Belfast fights off stiff competition to secure pivotal project and employment opportunities for the city.
Consumer-generated content and advertising player Bazaarvoice is to create 168 new jobs in Belfast.
The Texas-based company will be making a multimillion-pound investment in a new office in the Northern Irish city.
‘Not only is this great for our ICT sector, [it] will provide excellent employment opportunities for unemployed graduates and experienced staff’
– ALASTAIR HAMILTON
“The new office will house 168 software engineering, sales and customer service staff to help service and grow the company’s UK and European business,” explained Invest NI CEO Alastair Hamilton.
“Once fully operational, this will generate nearly £5.5m annually in salaries into the Northern Ireland economy.”
The consumer’s voice
Hamilton said Invest NI fought off stiff international competition for the project.
“Not only is this great for our ICT sector, [it] will provide excellent employment opportunities for unemployed graduates and experienced staff.”
Bazaarvoice has been offered £1.3m of government support towards the new jobs and skills development.
The company services more than 5,000 customer websites across the UK, Europe and the US, including household names such as Argos, Debenhams, GHD and Philips. It also works with major high-street brands and retailers to provide them with precious insights on consumer purchasing habits, through collecting and analysing consumer-generated content, such as ratings and reviews.
Its customer review software allows retailers and brands to collect and use these reviews – including product ratings, social media posts, photos and video – to influence purchasing decisions, both online and offline. On busy shopping days, such as Black Friday, the Bazaarvoice network is one of the most highly-trafficked in the world.
“This new office will enable us to expand the delivery of cutting-edge software development, provide cost-effective ‘follow the sun’ support to our US and EMEA customers, and to drive customer growth in the UK and Europe,” said Gary Allison, executive vice-president of engineering at Bazaarvoice.
“Our software ensures customer reviews and visual content are valid before they are shared on a retailer’s website, as well as providing valuable information to the retailer on consumer behaviour. We might not be visible to the consumer but we are central to the retail experience, helping brands and retailers use consumer views to build engagement and trust.
“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. We were also impressed by the low staff-turnover rates here.”
Allison added that Bazaarvoice has already begun its recruitment of experienced software professionals and has been impressed with the calibre of the candidates.
“We spent time with Queen’s and Ulster universities, learning how to get the best from their internship and graduate recruitment programmes. I am pleased that we are now able to create significant opportunities for graduates to work in software engineering, client services and sales roles.”