How User-Generated Content Empowers the e-Commerce Sphere

by Deepak Nautiyal |

How User-Generated Content Empowers the e-Commerce Sphere

User-generated content plays an undeniable role when it comes to boosting revenue

User-generated content plays an undeniable role when it comes to boosting revenue for e-commerce brands. However, the way in which this rich content should be utilized also holds high importance. This blog post will develop an overview of user-generated content and how it helps e-commerce brands gain on different fronts. User-Generated Content Definition – An … Read more

Grow your Business Substantially with an Effective UGC platform

Effective UGC platform

UGC or User Generated Content marketing, is one of the most authentic, reliable and effective marketing strategies and entails content types like photos, reviews, or even Q&A. Choosing the right user-generated content platform can be the key to business success. A UGC platform can also be understood as a Software-as-a-service(Saas) product that helps aggregate & … Read more

How Questions and Answers Will Boost Your eCommerce Strategy

questions and answers

Are you investing time in your Questions and Answers? Unfortunately many in retail overlook it, but let us tell you why they’re wrong. The best ecommerce brands use every channel possible when it comes to communicating with their customers. That’s because in order to compete with the Amazons and Walmarts of the world, businesses must … Read more

How to Maximize Your User Generated Content Strategy

user generated content

Whether it’s photos of restaurant dishes or product reviews on Amazon; customers are evangelizing and advertising for brands all the time, for free. User generated content represents the innumerable ways in which a customer interacts with your brand. Implementing a strong user generated content strategy helps your company build credibility with existing and potential customers … Read more

5 Top Brands Doing UGC on Instagram

gopro user generated content

What is User generated content? In today’s competitive world, if brands don’t cater to customer preferences, they’ll just scoff at the disconnect and move to other brands to fulfill their needs. In order to continually stay updated with ever-changing marketing trends, brands are finding different ways to spin their social content into pure gold and … Read more

Let’s Talk: Leveraging User Generated Content

User generated content

  We’re really excited to bring back our “Let’s Talk” segment, where experts in marketing and loyalty come to discuss industry trends. This week, our Chief Strategist Al Lalani discusses best practices in user generated content. What are some practical strategies for optimizing your UGC? What do trends in peer recognition tell us? With 47% … Read more

20 User Generated Content Marketing Statistics That Demonstrate Its Undeniable Power

User Generated Content Marketing

In today’s digital age, your customers can become your best advocates through user-generated content marketing. The right user-generated content platform can help you utilize photos, videos, and other media from your customers to help your business thrive. Most consumers are happy to share a photo, give feedback or answer a few questions when provided with … Read more

10 Capabilities to Look for in Your Questions and Answers Software

questions and answers software capabilities

A good question and answer platform can have plenty of advantages. For instance, consumers who can quickly find answers to their questions are much less likely to abandon their carts. Consumers who read a well-built and well-maintained questions and answers section will also feel more confident in purchasing your product. In order to create such … Read more

The Hows and Whys of User Generated Content for Retail

UGC for retail

User Generated Content (UGC) is one of the most highly successful marketing trends that has been adopted by brands in order to win customer attention. UGC answers the demand for fresh, honest content, while also helping retailers engage consumers on a more consistent basis. The concept of UGC for retailers is no different than it … Read more

7 Consumer Marketing Trends That Should Be Shaping Your Strategy

7 Consumer Marketing Trends

Modern consumers are significantly different from buyers in the past. Not only have today’s consumers become more skeptical of businesses, but they also have access to technology that makes it easier than ever to research and switch brands. Consumer marketing trends have shifted, and customer retention optimization is more important than ever. Here are a … Read more

What to Look for When Choosing Question and Answer Software

Question & answer software

People who visit your company’s website have questions about your products or services, and they’re looking at your brand for answers. How your site answers these questions will directly impact your conversion rate, retention rate, and your bottom line. Many major retail and e-commerce websites use question and answer software to segment, analyze, and answer … Read more

Unforgettable Customer Service Stories with Zappos

unforgettable customer service

Online footwear retailer, Zappos is venturing into new marketing territory with its True Stories campaign videos focused on delightful interactions between its customer service department and real customers. Zappos is known for its diligent customer service and they have found a way to capitalize on it even further and deepen customer loyalty through unforgettable customer service. The new ad campaign achieves that by showing how far the brand is willing to go for its loyal customers.

