Boost Ecommerce Sales

How to Boost Ecommerce Sales with User-Generated Content

Last Updated on 17th Apr, 2024

In the world of ecommerce, standing out from the competition is critical to driving sales. With so many online stores to choose from, consumers need a reason to buy from you specifically. One of the most effective ways to boost ecommerce sales with user-generated content (UGC) is by leveraging this valuable asset. UGC not only helps to build trust and credibility with potential customers but also provides a powerful way to showcase your products in action, ultimately leading to increased sales and revenue.

UGC refers to any content that your customers create themselves, like ratings, reviews, photos, videos, and more. By incorporating UGC into your ecommerce strategy, you can build trust and credibility with potential buyers. Studies show that up to 68% of consumers trust UGC just as much as content coming directly from the brand.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore ten proven ways to use UGC to boost ecommerce sales and conversions. Let’s get started!

  • Showcase Customer Reviews
  • Incorporate Customer PhotosGather Video Testimonials
  • Incorporate UGC Into Email Campaigns
  • Curate UGC For Your Website
  • Repurpose UGC For Paid Ads
  • Incentivize UGC Creation
  • Optimize UGC For SEO
  • Feature UGC In Your Packaging
  • Monitor and Address Negative UGC

1. Showcase Customer Reviews

Customer reviews are the most well-known type of user-generated content. According to surveys, over 70% of consumers look at product reviews before making a purchase decision. Even just a few reviews can massively boost consumers’ trust in your brand.

To leverage reviews for higher conversions:

  • Make the review section highly visible on each product page. Place it near the top or alongside the product description.
  • Pull out and showcase your highest-rated or most helpful reviews at the top. This builds immediate social proof.
  • If you have a low number of reviews, launch an incentive program asking customers to leave feedback after purchase. Offer a coupon code or sweepstakes entry in return.
  • Consider using a review generation and curation tool like Yotpo or Bazaarvoice. These ecommerce tools make it easy to manage and display reviews.
  • Respond professionally to any negative feedback. This reassures future customers that you address issues.

The more quality reviews you can amass and prominently display, the greater the trust and conversion rates you’ll earn.

2. Incorporate Customer Photos

Detailed product photos from the brand are great, but genuine customer photos are even better. User-generated visuals like these help prospective buyers understand how an item looks and feels in real life.

Here are some tips for showcasing UGC photos:

  • Enable customer photo uploads on product pages. Make it easy to submit images during or after purchase.
  • Curate the highest-quality shots that best represent your product. Ensure proper lighting, framing, and clarity.
  • Intersperse UGC images between your professional photos in the gallery. This adds authenticity.
  • Share new batches of customer photos regularly on social media and in email campaigns.
  • Source visual UGC through branded hashtags on Instagram or TikTok. Re-share the best content.
  • Run a user-generated photo contest with prizes for top images. This incentivizes submissions.
  • Add attribution-like usernames whenever possible. This gives customers recognition for contributing.

Compelling customer images provide unbiased visual proof of your products in action. This visibility from other buyers enables potential customers to picture themselves using the products, spurring purchases.

3. Gather Video Testimonials

While written reviews and photos are impactful, video testimonials take UGC to the next level. Hearing satisfied customers speak candidly on camera about their experience lends immense credibility.

Follow these best practices for video testimonials:

  • Identify enthusiastic customers who would give insightful feedback on camera. Offer them compensation or a coupon code in return.
  • Shoot testimonials that feel authentic. Avoid overly scripted videos that seem fake or promotional.
  • Upload videos to your product pages, YouTube, and website homepage. Ensure high visibility.
  • Pull out powerful quotes from each video and overlay them as text. This captures attention.
  • Share new testimonial videos regularly through email, social posts, and paid ads.
  • Repurpose the raw testimonial footage into additional assets like social clips or even TV commercials.
  • Cover a diverse range of real customers. Feature different genders, ages, backgrounds, and locations.

Video testimonials humanize your brand and build an emotional connection with shoppers. Seeing and hearing from fellow customers provides compelling social proof that sways purchase decisions.

4. Incorporate UGC Into Email Campaigns

Email marketing presents a prime opportunity to infuse user-generated content. Whether you’re promoting new arrivals, sales, or abandoned carts, adding UGC can spike engagement and conversions.

Some creative ways to use UGC in emails:

  • Create an “Our Customers” section showing curated reviews, tweets, images, or videos.
  • Add customer photos displaying how they styled or used your products.
  • Include the social media handles of customers in images to give them a “shoutout.”
  • Quote flattering extracts from positive reviews in your email copy.
  • Build an entire campaign around customer testimonials about your top products.
  • Send a “We Miss You” promo email with UGC to re-engage lapsed customers.

The familiarity of recognizing other real customers gives your emails a more relatable, authentic vibe. This captures attention amid crowded inboxes, driving more clicks and purchases.

5. Curate UGC For Your Website

Your website is your brand’s digital hub, so it’s crucial to infuse UGC throughout the site experience. When visitors instantly see social proof from customers, it builds familiarity and trust.

