How to use UGC to improve customer experience

UGC can be a real magnet for shoppers on your eCommerce site. There are different ways that you can incorporate UGC on your pages in order to cater to shoppers at different stages of their shopping journey. Let’s have a closer look of how UGC can be incorporated onto your online store.

1. Use UGC by influencers to create product awareness

Influencer marketing is gaining traction, as brands and online merchants seek new ways to attract attention to their businesses, using opinion leaders as a proxy for reaching out to new customers. The premise is simple – identify opinion leaders in your product category, get them to try your products and encourage them to share their experiences with their followers. To complete the circle, bring this content to your eCommerce site to let shoppers discover your products through the stories told by the influencers.

This is exactly the strategy used by The Body Shop UK to increase awareness of its new skincare line, bringing UGC video reviews made by influential beauty bloggers straight to its eCommerce site.

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This approach works well when introducing new products as well as promoting best-selling staple items. It’s used by both large global brands and small online merchants

2. Use review-type UGC to convert visitors actively looking to buy

When shoppers are actively weighing in on their options and considering following through on a purchase, the best way to give them a friendly nudge to convert is to provide content that promotes trust and alleviates buyer anxiety. Product reviews produce on average an 18% increase in sales and motivate 63% of shoppers to complete purchases. Paired with visual UGC, they stand as a powerful force to drive conversions on your product pages.

Authentic UGC that showcases how a product has worked for other shoppers can help overcome uncertainty and convince shoppers to buy. Think about adding UGC review videos from YouTube or “before” and “after” photos from Instagram, like Benefit Cosmetics in the example below.

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You can also think “outside the box” and add unboxing videos or comparison videos made by knowledgeable fans to share truly unbiased views on the product and project your confidence in the product as a merchant. In the example below, European sporting goods merchant Sneaker 10 uses this strategy to helps shoppers visualize their purchases better. This makes the online shopping experience as real as possible, much like in physical retail.

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3. Use how-to UGC to help shoppers post-purchases

Truly amazing online shopping experiences take into account not only new visitors, but also those who return to your site for more information after purchasing. UGC can help here as well.

Consumer-made tutorials and demos are very valuable for shoppers, especially when they come in video form. This type of UGC is easy to digest and helps shoppers overcome the fear of using the product incorrectly. Sites like YouTube are overflowing with UGC how-to videos, the demand for which grows 70% year-on-year.

For example, Tassimo UK’s eCommerce site uses UGC how-to demo videos to showcase how to correctly use the brand’s signature coffee machines and how consumers brew their delicious coffee drinks.

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This type of content serves as a memorable reference point for shoppers, prompting them to return to your site whenever they have questions.

What to keep in mind when using UGC in eCommerce

Now that we convinced you that user-generated content can help improve customer experience throughout shopping journey, here are some practical tips to have in mind when you decide to bring UGC to your eCommerce pages.

  • Encourage shoppers to submit UGC. While there’s a ton of user-generated content on social media, it’s also important to let shoppers know that you are welcoming their own content submissions on your site. Make it easy and straightforward for customers to share with other their product reviews, photos and videos on your pages. This way you improve customer experience by opening the gates to communication and feedback with your shoppers and by showing a sincere interest in their satisfaction with the products.
  • Don’t just collect UGC, curate. With so much abundance of UGC, you might be tempted to channel as much content to your pages as possible. The trick, however, is not only to collect, but also make a hand-picked selection of UGC that appears on your site. You want only the best quality content that is aligned with your brand, in order to make a good impression on your visitors.
  • Give credit where needed. Content creators invest time and effort to make those cool user-generates photos and videos you’d like to use on your eCommerce site. So before you jump on the opportunity to add their content, make sure it’s okay with them. Different social media platforms might have different content policies, so just make sure to check your options beforehand.
  • Make sure content loads quickly and correctly. When it comes to customer experience in eCommerce, page load time can make or break customer satisfaction. You don’t want to compromise speed and accuracy for the advantage of having UGC on your pages. Make sure content loads fast and is displayed correctly on your site, including the mobile version of your online store.
  • Analyze what works. It’s not enough to just bring UGC to your eCommerce pages, you also need to know how it performs over time. Do user-generated videos have higher click-through rates than customer photos from Instagram? Do pages with UGC have higher conversion rates than pages without this content? Run tests and experiments to observe what works best for your site and what kind of UGC generates the best response in terms of engagement and sales for your shoppers.

Conclusion

User-generated content can make customer experience on eCommerce sites more authentic, memorable and trustworthy. Share with your customers user-generated photos and videos they’ll enjoy watching and appreciate for helping them stay informed. Try new platforms that can help you streamline the process of discovering, curating, embedding and optimizing UGC on your pages. They’ll help you do UGC right and exceed customer expectations when it comes to online shopping.

About the author

miljana-mitic

Miljana Mitic is the Content Marketing Manager at Goodvidio, a SaaS solution that helps online stores bring the best product videos from social media to their product pages. Miljana has a PhD in social media marketing and writes about how online stores can make the most out of product videos. She loves discovering new restaurants, reading, playing with dogs and watching YouTube haul videos.

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