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Annex Cloud delivers the only fully integrated Advocate Marketing and Customer Loyalty platform. Our blog is your source for news, trends, and expert insights into the world of customer loyalty, advocate marketing, and more.

User Generated Content, as the name suggests, is the content created by users in the form of ratings and reviews, questions and answers, and images while using your products or services. As this content is created by customers themselves and not by brands or ad agencies, it’s considered to be 12 times more trustworthy in the eyes of everyday shoppers. The level of people’s trust is always high when they see that someone from their own league is really loving a business’s products.  And that’s precisely why UGC works in all kinds of industries and all sorts of marketing efforts. The cosmetics industry isn’t an exception–indeed, due to the intimate nature of beauty products, their sometimes-high price points, peculiarities of color and texture and more, UGC and cosmetics are a necessary combination for e-commerce. Let’s understand how cosmetics industry can be enormously benefited by the unbridled potential of UGC, and take a look at some examples.

UGC and Cosmetics: User Generated Photos

A major limitation of online buying is the lack of direct contact with the products. That luxury of touching and feeling the products lies with the physical stores. Obviously, people would prefer if they can touch and feel the product, or even try them. It is emphatically true for beauty products whose worth from the customer’s point of view depends on how it will look on him or her.

Even if the quality of the product, let’s say of a certain lipstick, is good, it doesn’t mean that every woman will buy it. Simply because the decision to buy a lipstick cannot be taken without considering her complexion and other features. That’s precisely why she needs to see a woman of her complexion and features wearing that lipstick. It will give her an idea about its suitability. This is where user generated photos can really pull the trigger by assuring her about the suitability of the lipstick!

A second major benefit of customer photos for beauty companies is that they can often work an aspirational angle. When a potential buyer sees all the different scenarios and looks that your products work in, your brand’s versatility and appeal are heightened.

One of the most straightforward ways to loop in customer photos with your marketing strategy is to use them with visual commerce software. A good visual commerce solution will automatically pull pictures and videos with a certain hashtag from Instagram and other social sources, and will also allow for direct uploads on your site. From that point, you can configure versatile galleries, use the content in marketing emails, put images on your PDPs, and more. Here’s an example from Sigma Beauty.

sigma beauty

You can also use visual commerce to enable Instagram shopping. Since Instagram is such a huge hub for beauty aficionados, it’s smart to make the journey from following to liking to buying as simple as possible.

And here’s a bonus tip: incentivize the contribution of customer photos with your loyalty program! To learn more about cosmetics loyalty programs, click here!

UGC and Cosmetics: Ratings and Reviews

The reason why ratings and reviews have always worked in every business segment has to do something with the human tendency of being cautious before buying anything. People want an assurance of the quality of the product that they are about to buy. And as we have already discussed, people cannot touch and feel the product on e-commerce websites to make even a rough opinion, they want something solid and strong as a proof. Ratings and reviews fill that void, and consequently boost conversion.

Just like with customer photos, if you have a loyalty program you should consider incentivizing the contribution of reviews. Ever since the hair care brand Ouidad started doing it they’ve seen a significant uptick in review submissions! ouidad loyalty actions

UGC and Cosmetics: Questions and Answers

Irrespective of the amount of information that you put on your product pages, certain shoppers will still want to know more. They might have questions like: What are the ingredients of the product, can it be allergic to a specific type of skin, and can it have side effects if used with other products, availability of the product, its durability and much more. If these questions remain in their minds, it’s likely that they’ll abandon their carts. Nobody buys when he/she is in doubt!

Questions and Answers effectively tackle this problem as by establishing a platform for your consumers to ask both specialists from your company and other consumers. Besides, it also helps in creating a community around your products where people can discuss and share their experiences. Naturally, it fillips the online presence of your brand. It goes without saying that the daily submissions of fresh questions and answers are key for your SEO prospects. It’s a clear cut win-win scenario!

Here’s a peek at what Murad’s Q&A solution looks like.

murad q&a

UGC and Cosmetics: Takeaways

1- Don’t let the photos shared by your customers go to waste. Put them on your social media pages, website, and other marketing campaigns.

2- Ask your customers to write what they really feel about your products. Even if some of those reviews are negative, they help in making your website authentic and boosting conversion.

3- Create a questions and answers platform where customers can ask their queries. That makes them more secure about their buying decisions and heightens engagement.

Note: For tips on referral marketing for cosmetics, take a look at this post. And to learn about cosmetics loyalty programs, don’t miss this one! For more in-depth UGC content, check out some of these white papers:

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