Social media allows consumers to take back the wheel when it comes to eCommerce. A recent Bazaar Voice shows that 64 percent of Millennials and 53 percent of Baby Boomers actively share their opinions about brands. Consumers dictate which products and services stick, and which fall to the wayside. Sharing tendencies have developed across multiple social media channels through the popularization of brand focused user-generated content (UGC). Through this, brands have the opportunity to effectively harness customer content on community pages, product detail pages, social media campaigns, giveaways, and contests.
Reason 1: UGC Increases eCommerce Sales
Through the integration of UGC on product detail pages, conversion rates have been seen to increase between five and seven percent. The wave of this trend is building, as many companies are using this tactic to drive higher sales.
- In 2009 Burberry launched the microsite, The Art of the Trench. Site users can upload and comment on pictures of people wearing Burberry products. Since the launch, Burberry’s eCommerce sales have grown 50 percent year-over-year.
- Between 2009 and 2010 Chobani decided to ask its customer base to “share your Chobani love story” by submitting videos and images that praised its yogurt. The UGC was shared on the company’s website, billboards, and other digital media. As a direct result of the campaign, Chobani experienced a 225.9 percent increase in revenue between 2009 and 2010.
- In 2013 Belkin and Lego developed a very popular line of customizable iPhone cases. A unique hashtag and social media sharing page were created so that customers could share the pictures of their new cases. The company then went a step forward and promoted the social page and hashtag on its product detail pages. As a direct result of their UGC campaign, sales rose and brand awareness increased.
Reason 2: UGC Builds Consumer Trust
UGC gives your brand authenticity and reliability. It drives engagement and wins the hearts of your customers by providing an effective social proof. Starbucks’ White Cup Contest in April 2014 is the perfect example of UGC’s ability to create social proofs. During the campaign, Starbucks asked customers across the country to doodle on their Starbucks cups and submit the pictures as entries on Instagram or Twitter. Nearly 4,000 customers responded within the initial three weeks. This strong customer response enhanced the brand’s perception and showed that it was willing to support its customers.
Reason 3: UGC Drives Measurable ROI
At StoryBox, we are able to track the ROI of a UGC campaign via advanced data analytics. Our company uses conversion pixels on our galleries and purchase confirmation pages to track ROI. For example, if someone interacts with one of our company’s online galleries before purchasing a product or service, we are then able to attribute a direct ROI conversion.
Rent the Runway is a prime example of UGC’s ability to deliver measurable ROI results. The company created a user-generated photo gallery, where online shoppers could view the photos of peers rocking the specific look on each relevant product detail page. Interested online shoppers who viewed user-generated photos on the company’s product pages were 200 percent more likely to buy, than those who only viewed the product being worn by a Rent the Runway model.
Linking user-generated content and eCommerce drives an increase in sales, improves customer trust, and builds a foundation for measurable ROI. UGC is an effective marketing tool that should be used throughout 2015 and beyond. Harnessing the power of UGC will help your business reach new levels of success.