Jul 8, 2020
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Bazaarvoice buys Curalate to boost growing social commerce trend

Jul 8, 2020

UGC and product reviews specialist Bazaarvoice has acquired social commerce solution Curalate. The company said the partnership “will create a powerful offering to lead the growing visual commerce trend, where consumers increasingly buy based on user-generated visual content”. Curalate co-founders, Apu Gupta and Nick Shiftan, will remain on board.

Social shopping and visual UGC is getting a boost from Bazaarvoice's Curalate buy

The new owner added that the blending of the two businesses will offer brands “the ability to leverage inspirational social content to drive sales on social, on websites, and throughout the Bazaarvoice retailer network. Customers will also benefit from Curalate's industry-leading solutions for turning social content into shoppable experiences”.

Curalate currently provides its shoppable social, UGC, and influencer marketing solutions to more than 1,000 brands and retailers, including Best Buy and Lululemon. Its tech turns images into digital storefronts. 

The areas in which the two firms operate are increasingly important as social shopping and visual tech come to the fore and UGC and reviews continue to prove their worth as key tools to drive consumer traffic and conversion.

Bazaarvoice also said that “customers will benefit from Curalate's badged relationship status with leading social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest”.

It added that its research has highlighted the importance of social content in the purchase journey, particularly for Gen Z, who are 34% more likely than other age groups to find out about new brands and products through influencers. And around 42% of global shoppers say they’ve made a purchase on social media.

Curalate customers will also “benefit from Bazaarvoice’s leadership position and expertise in the ratings and reviews category, its global scale, relationships with over 6,200 brand and retailer websites in its global retail network, and its large user-generated content database”.

So what’s the research that’s backing up its view of the future importance for the combined companies’ offerings? Bazaarvoice’s Shopper Experience Index has shown a 17% year-on-year increase in reviews that include photos across its network and a 67% increase in photo submissions among its community of influential shoppers who are invited to review products. And it said “shoppers want even more visual content in reviews — when asked what type of UGC they wish they had more access to, it was their top request”.

CEO Keith Nealon added: “Consumers are increasingly referring to images and videos within reviews to be able to buy online with confidence. As shoppers turn to e-commerce in unprecedented numbers due to the Covid-19 outbreak, empowering them with access to this type of UGC has become more important than ever. Our acquisition means brands and retailers can take advantage of the huge consumer appetite for visual content and social shopping. They will benefit from the most engaging and effective ratings and review content, expertly delivered through partnerships with the world’s major social platforms.”

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