E-commerce is a booming trend, yet it is the competition that makes selling in this domain a true challenge. As more and more sellers are coming up with unique elements on their online stores, there is absolutely a need to stand apart as far as content is concerned. You cannot just serve run-of-the-mill content on your e-commerce website and still expect the potential customers to engage and convert.
The secret lies in powerful content marketing, which encompasses catering unique experiences to them in the form of engaging and useful content for the audience. Content marketing, today, extends beyond the conventional website copy and blog posts, as it explores the new realms of user-generated content.
Understanding the Concept of User-Generated Content
User-generated content, as the name suggests, refers to the content that is created by the user rather than professional teams and comes in various forms, such as:
- Product Reviews: E-commerce stores can collect genuine product reviews from the shoppers by requesting them to share their review once the sale is closed. Brands can even show a few negative reviews along with the commitment to resolve the issues, which adds credibility to their sites.
- Images and Videos: Visual content like images and videos make a great addition to any e-commerce store. Customers can be encouraged to share their pictures with the products as well as post video testimonials too.
- User Communities: Another widely used form of user-generated content comes from user communities and social groups. These groups leverage social media platforms to connect the users and keep them engaged with the brand. Content is generated in the form of mutual exchange of ideas and suggestions.
- Blog Posts: Asking the users to contribute in the form of blog posts is another way to collect content for the store. The posts can be crowdsourced in form of surveys etc. and posted on the website.
The value of this content for an e-commerce store can be immense as it has the capability to bring about an amazing transformation in the shopping experiences. Let’s delve deeper into the significance of user-generated content as a part of e-commerce marketing strategy:
- Higher engagement for the store: The authenticity of user-generated content is its driving force. It has a gripping quality that is bound to create curiosity and interest in the visitors. It yields longer session durations and lower bounce rates, which are the significant metrics of high user engagement. The longer the user stays on the site, the higher is the probability of conversion.
- Drives conversions and boosts revenues: Cart abandonment makes the biggest challenge of e-commerce selling. The main reason for abandoned carts is that customers cannot assess the quality of products from what they see on their device screens. User-generated reviews play a key role in countering those doubts and reinforcing trust in the quality of products/services. This translates into higher conversions and boosts the revenues for the business. Moreover, it empowers the website to get return customers who come back for repeat purchases.
- Enhances the credibility of the business: Besides increasing conversions and revenues, the content that has been contributed by real-life users and buyers makes a significant addition to the credibility of the business. People who visit an e-commerce store and come across genuine user reviews are likely to develop trust in the brand. Similarly, video testimonials make an impressive tool to build a rapport with the visitors. People tend to trust fellow-shoppers and take their word in favor of the brand.
- Free of cost, yet highly effective: The best thing about user-generated content is that it comes absolutely free of cost, yet is one of the most effective forms of content marketing. There is no need to hire professionals to create it; rather these are the genuine experiences and opinions of real customers. The content can be showcased directly on the e-commerce store or propagated across social networks to popularize the products and the brand. In this way, it serves as an excellent marketing tool which does not exert any financial burden on the business.
With such extensive benefits, user-generated content opens up a whole new world of opportunities for e-commerce marketers. Truly, it has the potential to infuse new life into an online store that is struggling for survival. It has been recognized a game-changer that is going to shape the future of e-commerce in the years to come.