Leveraging User-Generated Content for E-commerce Success

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Wouldn’t it be amazing if you could market your products, improve customer loyalty, and boost your brand recognition without doing anything? This is actually possible and it can be achieved via leveraging user-generated content. In the below guide, I take a look at UGC, what it is, why it’s beneficial, and the best current use examples.

What is User-Generated Content?

User-generated content is exactly as you imagine – it’s content produced by customers or the public that you can use as part of your marketing.

The content has to be natural and authentic and it shouldn’t be forced, and the idea is to give weight to your company and show that real humans are using your products and benefiting from the services you provide.

Why is User-Generated Content Beneficial?

The premise behind UGC ecommerce is simple but you need to understand the benefits too so you can see why it’s an essential part of any ecommerce marketing campaign.

It Builds Consumer Trust

Consider this scenario. You have one ecommerce store that has a product you are interested in with no customer reviews or attached UGC. On the other hand, another store has a handful of glowing 5-star reviews from customers who have purchased the product. Which are you more likely to trust?

The second one of course! User generated content for ecommerce boosts consumer trust as it shows positive interactions with your products and services from real humans.

Search Engines Love it

From a technical perspective, UGC ecommerce is essential because search engines love it. Google, Bing, and other platforms look kindly on user-generated content, especially with things like Google’s Helpful Content Update where an emphasis is placed on the quality of your content.

Positive interactions from customers help drive that positivity, show engagement, and give search engines more reason to rank your ecommerce store higher on SERPs.

It’s a Cost-Effective Marketing Method

Compared to other forms of marketing, user generated content is incredibly cost-effective. Think about it, you hardly have to do anything as your customers are doing the bulk of the work!

This is a welcomed break as ecommerce usually requires attention to detail such as if you want to optimize online store checklists, create product listings, or produce product images for example.

It’s not completely work-free as you have to utilize the content in some way such as making a testimonial page or moderating product reviews, but for the most part, UGC ticks along nicely with minimum business interactions.

Examples of User-Generated Content

I hope you’re now getting the picture and can see just how potent UGC can be. As far as SEO services for online stores go, UGC is right up there, but what methods can you use exactly? I have listed the most common UGC forms below.

Product Reviews

The product review is the pinnacle of ecommerce UGC. When I’m buying or researching a product, I ALWAYS check customer reviews and the content of the reviews usually has an impact on my purchasing decisions. 

It’s simple – if you see hundreds of glowing 4 and 5-star reviews for a product, you are far more likely to buy it compared to a product that has lots of 1-3-star reviews.

Social Media Interactions

Social media platforms like Instagram, X, and TikTok are the ultimate source of user generated content for ecommerce. They are like a treasure trove! Positive comments, threats, videos, and polls relating to your business all help build trust, raise brand awareness, and improve customer engagement.

You can also do simple things like creating custom hashtags that you encourage your followers to use when talking about your business.

Testimonials

Many business websites feature a testimonial page and this is typically different from product reviews which are often nested on the actual product page.

Testimonials give weight to your business, build trust, and show that real people have benefited from your services. You must ensure the testimonials are genuine, posted with the customer’s consent, and ideally should contain a small drawback too. Asking the customer to include a minor negative improves the realism as opposed to an unrealistic glowing review that just sings your praises.

Blog Comments

Blogging is a tried and tested SEO and marketing method and if you check most companies websites, they all have a dedicated blog. It improves SEO, works as part of your content marketing campaign, and gives real value to customers.

UGC essentially enhances blogs and makes them even more effective. If you have a blog, it should have a comment section enabled. Customer comments on blogs drive engagement, and they also help build trust and brand loyalty.

Images

How many times have you scrolled through your Instagram or Twitter feed only to see an image of someone using a product? One of the most effective forms of user generated content for ecommerce is images as they have an amazing visual impact and stick easier in consumer’s minds.

For example, what better promotion could a fashion brand have than hundreds of images on social media of customers wearing their clothes?

Add Authenticity to Your E-commerce Venture With User-Generated Content

Having real-life input from customers is invaluable in today’s world of e-commerce where businesses need a competitive edge. Google and other search engines love value and UGC, but it also helps build trust, improve brand loyalty, and show that you are a worthwhile business to use!

Leveraging things like social media content, blog comments, images, and product reviews are all tried and tested UGC methods so why not try and implement them today?

Article by:

Joshua George is the founder of ClickSlice, an SEO Agency based in London, UK.

He has eight years of experience as an SEO Consultant and was recently hired by the UK government for SEO training. Joshua also owns the best-selling SEO course on Udemy, and has taught SEO to over 100,000 students.

His work has been featured in Forbes, Entrepreneur, AgencyAnalytics, Wix and lots more other reputable publications.