Since language was discovered, people have wanted to share their opinions. Ok, that might be a bit of a general statement, but think about it; you are only two sentences into this blog post and you are already formulating opinions, which is a great thing! It’s an especially great occurrence for consumer-driven businesses that want their customers to advocate on behalf of their brand. User Generated Content (UGC) is the organic marketing solution that encourages customers to share their opinions and experiences, and thus encourage other prospective customers to buy. According to L2 Think Tank, UGC on brand websites can increase conversion by 4 to 7 percent, while simultaneously boosting average order value by 2 percent.
Three Tips to Boosting Average Order Value via User Generated Content (UGC)
We know that you’ve got a lot on your plate, and so we’ll make this next bit as succinct as possible. Generating a higher average order value can be achieved via UGC tactics.
Tip 1: Encourage Customer Reviews
Customer reviews are great. They provide useful information, direct insights into a brand’s product or services, and occasionally a good laugh. Customer reviews also help increase the average order value of a brand’s products. A recent study shows that people trust content created by their peers 50 percent more than other media. In a consumer-driven environment, a customer review is worth its weight in digital gold.
Tip 2: Believe In Social Proof
Social proof (or informational social influence) is the psychological occurrence when a person will assume the actions of another in an attempt to reflect correct behavior. Using social proof can help you to keep customers clicking through as many pages as possible on your site. In short, it is the phenomenon that is partially responsible for link jumping. The more UGC photos and video reviews that a customer can view, the greater their average order value.
ModCloth is a thriving example of using social proof combined with UGC to generate higher average order values. ModCloth features unique stories, styles, and customer anecdotes throughout their entire site. The website is designed to make a user envision themselves in the clothes or accessories. UGC content and models of every body type are advantageously used throughout the site. Additionally, ModCloth has adopted a Pinterest style gallery that makes users feel comfortable, open to trying new products, and resulted in a 37 percent increase in sales from 2012 to 2013.
Tip 3: Repost Your Customer’s Photos
The era of the “share” or “repost” has been born. According to L2 Think Tank’s Instagram 2014 report, 93 percent of the 249 brands surveyed have an active Instagram account. This statistic is a reflection of Instagram’s power to outstrip veteran platforms, embrace its user base, and encourage high engagement levels. Brands can leverage the abundance of UGC on Instagram to boost eCommerce. Instead of using brand images, customer photos can be used to provide organic examples of the various products. These images will create higher engagement levels and are more likely to be shared throughout the social media network, which will promote brand awareness and subsequently generate higher average order values.
In 2014, Lancome produced the very successful #BareSelfie campaign. The campaign dared women to post pictures of themselves without makeup. At it’s onset, 500 photos were submitted with the hashtag within the first two months of the campaign. In addition, the selfie gallery on Lancome’s page had an improved conversion rate of four percent for the brand’s latest serum. In conclusion, UGC can be used on social media platforms to promote brand awareness and indirectly increase conversion rates.
Brands should use UGC to create a comfortable shopping environment for their potential consumers. Customers feel more comfortable when they are able to view customer reviews, as well as customer photos or videos. A higher comfort level can lead to increased sales and a higher average order value. In short, any brand that successfully leverages user generated content can experience the benefits of a customer base that is engaged, connected, and willing to buy brand products or services.