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How to Leverage Reviews & UGC in Ecommerce Marketing

Nov 16, 2020 | 7 minute read

How to Leverage Reviews & UGC in Ecommerce Marketing

Matt Goodman

Co-founder, CEO

Reviews are paramount to a successful ecommerce marketing strategy – find out how you can leverage them to drive sales and increase customer loyalty.

You want to increase traffic and sales — it’s a no brainer.

Ecommerce marketing combines key tactics to drive traffic to your store and convert shoppers into long-term customers. But with so many marketing activities to choose from, how do you know where to start? Which ones are the most effective?

Truth is, you’re probably already using the most common channels to reach your shoppers, through social media, email, and search engines. But there’s a key ingredient eCommerce marketers should be leveraging in their strategy in order to achieve optimal results.

In this article, we’ll cover how incorporating reviews and UGC into your ecommerce marketing strategy provides a greater impact through increased trust and social proof.

Why Reviews and UGC Should be at the Center of Your Ecommerce Marketing

Shoppers who interact with UGC are 97% more likely to buy than those that don’t. This is because potential customers trust recommendations and reviews that come from their peers far more than any other content.

Reviews achieve several things, they:

  • Drive more website traffic
  • Build consumer trust
  • Increase repeat purchases and revenue
  • Minimize returns

They’re an incredible tool that should be an integral part of your ecommerce marketing strategy. In fact, 64% of consumers will actively seek out reviews & UGC before making a purchasing decision.

Ways to Leverage Reviews and UGC for Your Ecommerce Marketing Strategy

1. Build brand awareness by sharing UGC on social media

Push UGC to Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, or Facebook and create retargeting ads to get your products (and their accompanying reviews) in front of potential customers.

Research shows that 52% of online brand discovery takes place on social media.

This is because photos and videos created by previous buyers on social media help brands leverage visual commerce. Photos are a huge part of the online buying journey, but consumers trust customer photos more than brand-generated ones.

About 79% of people say UGC highly impacts their purchasing decisions.

When sharing UGC and reviews across social media, you create desire around your products through the positive experiences of your customers. It also allows you to showcase your customer’s brand loyalty which builds trust with those who may be less familiar with your brand.

UGC on Instagram

2. Enhance search listings and boost rankings on Google

Use reviews and UGC in Google Shopping PLAs and Google rich snippets, as well as Google Seller Ratings to enhance search rankings and encourage more shoppers to click through.

Reviews stand out in search results and capture the attention of potential customers. Not only this, but they are often packed full of popular keywords that will help you rank higher on search engines. The more reviews you have, the more keywords you can rank for.

The Office of Angela Scott has one of the best user-generated content examples when it comes to enhancing their presence on Google. The footwear brand incorporated reviews into their Google Shopping ads and saw an impressive 81% increase in conversion rate and a 91% increase in return on ad spend.

UGC and Reviews in Google Shopping Ads

3. Optimize your website with customer reviews & UGC

Improve user experience and the customer journey by incorporating reviews throughout your site. This will increase buyer confidence and, as a result, boost conversions and sales.

The key places to incorporate reviews are:

  • Your homepage
  • Landing pages
  • A dedicated reviews page
  • Product pages
  • At checkout

Adding customer photos will help optimize reviews. 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual and we process images 60,000x faster than text.

Foursixty takes this to another level by enabling retailers to turn UGC into shoppable media galleries for their online store.

Baby clothing & accessory brand Freshly Picked was able to populate their site with encouraging reviews and user-generated content from their loyal customer base using a range of customisable review displays and integration with Foursixty. As a result, the brand experienced a 5% increase in conversion rate and an $11 increase in average order value.

User-generated content on site

4. Reward customers for their feedback

Keep communication strong with customers by asking for reviews through email marketing. This opens up a two-way dialogue with buyers and helps generate engagement. As a result, you’ll create deeper relationships with customers and turn one-time buyers into long term, loyal customers.

A great example is Beginning Boutique offering customers a reward in exchange for reviews. With splits to acknowledge the positive or negative nature of their review, customers received automated campaigns that encouraged feedback (for those who gave a rating of less than 4 stars) or an enhanced review (adding an image to unlock an upgrade to a 15% discount). A final flow rewarded loyal customers on a sliding scale which increased in line with the number of reviews that they left.

As a result Beginning Boutique experienced a 37% increase in Review Request Click Rate, 109% increase in Review Rate from Email, and 53% increase in Coupon Code Redemptions.

Beginning Boutique offering a reward in exchange for reviews

5. Encourage return buyers with UGC-packed emails

Incorporate UGC and reviews into your email marketing campaigns and transactional emails to encourage repeat purchases.

You can include reviews in:

  • Abandoned cart emails
  • Welcome sequences
  • Product suggestion and product recommendation emails
  • Order confirmation emails

Shopping cart abandonment is one of the largest obstacles for ecommerce retailers to overcome. A recent study showed that about 88% of shoppers abandon their shopping cart.

For Nimble Activewear, this was an untapped opportunity to turn intent-ready browsers into buyers. The brand was aware of how powerful social proof is in the sales cycle and were keen to inject this into their cart abandonment strategy.

As a result, Nimble Activewear was able to increase its AC email click-through rates by 6% and increase its average revenue per recipient by 16% with the incorporation of customer reviews.

Using UGC in an abandoned cart email strategy

6. Use rich insights collected from reviews to create hyper-segmented email campaigns

You can segment customers based on their experience, the products they bought, and whether they gave a five-star or a two-star review. This allows you to personalize content towards their specific wants and needs, which will in turn increase conversions.

Using Okendo’s Klaviyo Integration, dog treat brand WAG was able to segment their email list based on the products customers bought as well as the age of their canine friends. This meant they could create hyper-focused and relevant experiences for each buyer. Doing so increased their review request click rate by 64%. They also saw a 423% increase in revenue per recipient as well as a 300% increase in placed orders.

Enhance your ecommerce marketing strategy with reviews

Reviews and UGC can enhance every aspect of your ecommerce marketing strategy. Sprinkle them throughout the customer journey to build trust, drive traffic, and increase sales at every touchpoint.

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