Photo Credit: Shunsuke Miyatake
Marketer: “Magic 8 Ball, will UGC inspire more engagement on my company’s product pages?”
Magic 8 Ball: “All signs point to yes.”
Since the proliferation of online shopping, with services like Amazon, Zappos, and Overstock, consumers and companies alike have gradually shifted toward digital methods of buying and selling goods. At the turn of the century, only 22 percent of Americans had made a purchase online. That number has skyrocketed to 79 percent since then.
For brands selling products, the turn from shopping at the mall towards buying goods online makes the digital shopping cart experience imperative to e-commerce. More and more, companies are looking for ways to differentiate their product pages in an effort to increase engagement and, ultimately, conversions. Injecting your product page with authentic UGC is the best way to increase engagement. In this article, we’ll explain how you can increase conversion rates through this process.
Why is UGC important for product pages?
All online shopping revolves around the concept that the buyer is in control. She can compare prices, reviews, and outlets, without ever taking off her slippers. She wants to see people like herself doing things that she would do. It’s all anyone wants before making a purchase: a clear visualization of yourself using the product. As a company that sells online, you should be willing to surrender this power and give the consumer whatever they need to make that decision.
Shoppers like the trend too. According to Bazaarvoice, “51% of Millennials state that user-generated content (UGC) from strangers is more likely to influence their purchase decisions than recommendations from friends, family, and colleagues.” That says a lot about how we identify with others online. Even a total stranger can inspire you or remind you of yourself and has more influence than your friends and family.
According to the Pew Research Center, 39 percent of online shoppers share their feelings about a transaction experience on social media. Products posted on social media have a significant impact. People make purchases based on what resonates with them, and if they can see a friend using that product, or a read a review of a similar, genuine experience, it makes committing to the purchase that much easier.
Invest in a peanut gallery
As mentioned before, the easiest way to incorporate UGC to your product page is to include a customer review section below the fold. People like reading reviews, and 71 percent of consumers agree that customer reviews truly guide them in the decision-making process. Besides giving your customers a place to share their experience with your product, it also benefits how you conduct business. If a customer leaves a negative review, you can respond directly to that person to remedy the situation. Most importantly though, reviews act as an organic SEO base.
To get the most out of reviews, Search Engine Watch recommends starting a Google My Business Page. It helps boost SEO faster than what the reviews on your site will do. Google ranks this very seriously, and it accounts for 8.4% of SEO ranking. Other reviews on the web point Google in your direction, so include one on your purchasing page as well. More reviews means more UGC. That means more people talk about your product, which in turn establishes credibility.
Pics or it didn’t happen
At the crux of being a skilled marketer is the ability to get inside the head of someone thinking about buying your product. Since you have to do this all the time: from writing blogs, creating an email campaign, or designing your website. Employ that same mindstate when envisioning the moment a customer is about to pull the trigger and make a purchase.
What are the small differences a business can make to assist a customer’s commitment to purchase? UGC is proven to be effective at boosting product page conversions 6.4 percent, yet only 9 percent of B2C companies use it.
Think about the experience. If you are selling a blouse, don’t just include a picture of a free-floating article of clothing. Use a gallery of that blouse in action. That’s the only thing for a customer to go off when shopping online. Brands like ASOS and Urban Outfitters employ this tactic beautifully, making them some of the most successful online apparel retailers in the market.
Here is a screenshot from the Urban Outfitters’ UGC gallery that they include below most products. The posts in the gallery are either the exact same article of clothing or something similar in style. Don’t confuse your shopper with unrelated products.
If not this, then how about that?
Another form of UGC that a lot of marketers and e-commerce specialists brush over is something called collaborative filtering. Amazon.com perfected this method and many companies since have adopted it. Collaborative filtering is the section at the bottom of a product page stating that other shoppers, similar to yourself, also bought or considered buying these items. It serves to guide the visitor to another purchase, or something more suitable if the product they landed on initially was not a fit. It’s considered UGC because it takes actual customers’ buying histories and tendencies and turns it into content used to guide prospects through the buyer’s journey.
Take the online sunglass retailer, Glassy Sun Haters. They’ve positioned their collaborative filter just below a set of social prompts—another way of generating UGC.
Coming up with ideas is the fun part. The next step will be implementing the changes, which will need the assistance of whoever manages the construction of your site. Often times, you will need to contact a UGC specialist that can build a gallery for you. We can help with that part. Detail a plan to the web designers about what you want your changes to result in. They might have functionality adjustments to make that you never thought of.
After you’ve built UGC into your product pages, you will still need a strategy to collect user generated photos, videos, and reviews. Include reminders to share a purchase on social. Brainstorm creative, memorable hashtags that customers will feel inspired to use. After seeing your company’s sleek, influencing UGC layout, they will want share their experience in the hopes of gaining similar recognition. Keep an eye out. You never know when the right piece of content will come your way.
ShareRoot is the most legally secure UGC platform on the market, and it is the only platform that automates the legal agreement process for acquiring rights to user generated photos and videos. If legal is a major concern hindering your UGC efforts, contact us today to learn how you can quickly and legally access rights to user generated content.