4 top benefits of using user‑generated content with e‑commerce marketing

UGC for e-commerce site

Pssst, I’ll share you a secret: when customers share images and images about your products in a real-life context, it is very foreseeable that those are liked and commented by their friends and peers.

Okay, I’m sure you’re aware of that but how does user-generated content benefit e‑commerce? What are the actual advantages for e‑commerce marketers?

Here are the top four benefits why you should display user‑generated content on your e‑commerce site:

  1. UGC creates social proof

  2. User-generated content improves social media engagement and reach

  3. Increase the amount of inspirational content by becoming a smarter content curator.

  4. UGC and shoppable Instagram feeds boost sales

1. UGC creates social proof

Remember the last time your friend or a colleague recommended a product to you, or when you watched an unboxing video by your favourite YouTuber? How did you feel?

Were you as annoyed as you are when a pile of generic ad pamphlets appears on your doorstep?

That’s what I thought.

When it comes to marketing and sales, word-of-mouth is always more efficient than direct ads. People trust people, not logos. By adding user‑generated content into your webshop, you can showcase the products in actual use; not just in stylish flat lay photos (not to say there’s anything wrong with those either). 

Hashtag campaign on a website

Also, user‑generated content makes people feel like they’re part of a community. Often when we buy clothes, say a hoodie or the latest Apple gadget, we use the product to build and bring forth our identity. When you’re thinking about buying a specific sweater, you’re often wondering whether you actually need it, but you’re also contemplating whether you want to be the kind of person who wears it. For creating a sense of belonging inside your webshop, UGC is undoubtedly the most effective solution.

2. User-generated content improves social media engagement and reach

When more and more companies enter the jungle known as the social media, it’s clear that the competition for attention is getting fierce. Those in the know about new channels or the latest features of existing ones might have an advantage short term, but the more popular the new channels get, the more difficult it is to stand out.

Have you noticed your organic reach going down yet? Many of us have.

Social media algorithms to prioritise content from our friends and family, thus decreasing the visibility of branded content.

How to increase the reach? Let me share three tips and tactics that you can start using today without a big budget:

Tip #1: Ask your customers to share their experience with friends and mention your Facebook page, Instagram profile or X (formerly Twitter) account. The algorithms of social channels prioritise content that is getting likes and comments and what would be more likeable and engaging than a selfie with the new dress or shoes your customer just bought? 

A postcard by JAK, a Portuguese fashion brand, asking their customers to share an image of the shoes they just bought

Tip #2: Repost the content shared by your customers. Highlighting and promoting the content from your customers is an effective way to increase the number of followers and build a community around your brand. Buffer, a social media management tool, has been using this tactic to great success – by reposting the best user‑generated content, they increased the number of Instagram followers by 400% in one year!

Tip #3: Launch an influencer marketing campaign with employees, celebrities and the most engaged customers. With the rise of ad blockers and the decline in traditional media consumption, it’s easy to predict influencer marketing growing importance.

3. Increase the amount of inspirational content

A common challenge for marketers is to keep producing high quality, relevant content on a consistent basis. Customers expect companies to be active on their favourite social channels, and marketers feel overwhelmed at times – there’s a limit to budget and resources available for content creation and social media engagement.

That’s where user-generated content comes to play.

I can hear some of you whispering to me: we don’t have user-generated content, and we have no idea how to get started.

Don’t worry; you are in safe hands. We help our clients to solve that problem daily. Here’s a two-step approach on how to get content from your customers:

First, contact some of your key customers and interview them how they initially came across to your product, what was the pain point they were looking to solve, and how your product helped them to address the issue – in other words, how your product has made their life better. Then use the interview content to create customer statements and display them on your e‑commerce site.

Second, add a call-to-action asking your customers to provide feedback on social channels mentioning your user account or Page. Place the call-to-action straight next to the reviews you gathered from interviews and start curating and displaying the feedback from social media channels alongside.

Worktop Express displays a feed of user-generated content on their website to increase conversion rates.

4. UGC and shoppable Instagram feeds boost sales

If you are not convinced yet, this should move the needle for good: user-generated content boosts conversion rates!

A social media feed on a website with authentic images and videos from your customers increases time spent on site and adds social proof.

The conversion rate is always business and context specific; the purpose of displaying the social content on your webshop is to encourage the customer to take action and purchase your product.

Sohome’s webshop is a perfect example. On the homepage the 'Shop the look' element features their favourite customer-generated content.

Shop the look element on webshop

When you click any of the images and videos, a popup shows social proof and the related product – with the 'Buy now' button of course!

User-generated content tagged with a product on the E-commerce site

Can you imagine more powerful conversion boosters than shoppable Instagram feeds for your online store?

With Flockler, you can gather and display social media feeds from your favourite channels. See the full list of supported content types and sources

Flockler helps marketers like you to create social media feeds and display user-generated content on any digital service. Keep your audience engaged and drive sales.

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