The following FAQs will help you understand how the Sampling program works and how to have a successful sampling campaign.
The Sampling program enables brands to offer product samples to a community of consumer advocates in exchange for authentic product reviews.
- Consumers are invited to become community members based on their engagement with our clients' website or social properties, past purchases, and/or review history.
- Once invited, consumer advocates register as community members, and they become eligible to be invited to participate in sampling offers.
- After they request, receive, and use product samples, we ask them to provide honest, unbiased product reviews.
- Send Bazaarvoice details about the products about which you want to collect reviews.
- Ship products directly to community members who request your products.
- Provide Bazaarvoice shipping and tracking information after you send samples.
A sampling unit represents a single inventory item that you can offer to the sampling community in exchange for a genuine, unbiased product review.
Yes. Refer to your contract to see when your units expire.
Please contact the IRS or your company's tax advisor about any tax-related questions.
Offering products for sampling
Offer strategic items to help you stand out from the competition. Here are a few ideas:
- New products—Offer samples of a product before it goes to market so the product has persuasive reviews on the retailer site the day consumers can buy it.
- Products with low review volume—Ensure adequate review coverage by offering samples of strategic products that have few or no reviews.
- Products with old reviews—Having current reviews is important. Offer samples of strategic products that haven't been reviewed recently to get new content.
- Seasonal products—Maximize sales during peak shopping seasons by having content at the beginning of the season.
The platform does not support bundled products. You must add products with unique IDs as individual products. However, the program does support product variants.
Yes, as long as your sampling nomination form uses the same product ID you will associate with the product when it goes live. Using the same product ID ensures that the reviews you collect through your sampling program display for the product when it becomes available for purchase.
To determine the product ID:
- (Sampling-only clients)—Include a product ID of your choice in the sampling nomination form. Use this product ID on your product display page or ask your retailers to use it on their product display pages when the product becomes available for purchase.
- (Sampling + Conversations clients)—Ask the person who creates your product catalog for the external ID they will associate with the product.
If you do not provide a product ID, you can still include the product in a sampling campaign prior to release. However, the reviews collected from your sampling program will not be associated with the product until you supply Bazaarvoice with the appropriate ID.
Contact Bazaarvoice Client Care so we can verify that the retailer can receive reviews about the product.
Shipping to community members
Inventory should be on hand, reserved for sampling, and ready to ship when the campaign launches.
You or your fulfillment provider are responsible for shipping products by the shipping deadline.
We have preferred providers familiar with our sampling program who can assist you. Please note that the providers will bill you separately for their services. Ask your Bazaarvoice sales representative for more information.
You will receive an email from Bazaarvoice containing a file labeled <BrandName>FulfillmentFile.csv. This file contains the necessary details for shipping directly to community members.
To increase the review response rate and improve the overall member experience, the best practice is to ship samples within a week of receiving the fulfillment file.
Update the fulfillment file with these shipping details: shipped date, shipping carrier, tracking number, and tracking URL. Then, email the file to email@example.com.
Important: Do not modify column headings or re-sort the data. Return the form in CSV format.
A completed fulfillment file enables us to mark your samples as shipped and unlocks the members' ability to write reviews. Providing tracking information reduces support inquiries and improves community members' overall Sampling experience.
We highly recommend providing tracking information. If you cannot provide tracking information, please include the Shipped Date and Shipping Carrier values. Add “N/A” to the Tracking Number and Tracking URL columns.
Notify your Bazaarvoice sampling consultant as soon as possible or email firstname.lastname@example.org. If the product will become available at a later date, we will message the affected community members to let them know there is a shipping delay. Please note that once a community member has claimed an item, a sampling unit will be deducted from your contracted amount. The best practice is to only offer items for which you have confirmed available inventory.
To increase the quality of reviews, include an insert that thanks the member for sampling your product, highlights the product features, and reminds them to write a review. If applicable, include instructions for using your products and provide customer support information.
Members who fit targeting parameters receive an email inviting them to participate in your campaign. These members will access their sampling account, where they can select the items they want to sample.
Members will choose items based on these product details:
- Product name
- Product image
- Product description
- Product variation
Members keep all products they receive through the sampling program. Returns are not supported.
Members register with the expectation that they will receive products in exchange for honest, helpful reviews. Membership terms and conditions as well as review request emails emphasize that failing to leave a review may affect a member's ability to participate in the program.
Reviews will display approximately two to four weeks after you ship your products.
In accordance with Bazaarvoice authenticity standards, we indicate the review was collected as part of a promotion.
As customers submit reviews, we moderate them to ensure they meet our authenticity standards, contain on-brand content, and do not violate any rules, such as containing profanity or pricing information. If a review passes moderation, we publish it to the corresponding product page at each of your selected retailers and display it in the portal. If it does not pass moderation, the review will not be published, nor will it be displayed in the portal.
You can share reviews between product variants. A product variant is nearly identical to another product in terms of consumer experience, but it has a different SKU or part number. Common variants include color, size, package weight, and quantity per package. Contact Bazaarvoice Client Care if you notice that reviews are not being shared between variants.