Electrical specialist retailer adds Bazaarvoice’s customer generated ‘Ask & Answer’ Q&A platform to extend its online community.

Comet is growing its online customer community with a new social commerce tool following the successful implementation of its Ratings & Reviews platform late last year.

The nationwide electrical retailer is adding ‘Ask & Answer,’ the customer-to-customer online helpdesk from social commerce technology company Bazaarvoice. The decision was made after Comet noticed customers were using its reviews platform as a way of asking each other questions. Comet’s Ratings & Reviews service has been live for six months; providing the brand and its customers with valuable feedback about products.

“Bazaarvoice has a great customer ethos, and implementing Ask & Answer is a natural progression from Ratings & Reviews,” said Ryan Thomas, Head of Direct Channels at Comet. “Customer reviews have made a significant difference to Comet; influencing our customer service and commercial teams in particular. The website has a vast product set with questions not always answered by product specifications, so we wanted to give customers their own platform to air product-related queries. As well as creating a new space for customer interaction, it will give us clearer insight into our customers and their product needs.”

Comet has so far seen over six thousand reviews across 1,825 products. It has also integrated user generated content into its marketing by including review requests in customer emails and using in-store flyers to invite customers to read product reviews. The retailer plans to use Ask & Answer content in future marketing activity.

“Adding Ask & Answer to a retailer’s portfolio really helps to tap into the social nature of shopping, and encourages customers to be more interactive with one another,” said Sam Decker, Chief Marketing Officer at Bazaarvoice. “Customers have a great number of unique questions that aren’t always addressed by the manufacturer’s product description or a company’s marketing department. By offering its customers the chance to ask and answer product questions themselves, Comet will gain useful customer insight.”

About Bazaarvoice
Bazaarvoice (www.bazaarvoice.co.uk) is a social commerce technology company. It helps over 525 brands globally including Argos, Boots, Halfords, Wickes, Thomas Cook, QVC and Boden to harness and amplify customer online word of mouth.

Bazaarvoice’s products - Ratings & Reviews™, Ask & Answer™ and Stories™ - are social commerce applications that drive sales. They enable customers to review products, ask and answer questions and share stories online; enhancing the online shopping experience and allowing them to make more informed and rewarding purchase decisions. Benefits for the retailer include content ownership, seamless customisation, increased search engine optimisation impact, advanced analytics and syndication across the web. Retailers can also leverage the content generated across on and offline marketing channels.

Founded in 2005, Bazaarvoice has offices in the UK, US, France and Singapore. The company was named in 2007’s Red Herring Global 100. The blog is at www.bazaarblog.com.

About Comet
Comet, a leading specialist electrical retailer, has more than 250 stores throughout the UK, offering a wide range of electrical products. Thousands of competitors prices are checked every week to ensure Comet’s prices are competitive.

The Comet website - Comet.co.uk - offers easy, convenient shopping and with Comet’s click and collect service you can reserve online and collect in store an hour later. Additionally, customers can shop by phone on 0844 800 9595. Calls usually cost no more than 5 pence per minute from landlines; calls made from mobiles usually cost more.

Comet offers a unique all-round shopping experience with a range of services including home delivery, full installation of products such as televisions & computers, take back facilities for large products, and comprehensive after sales service.

For further information please contact:
Claire Armitt
01273 779449 / 07985 297842

Published on: 11:27AM on 12th June 2009