User-generated content (UGC) is becoming increasingly crucial for retailers and adding customer reviews to your ecommerce website is all part of delivering good customer experience.
Space 48 Head of Insight, Oliver Lees, discusses 5 key reasons to enable customer reviews and user-generated content on your website:
Improves social proof and customer trust
These days customers want interactivity and authenticity, and they like to have an opinion. Following in the footsteps of Amazon and ebay, plus user-led review sites like TripAdvisor, successful retailers understand the need for social proof and customer trust. Brands using user-generated content can expect to see a boost in website performance, whilst increasing consumer confidence.
As an ecommerce business, you need to give consumers the best possible customer experience and help them find the right products. User-generated content, customer reviews and influencer content all help to do this.
Increases browsing time and conversions
Good customer experience combined with UCG helps to keep visitors on your site for longer and turn more browsers into buyers. Take the example of an ecommerce website selling computers. Much of the decision-making process when buying technology comes down to the specification, functionality and the capabilities it allows you to perform. Even with clearly-defined product details and product images, it’s not easy to part with big money based on spec, description and photos alone. That’s where consumer reviews and user-generated content come in.
Whether it’s a walkthrough video, unboxing review or product comparison, consumer content enhances the browsing experience and aids the decision-making process.
Consider the star-review system from the customer’s perspective. When considering high-value and high-performing products, you’re looking for number of stars vs number of reviews, vs price. If you’re browsing makeup products, say, then maybe you’ll want to view influencer videos, where trusted industry vloggers talk about products and demonstrate how best to apply them.
Third-party integrations and content monitoring
Some businesses fear the impact of negative product reviews, but as with social networks and any digital channels open to user comments and interactions, it’s just part of the modern world. However, proper monitoring is crucial to avoid the risks of inappropriate content being displayed on your ecommerce website. The role of third-party solutions is vital – especially for businesses with limited resources for producing and monitoring content.
Third-party integrations don’t remove all brand responsibilities for checking user content, but it does ease the heavy-lifting, as most thirty-party solutions have robust monitoring in place.
Here are some recommended product review sites and third-party options for user generated content:
- Trust Pilot – leading online shopping reviews platform that boasts a huge worldwide community, generating 20,000 new reviewers a day!
- Feefo – trusted by thousands of brands, Feefo independently collects authentic customer reviews, feedback and insights for consumers and brands
- Videoly – seeks out user-generated video content, such as unboxing reviews, linking them to products on your ecommerce website
Why not devise your own user content funnel through social channels? Make-up brand Charlotte Tilbury uses social outreach to gain visually-engaging content, called “Tag Your Tilbury”. Followers use the #CharlotteTilbury hashtag to tag selfies – from Instagram, Twitter and Facebook posts – wearing Charlotte Tilbury products. The brand is responsible for approving and declining content, whilst the posts sit in a pending area (powered by Olapic). Once approved, the posts feed into their webpage, where browsers can view and click through to products featured in posts.
Here’s a look at Charlotte Tilbury’s “Tag Your Tilbury” feature:
Boosts your SEO ranking
Customer reviews and authorised review platforms help improve your SEO and boost your Google ranking, increasing acquisition via search. Google recognises customer reviews on trusted sources and platforms. Google pulls in reviews and styling, which helps with acquisition. User generated content, therefore, helps drive relevant traffic to your site through SEO and social proof during search.
Enhances marketing opportunities
Enabling consumer reviews opens up new touchpoints to interact with your audience, throughout customer journeys. Integrating your ecommerce website with your marketing channels creates a self-sustaining cycle of content and contact.
Encouraging your audience to produce customer testimonials, product reviews and visual content via different channels creates excitement, social proof and consumer trust. It brings customers closer to brands – building a tribe – making marketing messages more natural and less sales-oriented.
Here are some user generated content ideas and key ways to encourage customer reviews:
- Encourage customers to provide products reviews via website, email and social
- Respond to blog comments, reviews, and interact with social media engagements
- Use competitions, promotions and even paid social adverts to incentivise customers
- Offer level-based rewards, such as the chance to become a top “gold-star reviewer”
- Use an email automation platform like Dotmailer to create lead nurturing emails asking customers how they enjoyed their products
Leveraging UGC helps creates a better customer experience and improve website performance. Consumers will browse for longer, you’ll build brand trust and consumer confidence, whilst creating more opportunities to interact with customers, encouraging them to add regular online reviews and become brand advocates. Time to start planning your user-generated content strategy!
Space 48 is a UK ecommerce agency specialising in Magento development and ecommerce strategy. Our ecommerce experts and certified Magento developers create award-winning ecommerce websites for top brands. Discover more great ecommerce tactics with our Must-Have Ecommerce Strategies to Increase Conversions. Download the free guide now!