This unique idea to illustrate the charming stories of customer service stems from the numerous stories of customers with which Zappos’ Customer Loyalty Team encounters on a daily basis. The vibrant nature of those stories perfectly reflected the impact that the brand’s customer service can have on customers’ lives and perspectives. And considering the reach that videos are getting nowadays, there isn’t a better channel than multimedia to tell those stories. Clearly, through this campaign, Zappos is also working to generate brand awareness and ultimately more business.

In one of the “True Customer Stories”, we see a young girl who is consistently unhappy with the ballerina shoes her father orders for her. Without making her sad, Zappos keeps exchanging shoes until she reveals she’d prefer to perform her recital in a pair of black Chuck Taylor’s.

 

A second commercial tells the true story of a husband who accidentally packed his wife’s jewelry in a Zappos box, which he was returning, prompting Zappos to quickly intercept the package and return it to the couple.

The brand has tied the narrative of these true stories to a tagline: “Our vow is to wow”. It’s a befitting and perfect one, as videos overwhelmingly succeed in highlighting Zappos’ commitment to consumer convenience and “customer first” agenda.

Zappos is taking steps that seem obvious. We all know customer service should be a leading goal for brands. After all, people genuinely value unforgettable customer service – and thus, it shapes their acts of being loyal to a brand. Note that a Harris Interactive study suggested that 88% of customers prefer a company that offers quality customer service over a company that has the latest and most innovative products. Moreover, 69% of customers switch brands due to real or perceived poor service, with quality being cited as the reason by only 13% of respondents. Despite knowing that customer service should be a focus, many brands are failing at it. Businesses are losing $62 billion per year due to poor customer service. This unequivocally underlines the fact that being on par in terms of price and quality only gets you in the game, service helps you win. The following infographic courtesy of Provide Support will further enhance your understanding of how detrimental it can be for any business.

unforgettable customer service

The above narrative logically explains the endeavors of many brands to secure a customer loyalty through unforgettable customer service. Brands really are leaving no stone unturned in delighting and surprising their customers through extremely human and warm ways.

Frontier airlines cited a moment of crisis as an opportunity to improve their experience. Rough weather forced one of its planes to divert and land in Wyoming. Considering that it was late in the night and 160 stranded passengers must have been hungry, the pilot decided to order pizza for the entire plane on his own dime.

unforgettable customer service

Neither the airlines nor the pilot was at fault for the sudden landing. But the pilot went beyond his means to help out his desperate passengers. This doesn’t just become a prototype of an unforgettable customer service. It becomes a memorable experience which fosters a strong emotional attachment to a brand. And loyalty remains at large without it.

Another riveting example is Starbucks. One deaf customer used to type his orders on his phone screen. But much to his pleasant amazement, one day he noticed that the coffee giant has begun to use sign language to ask for his order. He even received a note from the store attendant that said, “I’ve been learning [American Sign Language] just so you can have the same experience as everyone else.”

unforgettable customer service

The customer was so moved by this warmth he shared the experience on Facebook. Since then, the post has received roughly 27,000 likes and almost 6,000 shares.

These examples are of individuals delivering unforgettable customer service, but they can be translated into a corporate culture of customer first attitudes. But the key to their success is the genuine nature. Customers need to feel like the brands that they love like to care about them, and that’s hard to fake if you’re only focused on the bottom line.

It’s also important to note, that from these examples it easy to make the mistake and only look at the big moments of crisis as opportunities to improve customer service. The smaller moments and hiccups can be equally important. Note that regardless of how much effort you put into product description and thorough messaging, customers will always have some doubts. That’s why it’s advisable to have a Question and Answer platform at your disposal. Because quickly answering customer questions is a sure way to illuminate your good customer service, as it allows you to address specific customer pain points. The best part of this approach is it can always get hyper-personalized- making the customer experience even more relatable. It’s not just helpful in ensuring greater customer loyalty through unforgettable customer service. By dispelling all the product-related doubts, it also paves a way for positive buying decisions.

