Imagine you're at an expensive gourmet restaurant for lunch.
As soon as your order is served...
You immediately notice how delicious the food looks.
You can't help but to take your phone out and take a picture.
Tap, tap, tap … hit upload.
Aaaand it's now on social media!
BAM! — That's user-generated content.
User-generated content is any content generated by well... your users AND customers.
You've probably seen it everywhere around social media.
It actually comes in a lot of different forms such as:
- Social media content like pictures, videos, comments, etc.
- Product reviews or testimonials
- Forum and discussion threads
Gone are the days were brand owners like us have full control over our messaging.
And the times where customers rely only on official sources.
Now customers rely on other people's experiences shared via product reviews or testimonials, social media, podcasts, forums, and so much more.
And that's the future of ecommerce rate optimization.
That's probably why you're here.
You're just dying to know how to increase conversion rate ecommerce.
And you've come to the right place because today we'll dig deeper into how your ecommerce CRO can increase by using user-generated content.
We've listed 10 guaranteed ways that you should try. (Stay tuned to know more about it.)
But before that, let me tell you first...
How UGC Can Increase Your Ecommerce Conversion Rate?
1. Builds Trust With Customers
Everybody wants to be included — in parties, friend groups, and even in ecommerce brands.
UGC creates a sense of exclusivity. It makes your customers feel like they belong to your brand.
And when they feel that they belong to your brand, they will begin to trust you.
Did you know that 92% of consumers say they trust earned media? Earned media are recommendations from friends and family. They trust that more than any form of advertising!
To top it off, UGC also...
2. Increases Brand Awareness Through Social Media Reach
Have you ever reposted a customer's photo of your product?
You get to keep in touch with them. And what's more? Your brand gets exposure to a greater audience. That's a part of your brand engagement.
With UGC, social channels see a 28% rise in their engagement rate than standard brand posts. The more people engage with you, the more new users will know your brand.
Need more info? Here's another one:
3. Has A Positive Effect on SEO
I don't need to tell you how crucial it is to be at the top of Search Engine Result Pages. 51% of shoppers start their product hunt on search engines.
This brings you high-quality traffic. And that traffic is crucial to your ecommerce CRO.
What's the key to being on the first page of search engines? A dedicated SEO.
UGC heavily influences SEO. In fact, 25% of search results for the world's 20 largest brands are links to user-generated content.
So what does all this bring you?
4. Increases Ecommerce Conversion Rate
What is a good ecommerce conversion rate? Relativity aside, the global average falls between 1% and 4%. You can totally achieve a higher average with UGC.
People are bound to interact with your brand more if you stick with these three things. Build trust, increase brand awareness, and show authenticity. UGC increases conversions by 10% when included in the online purchase path.
If you're not correctly using your UGCs, you're missing out.
10 Actionable And Solid Ways To Leverage User-Generated Content
This will help increase your conversion rate. Here's how it works:
1. Showcase UGC on the Product Page
Whenever I shop online, the first thing I look for is the reviews.
Are there photos from previous purchases? What about videos for a better perspective?
I search for them because the users are objective in their opinion. Did you also know that 85% of consumers say online reviews are important when making a purchase?
Another good way of implementing UGC on your ecommerce store is a dedicated review page. Look how Debutify Reviews does it:
Very powerful, eh?
Speaking of reviews...
2. Leverage Rich Snippets
Those little yellow stars sure do look good on your website. You know where it would look even better?
On the first page of the Search Engine Results Page,
The boxed-in above are Rich Snippets. These are Google search results with additional data displayed. They come in the form of reviews, recipes, music, etc...
Aren't they eye-catching than typical results? Standing out on the page leads to increased Click-Through-Rate. This means more traffic for your store!
Not only that, it shows social proof — you can attract more customers as your ecommerce store looks trustworthy.
Another way of showcasing social proof is through...
3. Highlight Social Proof On Ads
As you scroll through your newsfeed, I'm sure you do the same as I do: scroll past ads and branded content.
Why? Ads seem impersonal when you are scrolling through your friends' posts.
While people ignore branded content, social ads with UGC show social proof and relatability. It stops your audience from scrolling further!
It also easily optimizes your ads. Brands with user-generated content see a 4x increase in click-through rates. Furthermore, UGC leads to a 50% drop in cost-per-click and cost-per-acquisition.
Where else can you utilize your UGCs? You can...
4. Include UGC In Your Email Marketing Campaign
Closing the deal is a tricky thing. The average cart abandonment rate is a staggering 69%.
Why not further convince your customers with UGC? Incorporate UGC on your abandoned cart emails. This will encourage them to finish their checkout. Use everything on your arsenal! You can:
- Highlight user testimonials in your email marketing campaigns.
- Include customer photos and videos along with sale alerts and coupons.
- Put in customers' positive reviews within your email content.
Yes, UGC gets you more email subscribers. And it will also increase your email campaign's conversion rate.
