Innovative ways to cultivate customer content and boost conversions

You’ve probably heard that User Generated Content (UGC) is one of the most authentic ways to impress new shoppers while engaging your most loyal customers. UGC can include any kind of user created media; from text reviews, product photos and videos.

While collective UGC is often low-cost or even free since customers submit content voluntarily, the returns can be astronomical. 92% of consumers will trust a recommendation from friends and family over branded messaging, and 77% of consumers say that authentic photos from customers impact their buying behaviour more than professional, branded photos.

But how do you acquire UGC? Here are our top strategies for collecting fresh customer content for your ecommerce store:

  • Request reviews in post-purchase emails
  • Reward UGC with loyalty program points
  • Put your customers in the spotlight

 

Request reviews in post-purchase emails

Authentic reviews help smooth any hesitations a shopper may have about clicking “add to cart,” by showing them how other people similar to them were happy with the product. If you want to cultivate more on-site reviews – just ask! The most straightforward way to do this is with a post-purchase email. After a customer has received your product and had the time to try it out, send them an email asking them to submit a review.

There is an art to sending the perfect post-purchase email, and it depends on your particular industry.

Reward UGC with loyalty program points

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46% of shoppers who are members of loyalty programs say that points are an important part of their buying choices. Those same shoppers would love the opportunity to earn more points by submitting authentic content like reviews or product photos. Beauty retailer 100%Pure offers an extensive loyalty program, including points for UGC like reviews as well as loyalty tiers.

This practice both cultivates valuable customer created content which can attract new shoppers, and engages loyal customers by encouraging them to further participate in the brand’s community. Remember, repeat customers are 9 times more likely to convert than first-time shoppers!

Put your customers in the spotlight

For many brand fans, just being recognized by their favourite product line is incentive enough to submit content. By displaying UGC prominently on your website, and featuring loyal and happy customers, it inspires your followers to get involved so they can be in the spotlight, too.

For example, aspirational luxury brand Burberry created an entire section of their website, called “The Art of the Trench” that features only user-submitted photos of customers in their trenchcoats.

Within the first year of the site’s launch, it garnered 7.5 million page views per month, reaching 13 million two years later, with interest remaining strong as the UGC collection grew. Each photo includes a link to the featured trench for purchase, and conversion rates from the spotlighted UGC were significantly higher than Burberry’s average.

 

Key takeaways

  • Always send post-purchase emails requesting reviews, and make sure those emails are tailored according to send times and style depending on your industry.
  • Leverage your rewards program to inspire new UGC, and remember that nearly half of your program members consider points when making their purchasing decisions.
  • Show off your UGC, because UGC begets UGC (and greatly boosts conversion rates) Customer photo galleries are a great way to recognize your customers and attract new ones.

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