Murad– A Case In Point:

Murad, a renowned skincare brand, aimed to heighten the pitch of its customer experience. Along with a loyalty program, they implemented Q&A section on its product page. Since a unified platform cuts all the difficulties such as silos of information and integration, it allowed Murad to respond quickly to the customers’ questions. The whole functioning was made more efficient by directing the customers to products that addressed their concerns. By doing it, Murad was able to add a social aspect to Q&A, thereby fostering a sense of community around itself. As it widened up the chances of customers to get more accurate and elaborate answers, it put customer experience in a superlative mode.

unforgettable customer service

Key Takeaways:

1) Neither the product nor the price is going to be the next battlefield for marketing and branding. That place would be taken by customer experience/service. In fact, Walker has already confirmed that customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator by the year 2020.

2) Try to find out ways where you can extract customer loyalty through customer experience. It doesn’t have to be done at a larger level all the time. Even responding to customers’ questions quickly and accurately can yield substantial benefits.

3) It’s just not enough to have a great customer service record and mechanism. That needs to come in front of customers in most engaging and entertaining way without sounding like a marketing gimmick. Zappos showed exactly how to do it by converting its customer service stories into engrossing commercials.

Using User Generated Content on Social Media: Why And How

User Generated Content On Social Media

User generated content (UGC)–including reviews, questions and answers, and visual commerce–is the most trusted form of content, but it’s not worthwhile if it’s not shared and seen.

What is User-Generated Content?

User-generated content (UGC) refers to any form of content created, published, or submitted on the Web by users of a brand. It is the act of users promoting a brand rather than the brand doing it. Although UGC is not created by a brand itself, brands do leverage user-generated content for additional reach and online visibility.

The user-generated content could be reviews, social media update, blog comments, video and a podcast.

Nothing is as powerful as social media in hitting the highest possible spot of reach and online visibility. Besides, at least once a month, 83% of survey respondents hear about a brand or product on social media before they hear about it from any other source. This outlines the strong link between social media and product discovery/awareness. Consequently, one major reason to use user generated content on social media is to multiply its reach. But there are two more arguments for pairing the two.

User Generated Content on Social Media is a Cost-Saver

One of the strongest motives to use user generated content on social media is that both UGC and social media are inexpensive ways to reach out to more consumers. It’s easy to pare down your content production budget by putting UGC, like customer photos and videos, into your mix. Besides, shoppers are accustomed to seeing their friends’ visual content, product reviews, and recommendations on social media. When you share it, you appear more natural and authentic.

Additionally, integrating UGC content from your reviews or Q&A platform on your company’s social networks can be a departure from costly ways of connecting to consumers and maintaining expensive customer service resources. Let your wider audience–not just those on your site–know about common questions and answers and what your fans have to say! When you provide opinions and answers early on in the buying journey, you can easily reduce shipping and returns costs.

UGC Cultivates Positive Mindsets

Nearly 31% of online shoppers say they are using social media channels to buy products. Even those who aren’t buying through social media are at least hearing about products through it. Clearly, it’s a real opportunity for retailers to shorten the path to purchase for customers. But if a sale has to happen, the user needs to have a positive and favorable mindset towards the product. An average customer reads 10 or more reviews before buying something and a brand needs 12 positive reviews to offset the impact of one negative review.

Social media can help in fastening that process, as people are sharing their brand experiences on social media. 26% like to voice their opinions, and one in four passes on personal recommendations of things they like on social media, which is great news for brands. Also, 49% share information on products hoping to change opinions or encourage action. And people do value what people say about brands on social media. Adding reviews to Facebook boosts customer’s time on your site by 9.9% and adding reviews to Twitter boosts time on site by 35%. The point to note here is that by having users praising products on social channels through UGC, a brand can eliminate the need to run a separate ORM campaign and save money.

