How many types of UGC can you name in 15 seconds? There are Instagram photos. Tweets. Facebook posts. Pins. YouTube videos. Snapchat stories…
Now name the ones that you can use effectively to grow your ecommerce sales. It’s tougher now, isn’t it? Well, fear not, in this post we’ll talk about the types of UGC you can use to boost your ecommerce sales.
Why Do You Need UGC in Ecommerce?
It used to be that what happened on social media stayed on social media. But the times have changed. The content consumers share on their social feeds doesn’t live there permanently. If it’s a truly stunning photo or inspirational post about a product or brand, you’d want to be a part of that conversation and tie it to your own marketing efforts.
The benefits that UGC brings to ecommerce are manyfold. On the surface level:
- UGC helps stand out in the sea of over-produced branded content;
- The creativity of UGC often surpasses that of brands with large marketing budgets;
- It helps consumers relate to the brand in a more down-to-earth way while also being inspirational;
- It’s a powerful testimony to brand’s values and act as a strong social proof;
- It gives reassurance when it comes to risky, complex or impulse purchases.
On a deeper level, UGC delivers also measurable benefits, especially in relations to conversion rate optimization and SEO. For example, 25% of search results for the world’s largest consumer brands are some types of UGC. This means that content created by fans and influencers helps people discover new products or labels.
UGC can also be “contagious” – consumers who encounter UGC in their shopping journey are more likely to purchase the products they read about or spot in photos and videos. According to data by Yotpo, conversion rates increase on average 161% in different product categories when consumers have a chance to interact with UGC as part of their online shopping experience.
How Different Types of UGC Help Boost Ecommerce Sales
1. YouTube Videos
YouTube has grown a long way since cat videos. (Don’t worry, they’re still there!) It’s now one of the top go-to places for videos that not only entertain, but also educate about brands, products, and services.
UGC takes up 32% of the top content on YouTube, surpassing brand content, which is at only 17%. People prefer to watch regular folk talk candidly about products and brands, rather than watch celebrities in paid video campaigns. UGC videos such as how-to tutorials, reviews, hauls, favorites of the months, and unboxing enjoy tremendous popularity on YouTube. UGC videos generate hundreds of thousands and even millions of views in a record time.
How is this relevant to ecommerce? UGC videos are a valuable addition to any ecommerce merchandising strategy. They help paint a richer story about a product, answer common questions and concerns, and address the uncertainty of buying unknown brands or products online.
When brands and ecommerce stores use UGC videos directly on their sites, visitors stay longer, engage with more pages, and are more likely to buy. Data from Goodvidio shows that add-to-cart conversion rate increases on average by 80% when visitors have a chance to watch a combination of brand and UGC videos on ecommerce sites.
2. Instagram photos
When it comes to selling products online, seeing is believing. Nothing beats having a visual proof of product’s goodness, created and shared by real flesh-and-blood people. UGC photos open up a great potential for ecommerce.
63% of consumers in the US and 66% in the UK say they trust customer photos more than images made by brands or retailers. When UGC photos from Instagram are introduced to product pages, conversion rate increases 2.5-4 times, depending on the product in question.
Why are UGC photos so effective? They give context. Shoppers don’t have to imagine how they could pair the sports shoes with their athletic wear or how a lipstick will look on their skin tone. UGC photos from Instagram will show them clearly how a product fits into different lifestyles and conditions so they can decide whether to buy it.
3. Product reviews and customer testimonials
While visual UGC is at the top of the list of the types of UGC that help increase ecommerce sales, good old product reviews are still effective. Customer reviews and testimonials are true-and-tested method to increase credibility in ecommerce and give shoppers an assurance they’ll love the products if they buy them.
Product reviews help create a more intimate understanding of product. 88% of US consumers trust online reviews as much as recommendations made by people in their circle. Reviews written by real customers in a genuine tone are trusted 12 times more than even the most detailed product description made by a manufacturer.
Product reviews can make or break the intent to purchase. 46.6% of consumers say they are most likely to read reviews on an ecommerce site right before clicking the add-to-cart button. Only 18% read reviews before actually landing on an ecommerce site. This means that reviews can directly influence ecommerce sales.
4. Social media posts
So far we talked about the types of UGC that work effectively at generating sales once shoppers already land on an ecommere site. But what about the moment before they visit your site? UGC can be very useful at creating awareness for the brand, product, or online store.
UGC includes pretty much everything that people create and share online. This means not only photos, videos, and reviews, but also comments, social mentions, tweets, pins… How do these types of UGC relate to ecommerce? For instance, 93% of Pinterest users use the platform to discover and buy new things. A tweet coming from a regular person praising a product or a brand can be far more effective at creating interest than elaborate ads.
Can it help you generate extra ecommerce sales? Absolutely. 92% of consumers trust recommendations of strangers online over branded content. Use the social buzz about your brand and products to amplify the awareness of your business. Think of it as free publicity. It can help you draw traffic to your site and create new channels of how consumers come to buy on your site.
When consumers see companies engage with their comments, tweets, photos, and other UGC, they perceive the brand in a more humanized way. This brings you one step closer to closing a sale.
Do a bit of research about the types of UGC that dominate the discussion about your products. If Instagrammers love to share snaps of how they wear and style your products, bring this content to your site. If YouTube is full of videos where people share clever uses of your products, make sure to include this content on your pages as well.
Don’t let your UGC go to waste – make the most of it!