Feature Pack 7: Deprecated featureFeature Pack 5 or later

Bazaarvoice ratings and reviews

Bazaarvoice is a software-as-a-service provider that offers ratings and reviews functionality to their clients. Support for the Bazaarvoice Ratings and Reviews component is included in the Aurora store for Bazaarvoice clients.

Important: The Bazaarvoice integration that is described here is for a previous version of Bazaarvoice Conversations PRR, and is now deprecated, but still supported. Integration for the current version of Bazaarvoice Conversations is now built and supported by Bazaarvoice. For up-to-date integration information and instructions, see Bazaarvoice under IBM Commerce Partner Solutions.
Bazaarvoice integration is an optional feature that adds support for displaying and creating product ratings and reviews in the Aurora starter store. This feature can be included in your store pages when it is enabled and properly configured.
Note: This integration is supported only for the Aurora starter store.
The integration provides the following features:
  • Ratings summaries at the top of the product pages and item pages.
  • Listings of ratings and reviews in a Customer Reviews tab at the bottom of product pages and item pages.
  • Review and comment creation through the Bazaarvoice review submission process with support for multiple authentication modes.
  • Product catalog feed upload to Bazaarvoice.
  • Basic search engine optimization (SEO) support for ratings and reviews, for example, Smart SEO Basic.

Supported Bazaarvoice version

There are two versions of the Bazaarvoice software that offer a Ratings and Reviews component:
  • Bazaarvoice Conversations PRR (legacy offering)
  • Bazaarvoice Conversations (a more recent offering)
The WebSphere Commerce integration included in Feature Pack 5 and higher is supported only if your site uses Bazaarvoice Conversations PRR. The integration is not supported if your site uses Bazaarvoice Conversations.

As of October 2014, Bazaarvoice has released a version of the integration that is compatible with Bazaarvoice Conversations. For details, contact partner-support@bazaarvoice.com for details.

If you have questions about the version of Bazaarvoice that you plan to implement, contact partner-support@bazaarvoice.com.

Integration components

  • Storefront support

    The Bazaarvoice JavaScript library is used in the Aurora JSP files to include ratings and review content in your store pages. A product page is rendered with a ratings summary view at the top of the page. A rating detailed view is rendered at the bottom in the Customer Reviews tab. Write a Review and Reply to options are available for content submission.

    If you enable the site authentication method, the customer is redirected to log in with a WebSphere Commerce account before creating a review. This login process uses a new controller command to handle the redirection. A Bazaarvoice User Authentication String is created with the Bazaarvoice account shared key, which is stored in a new Bazaarvoice transport configuration in the WebSphere Commerce database.

    The Aurora starter store JSP files load and embed small HTML files that contain SEO ratings and review content from a shared directory. The HTML files are populated by the Smart SEO feed tool.

  • Smart SEO feed

    Bazaarvoice makes available a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) representation of the User Generated Content (UGC) because search engines like Google do not index JavaScript rendered content. Bazaarvoice Smart SEO includes the UGC on your pages such that it can be indexed by search engines but is not visible on the storefront.

    Bazaarvoice provides a nightly compressed file (ZIP) that contains small HTML files with Smart SEO content for ratings and reviews that are associated with an account. The compressed file is available for download from the Bazaarvoice account FTP or SFTP site. Bazaarvoice integration includes a tool to handle Smart SEO content. The tool downloads the SEO compressed files and extracts them to a common directory where the files are read and embedded by the storefront JSP files. An administrator must schedule the tool to run nightly by configuring an operating system-specific scheduler.

  • Product catalog feed

    Bazaarvoice requires clients to upload a product catalog feed that contains information about the catalog of the store. This data is used to render the review creation page, enable certain Bazaarvoice products and features, and provide statistical information about reviews through the Bazaarvoice Portal. Bazaarvoice integration includes a tool that extracts the catalog for a store into an XML file. The tool packages the XML file into a ZIP archive, and uploads the archive to your Bazaarvoice FTP or SFTP site. An administrator must schedule the tool to run nightly by configuring an operating system-specific scheduler.

    Note: Only full product catalog feed upload is supported by default. Bazaarvoice has a limit of 750,000 products with full product catalog feed. You can create your own delta product catalog feed creation tool if you exceed this number.
    Note: If the feed fails, it is recorded in a log file and Bazaarvoice sends an email to alert the issue. The feed does not attempt to import a second time.

    The Product Catalog feed contains category and product information. Along with this information, Bazaarvoice has three non-standard catalog parameters in its data feed that are not configured by default on a WebSphere Commerce product. These parameters are ISBN, EAN, and UPC. Bazaarvoice recommends including at least one of these parameters to be defined when you intend to syndicate review content throughout the Bazaarvoice Network. Contact your Bazaarvoice representative for more details.

Catalogs and extended site support

  • Bazaarvoice integration includes support for extended-sites. Each extended-site must be configured to use a separate Bazaarvoice account.
  • Support is provided for products, category-level SKUs, and packages or static kits.
  • Support is provided for master catalogs.

Multiple language support

Bazaarvoice integration supports multiple languages through specification of a displaycode, which consists of an alphanumeric component, the root displaycode, and a four letter locale. For example: 1234-en_us. Each Bazaarvoice account is set up with one or more display codes. Each display code supports a primary locale and zero or more secondary locales. Secondary locales are used to get reviews from similar locales to display on the same page, such as en_us and en_gb.

In situations where an extended-site is configured with multiple supported languages, the extended-site uses a single Bazaarvoice account. This situation requires the Bazaarvoice account to be set up in a Bazaarvoice single-folder configuration. Contact your Bazaarvoice representative for more details.

A separate Smart SEO feed archive is provided for each displaycode. All Smart SEO feed archives for an account are downloaded and extracted at once using the Smart SEO feed tool.


The following limitations exist in the Bazaarvoice integration:

  • The SEO support does not include support for the Bazaarvoice Advanced Inline Paging or Advanced Interactive Archive feature.
  • Follow up emails to ask for reviews are not supported. An order feed must be provided to Bazaarvoice to enable this functionality.
  • The product catalog feed tool does not provide support for incremental feeds. The tool supports uploading only a full catalog feed.
  • The product catalog feed tool has a limit of 750,000 products. The limit is not enforced by code. If you need to exceed this amount, you can create your own product catalog feed creation tool. Use the product catalog feed scripts as a starting point.
  • Bazaarvoice does not provide full support for accessibility. Contact Bazaarvoice for their statement on accessibility.
  • The pre-configured product catalog feed does not have support for the Bazaarvoice Product Families concept, which is used for sharing reviews across items in the family.
  • Facebook Like integration through Bazaarvoice is not supported. Use the Facebook Like button integration from WebSphere Commerce instead. Sharing reviews to Facebook or Twitter through Bazaarvoice Social Bookmarking is supported, however.
The following WebSphere Commerce limitations exist in the integration:
  • Reviews are not WebSphere Commerce search-enabled and ratings do not show in the WebSphere Commerce Solr index.
  • The Bazaarvoice Facebook and Twitter Social Bookmarking feature does not integrate with the WebSphere Commerce Facebook and Twitter integration feature.
  • There is no precision marketing integration. The Social Commerce trigger and target are not connected to the new Bazaarvoice ratings and review support.
  • Ratings or review statistics are not displayed inline on category pages.
  • The My Account page does not provide a link to a customer's reviews.
  • Sales catalogs are not supported; only master catalogs are included in the product catalog feed.