When running an e-commerce business, getting caught up in the day-to-day hustle is easy. From managing website updates to ensuring inventory is up-to-date, work never seems to end, especially now that the demand for digital shopping is rising.
Contrary to the e-commerce industry’s fast-paced nature, if you don’t take the time to connect with your customers, all your hard work will be for nothing.
In e-commerce, customer loyalty is one of the operations’ foundations. When people shop online, they can’t physically see or touch the product they want to buy, so instead, they rely on other people’s reviews before deciding to purchase.
Customers might not even give your brand a chance if they see negative comments from people who have used your product or service.
So, how do you lure in customers and prove your credibility as a business? You gain their trust by providing authentic user-generated content to help them make informed purchasing decisions.
If you’re interested in learning more, jump on to the next section, where you can dive deeper into user-generated content!
What is User-Generated Content?
User-generated content is brand-centric content created by the product or service consumer. It can take many forms, such as photos, videos, reviews, and recommendations, but all are categorized as unpaid or unsponsored content.
With user-generated content, a company can create an authentic connection with its customers, which can be extremely valuable for brands looking for ways to engage with their audience and differentiate themselves from competitors.
For e-commerce businesses, below are some common kinds of user-generated content.
- Reviews and ratings
Arguably, the most common material from consumers is reviews and ratings. According to a study, customers are 31% more likely to spend on a product with excellent feedback.
These reviews and ratings are typically seen on brand websites and partner marketplaces where people discuss the products or services they just purchased, expressing what they like or dislike.
- Social media content
Today, you can see user-generated content on social media platforms almost daily as more people share their activities online.
Instagram, for instance, has 1.5 billion daily active global users who upload and view photos, videos, and reels, which companies can search for user-generated content. The platform also has shoppable posts, which brands can leverage in terms of sales.
Other social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, YouTube, and Snapchat also host a diverse pool of user-generated content from their number of users, which can aid in building reliability and trustworthiness as a brand.
- Forums and discussion boards
Forums and discussion boards are composed of a community that discusses specific matters on related things, such as particular products or services.
As an e-commerce brand, you can fish user-generated content on these sites as this is where people talk about their experience with a brand in-depth. Reddit and Quora are common forum platforms you can look up and scroll through for customer feedback.
Unlike reviews and ratings, these boards are more interactive for customers. They can ask questions about a specific enterprise or product and get immediate answers from others who have experienced the same thing or have tried it in the past. It comes off as more authentic, which prospects and the general public often appreciate better.
- Blogs and vlogs
Blogs are also one of the greatest sources of user content. Today, there are over 600 million active blogs, which is only growing by the day. Personal blogs, in particular, may contain a mix of reviews, ratings, and social media embeds that are product- or service-centric.
Additionally, video formats of blogs, commonly known as vlogs, have become immensely popular over the years, along with the rise of YouTube. Currently, YouTube has 30 million people logging in daily, allowing businesses to reach a global audience much easier and capture user-generated content from different audiences worldwide.
5 Reasons User-Generated Content is Important for E-Commerce Businesses
Now that you’re familiar with user-generated content and its types, the next question that needs to be addressed is why is user-generated content important? What makes it so valuable to e-commerce businesses, and what is its impact? Below are five reasons.
- It builds brand loyalty
User-generated content offers many benefits to a business, but one of its most renowned perks is how it establishes loyalty to your brand. With these materials under your belt, the world can know that you have a stable customer base that relies on you and your products or services.
You can ask the help of your e-commerce virtual assistant (VA) for several tasks, including social media and website management, to ensure you’re up-to-date on what your market is saying about your brand, whether positive or negative.
- It influences purchasing decisions
When consumers leave a review or share their experience with your brand online, they either advocate for your products or services or discourage others from doing business with you. User-generated content is word-of-mouth, which can make or break your name in the industry.
A VA can come in handy here because they can help you with auditing existing content, which involves checking the performance of your products while seeing the audience’s reception of your business.
- It’s cost-effective
Utilizing user-generated content is a cost-effective marketing strategy, as it’s free promotion for your company from willing customers who want to share their experiences with others.
Genuine brand reviews lead to a wider and more targeted audience, generating better leads for your business. In contrast to other strategies like influencer marketing, which often costs a lot depending on the individual or group you want to partner with, user-generated content doesn’t need a budget.
- It shows the product in use
User-generated content allows consumers to showcase your products from their perspective, giving interested buyers an idea of what your business provides and how they look or work. Often, these are demo videos on how to operate the item bought or a set of photos to see how the clothes fit their body, for example.
- It establishes an organic digital presence
Since user-generated content circulates on the web, it can provide your brand with original material that leads to a stronger online presence.
Many companies opt for paid advertising because it helps them appear higher on search engines or social media platforms. However, your brand can still have a solid digital presence when people often talk or post about your products or services.
Sometimes, user-generated content can lead to your brand trending on different platforms.
When a following has been established, an e-commerce VA can help you maintain your momentum online by cultivating a community of patrons on social media and responding to negative reviews to win back or retain customers.
The Customers Matter
If there’s anything e-commerce companies should leverage more, it’s user-generated content. It’s an effective business strategy that utilizes customers’ honest support and constructive feedback free of charge to bring credibility and loyalty to your brand.
For a competitive industry like e-commerce, user-generated content helps build a community around your brand, leading to more potential customers and greater sales.
If you want to expand your workforce, consider partnering with seasoned VAs to assist you in your daily operations. For trusted remote professionals, look no further than the talents in Outsource Access!
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