also seeing the impact of ratings and reviews with shopper engagement, with their websites rising 74% and SEO lifting by 80%,” she said.
Bazaarvoice has helped to place the power firmly back in the hands of consumers to provide shoppers and retailers with direct feedback and the retailers who are taking note and responding are seeing the rewards flow through to their bottom lines.
Additionally, the 2019 Shopper Experience Index research revealed that 87% of Bazaarvoice’s brands and retailer partners plan to increase their usage of UGC over the next 12 months.
“Looking further into the future, the best brands and retailers will continue to break down boundaries to build interactive, personalised shopping experiences that enable shoppers to make confident purchase decisions across every device, platform, and channel,” Ms Musgrove concluded.
* This figure comes from research which was carried out via a quantitative online survey hosted by VIGA Research, between 4 February 2019 and 8 February 2019. The survey was completed by 1,307 nationally-representative Australian consumers. Please see below for information about the new Bazaarvoice 2019 Shopper Experience Index.
About Bazaarvoice’s 2019 Shopper Experience Index research
The report draws on data from 1.1 billion monthly shoppers in the Bazaarvoice Network of retailers, brands, and other sites. This includes 5.8 billion monthly page views and over 66 million pieces of user-generated content submitted in 2018. The dataset spans more than 6,000 client sites and content in dozens of languages. Except where otherwise specified, the data presented throughout this report illustrates best-in-class (top 25%) performance benchmarks among Bazaarvoice clients.
The timeframe for these benchmarks is the calendar year 2018. When relevant, we have included a 2017 benchmark for comparison purposes. To complement this study, Bazaarvoice conducted a self-administered online survey of its clients in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Australia.
Overall, more than 500 clients were surveyed about their current use of user-generated content, how they are prioritising future e-commerce and marketing investments, and what they anticipate will matter to consumers in the coming year.
Bazaarvoice also conducted a self-administered online survey of 2,000 consumers across the United States, United Kingdom, France, and Germany.
All respondents were 18 years or older and self-reported shopping online at least once a year. Respondents reported on their shopping preferences, behaviours, and the role user generated content played in their shopping behaviours.
Each month in the Bazaarvoice Network, more than a billion consumers create, view and share authentic user-generated content including reviews, questions and answers, and social photos across more than 6,000 global brand and retailer websites. From search and discovery to purchase and advocacy, Bazaarvoice’s solutions help brands and retailers reach in-market shoppers, personalise their experiences, and give them the confidence to buy.
Founded in 2005, Bazaarvoice is headquartered in Austin, Texas, with offices in North America, Europe and Australia. For more information, visit www.bazaarvoice.com/au.