Why User-generated Content is imperative for Businesses?

In the current marketing buzzword, user-generated content has surpassed the other marketing trends. Truth to be told, this trend matches with the fast-paced digital world and unlocks maximum benefits for marketers.

UGC is the most authentic, reliable, and creative content online according to users. It acts as an excellent social proof because it is not the brand doing the promotion but the customers themselves after using the product. The reviews from customers increase the credibility of your brand and consumers start believing what you claim.

Let’s discuss its benefits:

User-generated Content Boosts Trust

More than 90% of buyers trust brands that create UGC more than traditional advertising. This is because UGC is unbiased and created by users who share their real-life experiences.

 Authentic

Consumers trust 2.4 times more user-generated content than other forms of advertisement created by brands. Consumer-generated content is highly effective as it engages your customers. It not only increases the company’s value in the market but also captures new eyeballs.

Less Investment, High ROI

All big companies are aware of the power of UGC. When customers post their pictures or videos using the products on social media, it garners huge publicity. This makes UGC more cost-effective than other TV commercials and Billboards. In a nutshell, users promote the products without marketers having to empty their pockets.

Encourages Users to Make a Purchase

The most taxing task for any business is making people buy their products. UGC influences the decision-making of customers and increases the conversion rate by 4.6%.

Chances of Going Viral

User-generated content has more potential to go viral than that of ordinary content as users share their experiences through videos and stories on social media channels, such as Instagram and Facebook.

But to actually pluck these conferred benefits, there is a need to find innovative and feasible ways to put user generated content on social media. Following enlisting gives glimpses of such innovative and feasible ways covering multiple social media networks.

Instagram

Instagram is the current king of UGC for brands. Its format makes it simple to share user-generated photos and videos, whether as regular posts from your own account, components in your Story, or as ads. Even adding nicely formatted reviews as photos is easy.

Instagram
This company puts a customer’s review in the text caption of its photo.

 

Check out how Ugg Australia used this sponsored UGC image from Kylie Jenner to gain authenticity while playing off her huge following…

ugg kylie instagram

Pinterest

Due to its exclusive visual appeal, Pinterest is a great playground for UGC–especially for images and brand related photos. One study points out that more than 80% of pins are repins. And repins are nothing but a curated form of content. Thus, content curation amalgamates with UGC as soon as a user repins branded pins. But for that brands need two things: A collaborative pinboard and an engaging hashtag. The prime benefit of a collective pinboard is it takes user participation to the next level.

Gap solicited user photos through a group pinboard.
Gap solicited user photos through a group pinboard.

Twitter

While Twitter’s character limits may seem inflexible, you can always add photos and videos to your tweets. Thus, it’s a perfect place to embed a short customer review explaining the gist of the product’s qualities alongside the product’s photo. This assemblage deserves a chance, as 70% of consumers trust reviews written by other customers above professionally written marketing content and businesses see a 26% increase in traffic from Twitter after sharing reviews.

Facebook

Due to updates to the Facebook news feed algorithm in 2016 that placed emphasis on content from friends and family, UGC is generating tremendous traction on Facebook. There are reports suggesting that UGC drove a 6.9x higher engagement level than brand-generated content. Unsurprisingly, Facebook emerges as the first choice when brands think about putting user generate content on social media. Companies are doing this because highlighting these individuals will make others want to live their brand as well.

Forever 21 shares user photos collected through Visual Commerce on Facebook.
Forever 21 shares user photos collected through Visual Commerce on Facebook.

The success of above examples leaves no doubt about how integrating user generated content on social media improves mass reach, customer engagement, brand mentions, and operational efficiency. But remember that every social media platform has different strengths and weaknesses. The brand must be ultra-clear about what sort of user generated content it wants and how it is going to curate and use this collected dust of gold. Thus, the blueprint of the overall curation, syndication, and marketing plan must be ready before the content shared by your customers begins to crawl on your social network pages!

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