Retail brand review firm sets up European base in Belfast

Bazaarvoice hopes to create 170 jobs as it looks to expand operations

Bazaarvoice director of software engineering Paul Hill, Invest Northern Ireland chief executive Alastair Hamilton and Bazaarvoice executive vice-president of engineering Gary Allison.

Bazaarvoice director of software engineering Paul Hill, Invest Northern Ireland chief executive Alastair Hamilton and Bazaarvoice executive vice-president of engineering Gary Allison.

 

An American software company which helps brands and retailers to better connect with their customers is to create a new European base in Northern Ireland that is expected to create nearly 170 jobs.

Bazaarvoice provides tools and services that enable retailers and brands to obtain and use authentic shopper-generated reviews to increase their sales.

According to the Nasdaq-listed company, more than 700 million shoppers view and share consumer-generated content about 70 million products in the Bazaarvoice network each month.

On high-volume shopping days, such as Black Friday – the day after the US Thanksgiving holiday – it claims its network is one of the most highly-trafficked in the world.

Gary Allison, executive vice-president of engineering at Bazaarvoice, said on Tuesday that the company, whose customers range from Argos to Space NK, is making the multimillion-pound investment in the North because of its local talent pool.

Low staff turnover

“Northern Ireland was able to offer high-quality technical staff with relevant industry skills, as well as a stable ICT sector, to support our growth plans,” he said, speaking in Belfast. “We were also impressed by the low staff turnover rates here.”

He added: “We have already begun our recruitment for experienced software professionals, and have been very impressed with the quality of the people. We spent time with Queen’s and Ulster universities, learning how to get the best from their internship and graduate recruitment programmes.”

Bazaarvoice believes its new office will help it expand its operations and increase its customer base in the UK and Europe while also providing cost-effective “follow-the-sun” support to its US and EMEA customers.

The company, which is based in Austin, Texas, has been offered £1.3 million of government support for its new Northern Ireland investment.

Alastair Hamilton, chief executive of Invest Northern Ireland, said the majority of the new jobs to be created over the next three years will be technical and that the centre, once fully operational, will generate nearly £5.5 million in annual salaries.

“We fought off stiff competition to secure this project for Northern Ireland. Not only is this great for our ICT sector but will provide excellent employment opportunities for unemployed, graduates and experienced staff,” Mr Hamilton said.