The Ultimate Guide To User-Generated Content For e-Commerce

What is User-generated content for e-commerce companies?

User-generated content (UGC) is all kinds of content created by non-paid contributors. These contributions are fans or customers of a company and share their favorable opinion without receiving money for it. UGC’s can come in different kinds of forms such as pictures, tweets, videos or forum posts.

Companies can take advantage of this content and start working with it to promote and promote their products in an authentic and trustworthy way.

UGC is one of the most useful tools of free marketing that an e-commerce company can use, especially for companies that struggle with creating engaging content. Customers have been reviewing and talking about brands and products since forever, capturing these conversations and posts across social media will bring all benefits to e-commerce brands without having to spend time on creating content themselves.

The art of using user-generated content correlates with word-of-mouth marketing. People tend to trust people and not brands; there is a big emphasizes on what other people such as friends and family or other customers think as 90% of shoppers believe online recommendations. This content works wonders and fills in the gap between stratified brand customers indecisive shoppers that leave the page before checking out.

Another way to promote brand awareness and receive user-generated content at the same time is through influencers (we created a video guide about influencers marketing for e-commerce). 

Influencers are people on Instagram with a high number of followers. As their name already states, they can influence their followers into different things, such as buying products. These followers are loyal and tend to trust and listen to the influencer, especially if the product is promoted authentically. They follow them around in the online world and build an emotional connection. They look up to them and will buy the product and create content with it.

The product and brand are getting awareness through these brands with a loyal fan base. Furthermore, e-commerce sites can use the content later on for their projects.

The rise of user-generated content in e-commerce is the most successful tool at the smallest costs to influence a purchase decision and the conversion rate. To better understand user-generated content it is best to look at a few examples of companies that are working with it.


Example #1: Glossier

Glossier is a beauty and skin care e-commerce company with almost 2 million followers on Instagram. Their products are created under the motto “celebrating real women” and creating products for “real life.” They first started as a beauty blog and later evolved into selling their beauty products. According to the CEO of the company, the brand owes 90% of its revenue to Instagram users.

The company preyed on the social media world and the idea of word-of-mouth marketing and successfully built a brand that receives lots of awareness by marketing through user-generated content created by big influencers on Instagram. These influencers receive the products and share their reviews and images with their followers on Instagram, promoting the brand and company. Under the hashtag #Glossier, tons of user-generated content can be found with the companies products.

With this tactic, Glossier was able to promote a new product through various influencers and in return receive over 6,000 images of user-generated content within four weeks.

Loyalty is another major key point when it comes to marketing through user-generated content. This can be seen at Glossier through their numbers. Since they have launched the company has been continually growing and their loyal fans with them. Working with user-generated content means that a base of trust and loyalty must be present.

Glossier uses social media to engage with their customers and influencers, to create new products based on customers reviews and to build a community of loyal brand users. Whenever a user is happy with their products, Glossier engage their customers to share it with the rest of the world.


Example #2: Madewell

Now all this seems like you need an influencer with many followers on Instagram to help you promote your products, but this is not the only way to receive user-generated content and get the best out of it.

Madewell understands the power of social media and the significant influence it can have. The clothing company came up with an idea to motivate their customers to create content by giving them a reward – incorporating the users into Madewell’s website (online store). Customers are hooked to post content under the hashtag #everydaymadewell, showcasing them with the companies products. 270 thousand posts can be found under the hashtag. This content, later on, got posted in a gallery of the companies website. To receive useful content, they offer tips on their site for creating user-generated content to get a higher chance to be featured in the gallery.

Social proof is the main word to focus on, and user-generated content is one of the most effective ways of social proof. Commitment is created through social proof rather than a well-written product description. Shoppers want to see and hear what other customers have to say first before committing themselves. Rather than convincing shoppers why your business is great, you give real people the opportunity to do so for you. The more authentic these opinions seem, the more likely shoppers are to turn into customers.

Through user-generated campaigns, a loyal brand community is cultivated to spread the word. Trust and loyalty between the e-commerce site and outside customers is built and will make them feel ready to make their first purchase.

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