How user-generated content can grow your eCommerce business
Sometimes the best content doesn’t come from the proprietor of an eCommerce store. User-generated content (content posted by customers or the public) can have tremendous power when it comes to SEO, sales, and market share. If you’re hoping to boost sales and get more visibility with your eCommerce efforts, you might want to consider adding user-generated functionality to your online properties.
Reviews Influence Sales
Have you ever read through dozens or hundreds of online reviews before you bought a product or invested in a service? Probably. In fact, nearly 90 percent of consumers value the reviews they read online as much as personalized recommendations from friends and acquaintances, according to a Search Engine Land study.
The research further demonstrated that consumers’ reliance on online reviews has steadily increased over the last few years. For instance, in 2014, 88% read online reviews before purchasing a product, in 2015 this number went up to 92%.
A Picture Is Worth 1,000 Words
User-generated content isn’t just online reviews. Consumers use social media more than ever, including photography-centered platforms like Instagram and Pinterest. When a customer posts a photo of him or herself using your product, your eCommerce business can experience a significant boost in visibility and interest.
It’s a bit like peer pressure — but the good kind. People see that someone else has bought a fascinating new product, at which point they decide that they want it, too. Consider the blue-and-black dress that appeared on social media in 2015 and spawned an epic debate over its color. According to Fortune Magazine, the attention resulted in a sales increase of nearly 350 percent. While most product photos won’t ignite such controversy (or infamy), every little bit helps.
Consumers Love to Interact
Amazon has created an inspired system of user-generated content through which consumers can pose questions on product pages and other consumers can answer them. While this might seem like a small thing, it can actually boost engagement by a significant margin.
When you give consumers the freedom to talk about your products, they will take advantage of it. You’re opening the door to feedback and opinions, and although you might receive negative feedback, you’ll still enjoy the increased exposure and interaction.
People Trust Social Proof
Social media has become a prime playground for eCommerce businesses. When a consumer posts a photograph, shares a social ad, or mentions a company or product by name, that one post can spread like wildfire. It’s one of the fastest ways to reach a large group of potential customers.
If you own an eCommerce business, it’s time to solicit and encourage user-generated content.