The Most Effective Marketing is Free...User-Generated Content

November 29, 2016 Ainsley Smith 0 Comment

It takes a lot more than just an online store stocked with fabulous products to attract and retain customers and drive sales. Now, it’s more important than ever for eCommerce merchants to produce and share incredible content that combats common customer purchasing fears.

As a retailer, your goal is to convert your browsers into buyers, but this can be tricky if your customers are feeling uneasy about following through making a purchase. This tends to be caused by shoppers feeling unsure about what an item will look like in person or how it will fit. 

Store owners should use this as their window of opportunity to make their customers feel confident about following through with their purchase. Because if a shopper feels assured with their order, you will earn their trust and gain them as a loyal customer. 

One of the easiest ways to gain the trust of your customers is to provide them with authentic and engaging content in the form of user-generated content (UGC).

What is UGC you ask? UGC has quickly become one of the most effective forms of visual and social merchandising, as it leverages the power of authenticity, driving engagement at a much higher rate than a characteristically branded post.

UGC refers to any form of media that has been created by users (customers) and includes everything from images and videos to blog posts and audio files. The key is that it’s been written by a non-professional, an authentic user who simply wants to share their opinion or experience with a brand. Therefore, when a potential customer sees this content they’ll appreciate that it’s authentic and trustworthy.

According to research, 90% of online shoppers read customer product reviews prior to purchasing an item and a whopping 88% of online shoppers incorporate reviews into their purchasing decision. If that’s not impressive enough, 71% of consumers agree that customer reviews make them more comfortable buying a product, while 82% of consumers consider user-generated reviews extremely valuable. 

Incorporating user-generated content in your business plan will provide a number of benefits for consumers and merchants alike. 

Provides Social Proof
If a shopper has never purchased from a retailer before, chances are they will be very skeptical about following through with their purchase. However, if they see that other customers are enjoying and benefiting from this product or service, they are more likely to gravitate toward it and follow through with the purchase.

 user_generated_content_products.png(Goodnight Macaroon)

Builds Trust

Today’s consumers tend to shy away from over the top advertisements, as they fail at providing authentic evidence of how the product works in the real world. One of the easiest ways to ease a customer’s purchasing fears is to provide them with the social proof they need to follow through with making their purchase. Showcasing UGC allows retailers to share photos of real people using their products in the real world. This tends to be more impactful than traditional ad campaigns and helps build trust and credibility. 

urban_outfitters_user_generated_content.png 

 (Urban Outfitters)

Cost Effective
Whether your customers intend to or not, when they post about your brand on social media, they become advocates for it. When consumers post about a brand they’re unpaid and do it simply to share their experience, build a relationship with the brand, or maybe to have a chance of having their content featured. Using this content is incredibly cost effective. With so many high-quality images being generated by your customers, the necessity for staged visual content is negated. 

We all seek out social proof when making purchase decisions. Harness this game-changing content for your eCommerce brand and reap major rewards. 

If you’re using an eCommerce platform like Core Commerce, make sure to take advantage of UGC and you’ll be able to grow and expand your business easier, faster, and cheaper than ever before. 

CoreCommerce is proud to partner with Evocative, a unique platform that allows you to integrate user generated content into your website, with shoppable Instagram galleries! Interested in learning more? Call 1-800-360-2191 Ext. 117, or simply sign up for a free trial to see for yourself how you can leverage your Instagram feed to grow your business!

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