Of course, we can't leave out your social media campaign. Go ahead and...
5. Fill Your Social Media Feed With UGC photos
People visit Instagram for entertainment. Keeping your feed that is all about business and no fun can be off-putting.
UGC will change that. Photos and videos of your previous customers create an impact on potential customers. It allows them to see what your product really looks like.
Let's take a look at Herschel's Instagram feed.
The post highlights two things:
- The customer's needs and testimonial about the product
- Photo of her using the bag.
The idea here is for UGC to help customers visualize themselves using your product. This will then persuade them to buy.
One more thing: Don't forget to use the on-site shoppable Instagram feed. When your customers click the tag, it will directly lead them to your ecommerce website. It also helps out with your mobile ecommerce CRO.
6. Create Special Content For The Holiday Season
The holiday season will be the peak time for you to engage with your customers. 64% of consumers plan to do more of their holiday shopping online.
So get creative! Create holiday-based themes for your marketing campaign. That includes your ecommerce store itself, emails, and social media postings.
Focus your UGCs around it, too. It creates a unique presence for your brand, and your audience can enjoy them.
Maybe you're familiar with Starbucks' holiday campaign.
For the holidays, Starbucks customers decorate their cups. They post it on their social media platforms with the hashtag #RedCupArt. Then, Starbucks featured UGCs on their platforms and website.
How did they find the proper UGCs to feature? It's through a contest.
7. Launch Social Media Contest
Below is an example of a previous Starbucks contest.
The coffee company encouraged their customers to decorate their cups. They called it the White Cup Contest. And the prize? Their design gets printed on a limited edition reusable cup.
And it was a huge success. Their social community posted their art on Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. In three weeks, they received almost 4,000 entries. That's 4,000 cups of coffee!
Social media contests are a definite way to increase your brand's visibility. And clearly, it can increase conversion, too.
So, how did they collect awesome UGCs? With the use of a hashtag, of course: #WhiteCupContest.
Speaking of hashtags...
8. Brand Your Social Media Hashtag
What do these hashtags have in common? They're all branded hashtags. Oh, and they're also successful campaigns.
Creating your hashtags strengthens your customer engagement. Your customers just KNOW they need to use your hashtag when they post.
Yes, your audience can use them for posts, but not only that. You can incorporate it with events, contests, product launches, and cross-channel discussions.
Here are some tips when creating your branded hashtag:
- Keep it simple. Make sure it's specific and short. It's easier to remember and easy to spell.
- Make it unique. A creative hashtag should still be relevant but different enough to intercede with the competition.
- Make it catchy. Catchy hashtags encourage people to use it.
Trust me, it's all worth it. Need proof?
Let's look at Aerie's UGC-driven campaign. They used the #AerieReal to motivate their customers. The goal of their audience? To post unedited photos of themselves wearing Aerie bathing suits.
A UGC with a simple, unique, and catchy branded hashtag increases the engagement rate. So far, #aeriereal has 333K posts on Instagram. And numbers don't lie!
Do you know who also uses branded hashtags? Influencers. Make sure to...
9. Utilize Influencer Marketing
Brands that sell online rely on the guidance of influencers.
They can either propel or hinder your brands' outreach. When utilized right, it also helps with brand recall.
Reach out to influencers and offer them free products samples. In exchange. they can create a photo or a thorough video review.
Why not feature them on your Shopify store? Include their video reviews or unboxing on your product pages.
Not only is it reassuring, but also refreshing. It's worth it as it's a new way to boost conversions.
To top it all off...
10. Build an Online Community for Customers
Here's a top-secret answer on how to increase conversion rate: Ecommerce stores that have online communities get the best return of investment.
Online communities generate 6,469% ROI for their marketing efforts. Yes, you read that right. It's in thousands.
And gets this: customers have spent 19% more after becoming members of a brand's online community.
An online community is a group of people with a shared interest in your brand. They interact with each other online.
See how Shopify does it:
Shopify created a separate space on their website. In this space, users can discuss their reviews, testimonials, and more. And just look at the number of members on it!
Why not implement this strong strategy on your Shopify store?
- Identify your purpose for building an online community. It has to fit the need of your customers.
- Choose a community platform. You can start with your Instagram account. To level it up, use Debutify to showcase your IG feed on your website's community page. (You can also use Debutify's Instagram feed add-on to flaunt your IG feed on your store's product pages and homepages. Awesome, right?)
- Set your Code of Conduct along with Community Guidelines.
- Promote your community. Underscore it on your email marketing. Partner with influencers to bring attention. Make it a point for your ecommerce marketing strategy!
User-Generated Content Is By The Customers, For the Customers
Here's another fact: Customers are less trusting of brands than they used to be. The less trust, the less revenue.
What's the bottom line?
UGC builds your brand to a whole new level. It allows you to fully connect with your customers. And most importantly, it skyrockets your conversions.
Taking advantage of user-generated content is a powerful tool that is already in your arsenal.
Add more to your arsenal!
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