84% of shoppers trust reviews as much as a personal recommendation from a friend!
Reviews have long been a gold standard for authenticity and trustworthiness, as they come from other shoppers. In the modern digital age of eCommerce, user-generated content (UGC) has become a critical part of the buyer journey for similar reasons.
For both eCommerce brands and in-store retailers, UGC is key for building trust with shoppers. In this guide, we’ll explain more about what UGC is and how you can leverage it for your business.
What is UGC?
As the name suggests, user-generated content is content created by your customers. As a brand, you create content in the form of ads, photographs, and copy. User-generated content is a broad term that defines anything created by your audience. Some examples include:
- Unboxing photos/stories
- Video reviews
- Video comparisons
- Before and after photos
- Reviews or testimonials
Any content that a consumer creates about your brand or products is a form of UGC. UGC is an extremely powerful tool that you can use to grow your business. Here are some of the top ways it can help.
Higher Customer Satisfaction
All UGC helps shoppers better understand your product. Even negative reviews have key points that can help customers make the best purchasing decision. For example, users could share that the fit of something is slightly too small or too large, guiding future shoppers to size up or down accordingly. Customers may share tips for how they best use the product or overcome an obstacle with it. When customers share details about the pros and cons of your products, they offer realistic expectations that guide future shoppers. This will help shoppers understand how to best use your products, and will boost customer satisfaction while lowering return rates.
Improve Customer Service
UGC is a form of customer feedback, and thus it can help you improve your customer service. For example, if you notice a common complaint or question, you can address it in an FAQ or your product description. You’ll better be able to predict questions that shoppers may have. If you allow other customers to respond to questions, they can also guide shoppers. By accounting for and addressing questions ahead of time, you can reduce the toll on your support team while delivering better customer support.
Improve Your Products
Not only can you use the feedback in UGC to improve your customer service, but you can also use it to improve your products. If customers consistently address a common complaint or concern, it may be something you should address as a brand. While more details in your description or a Q&A can help sometimes, other times it means you should look to improve the actual product.
Getting your website and products to rank on popular search engines or within eCommerce platforms is an ongoing battle. Ratings and reviews are critical components of SEO. Pages with frequently updated content perform better. Adding UGC to your site is an easy way to incorporate keywords and fresh content. Shoppers are the most likely to use natural words and terms that other shoppers use to search for products and brands. UGC is created by real people, so the words and phrases used will best align with your target audience.
UGC is effective online and offline. If you have an in-person location, you can display UGC within your store to engage shoppers. Display photos, reviews, comments, and more via in-store signage or displays. You can still do this with an eCommerce store by displaying relevant UGC on product pages or as (non-invasive) popups while people shop. In-store UGC will boost your trustworthiness and ultimately lead to more purchases.
Boost Your Marketing Strategy
UGC isn’t just for your product pages, it is excellent for your marketing strategy. Include UGC alongside your branded content in your social media marketing, emails, website, and more. Share quotes, pictures, and videos from customers to bolster your marketing efforts. Consumers are 2.4x more likely to find UGC more authentic than branded content.
Build Customer Loyalty
Loyal customers with a high lifetime value are incredibly valuable to your business. Those who are willing to share content about your brand on social media or your website are likely some of your most loyal customers. To strengthen the relationship and inspire loyalty with others, you should make it a partnership. Promoting UGC is a great way to share your appreciation and show your customers they are seen and valued.
Dedicate Time to UGC
UGC should be a key part of your overall business strategy. It’s important to dedicate the time to encourage, engage with, share, and analyze your UGC, and of course, that takes time. With Listing Mirror’s #1 multichannel listing software, you can save time on product listings, order fulfillment, inventory syncing, and warehouse management so you have more time to dedicate to UGC. See the Listing Mirror difference for yourself with your free 14-day risk-free trial. Click the link below to get started!