Some impactful ways to display UGC onsite include:

  • Featuring curated customer photos and videos on the homepage.
  • Creating a “Customer Stories” page showcasing in-depth reviews and testimonials.
  • Letting positive reviews flow into site-wide widgets and badges as they come in.
  • Adding an Instagram widget to showcase your best UGC dynamically.
  • Using brief customer quotes and attributed photos in banners across the site.
  • Creating a user-generated video reel on the site header that loops continually.
  • Building dedicated spaces like a review hub or “Wall of Love” for all UGC assets.

Refreshing your UGC displays regularly gives repeat visitors new authentic content. The prominence across your site also leaves no doubt that real customers love your brand.

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6. Repurpose UGC For Paid Ads

You’re likely investing heavily in paid ads through platforms like Facebook and Google to reach buyers. The competitive landscape demands high-performing, attention-grabbing ads. This is where UGC comes in.

Repurposing user-generated assets in your paid ads can dramatically boost performance. For example:

  • Use genuine customer photos in place of stock imagery.
  • Pull powerful quotes from reviews for copy and overlays.
  • Turn video testimonials into social and YouTube pre-roll ads.
  • Leverage UGC from brand evangelists on Instagram as creatives.
  • Create customized UGC ads for lookalike audiences modeled after past buyers.
  • Retarget site visitors with ads featuring UGC from the pages they browsed.

The authenticity and social proof of accurate user content cuts through the noise. UGC ads also feel less intrusive in sales, driving higher engagement rates and conversions from cold traffic.

7. Incentivize UGC Creation

Of course, compelling user-generated content doesn’t create itself. You’ll need to motivate happy customers to take action and contribute. Some proven ways to do this include:

  • Emailing requests for reviews, photos, and testimonials with direct submission links.
  • Running incentivized referral, giveaway, and review programs through platforms like Yotpo.
  • Sponsoring user-generated contests for the best photos featuring your product.
  • Giving discounts for submitting reviews or other UGC.
  • Featuring and recognizing top contributors on your website and social media.
  • Collaborating with brand evangelists and micro-influencers to co-create UGC assets.

The more customers you can incentivize to participate, the more content you’ll amass. Constantly refresh this by reaching out to your newest buyers. Over time, UGC should flow steadily and with minimal effort.

8. Optimize UGC For SEO

Populating your ecommerce site with UGC doesn’t just influence customers. It also sends positive signals to Google, improving your SEO rankings.

Be sure to optimize UGC for search engines by:

  • Using target keywords naturally in customer review titles, quotes, image captions, etc.
  • Writing compelling meta descriptions for UGC pages that include keywords.
  • Adding structured data markup to reviews and testimonials to validate their authenticity.
  • Ensuring alt text on UGC photos and videos includes descriptive keywords.
  • Using UGC in content upgrades like buyer’s guides that get indexed by search engines.
  • Sourcing visual assets with branded hashtag campaigns that contain keywords.
  • Linking to UGC assets internally from other onsite pages whenever possible.

When you optimize authentic user content with keywords, it signals to Google that those terms accurately describe your products and brand. Higher rankings become much easier to achieve.

9. Feature UGC In Your Packaging

Even product packaging presents opportunities to boost UGC sales. Consider adding elements like:

  • A packaging insert showcasing social media content from happy customers.
  • Pull quotes from top reviews printed directly onto boxes or bags.
  • A peel-off sticker with a branded hashtag, motivational caption, or user-generated photo.
  • A QR code that leads to an engaging mobile UGC display.
  • A co-branded collaboration with an influencer.

These unexpected UGC touches build excitement before purchase and make unboxing more memorable. They also provide shoppers with post-worthy content to continue fueling UGC.

10. Monitor and Address Negative UGC

No brand is immune to the occasional negative review or damaging user-generated content. However, reasonable negative feedback shared constructively can actually enhance a brand’s credibility and trustworthiness.

Best practices for managing negative UGC include:

  • Monitoring brand mentions frequently across review sites, social media, and forums.
  • Responding swiftly and transparently to negative feedback with appreciation and an action plan.
  • Offering dissatisfied customers additional assistance or compensation for significant issues.
  • Flagging and requesting removal of fraudulent, abusive, or factually incorrect content.
  • Identifying common themes in complaints and addressing the root cause.
  • Avoiding contentious public arguments. Always maintain a sincere, customer-focused tone.

The more effectively you handle negative UGC, the less damage it inflicts. When handled well, it can even improve customer loyalty and brand reputation over the long term.

Conclusion on Boost Ecommerce Sales with User-Generated Content

Implementing a strategic plan to boost ecommerce sales with user-generated content takes time and continual effort, but the long-term rewards for your conversions are immense. By showcasing authentic experiences from satisfied customers, UGC helps to boost ecommerce sales by building the credibility and familiarity that motivate purchase decisions. When potential customers see real people using and enjoying your products, they are more likely to trust your brand and feel confident in making a purchase, ultimately leading to increased sales and revenue.

Use the tactics and best practices outlined in this guide to start cultivating and leveraging UGC at each stage of your customer’s journey. Over time, you’ll see measurable gains in engagement, subscriptions, leads, and sales. Ultimately, UGC allows you to tell your brand’s story through voices far more potent than your own.

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