The impact of customer-created content is in the strategy of how you use the content and how you market WITH the influencers who are participating.

Forrester reports that 71% of online shoppers seek out ratings and reviews. It is the most widely read user generated content on the Web. Why limit this to the product page? We have worked with clients implementing the power of customer voice in email, navigation, and merchandising. Recently we released Holiday Tips for Merchandising via a press release.

As a reader / subscriber of our blog you get better than 3X the value of that release! Here are 18 ideas and tips for leveraging online word of mouth in marketing and merchandising:

Product Merchandising Selection (Use ratings to select what products get merchandised or for merchandising rules engine)

    Top Seller + Top Rated
    Choose brands or product popular last year, but also have high ratings this year (validates their reputation).

    Margin X Rating
    Choose products appropriate for gifting or have high margin, but also have top ratings. Could integrate into merchandising rules engine with Bazaarvoice feed.

    Top Rated by Product Attributes
    Feature cross-sell or upsell products with high rating in a particular product attribute. (ex: high rated battery life camcorders).

    Rating Velocity X Avg. Rating
    Choose hot products, changed out every week. Hot products = highest rating velocity in category X average rating

Home Page / Site Merchandising Ideas

    Sweepstakes to Write Reviews
    Create a sweepstakes for writing reviews before XX date.

    Top Rated Products
    Merchandise ‘Top Rated Products” as feature on home page. Could be all categories or within a specific category.

    Discounts on Top Rated
    Feature a special, limited time offer of % off or free shipping off top rated products for a week.

    Top Rated Holiday Gifts
    Feature a holiday gift guide of gift-worthy products that are top rated, by category and/or by price.

    Top Reviewer Recommendations
    Feature the products reviewed by your most prolific reviewer.

    Most Talked About Products
    Create a “Most Talked About Products” feature, which are products that have the most positive reviews (similar to Hot Products, different spin).

Online Marketing — Advertising and Email

    Email Sweepstakes Offer
    Email your customer base or recent purchasers with sweepstakes offer, reminding them to write a review before XX date.

    Top Rated SEM Campaigns
    Create an SEM / AdWords campaign for Top Rated Products by category, or a special offer on specific top rated products.

    Rating Icon in Banners
    Put rating icons with any product featured in a banner ad or micro-site.

    Discount off Top Rated Campaign
    Feature % off top rated products. Make it home page, email and SEM campaigns

    Review Text as Copy
    Feature customer reviews text as copy in holiday emails

    Product Ratings in Emails
    Put rating icons next to every product you put in email. Do an A/B Split test!

    Promote Top Rated Products in all Emails
    Merchandise ‘top rated products’ path in email and home page

    Gift Guide Campaign
    Create gift guide advertising campaign of Top 10 Top Rated Products by category.

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