Out of all the advocate marketing solutions out there, user generated content (UGC) stands out as a no-brainer for the fashion industry. As this segment is highly visual and depends heavily on variables like size, fit, and quality, showing off the multitude of ways in which customers interact with apparel and accessories makes perfect sense. Here’s what you need to know about UGC for fashion.
UGC–which consists of ratings and reviews, questions and answers, and visual commerce–is a good way to engage with shoppers through interactive and genuine content created by consumers that’s easily accessible by millions of users online.. UGC adds value and credibility and piques people’s’ interest in your products. Integrating UGC with branded galleries, on product detail pages, and on checkout pages, results in a 5-7 % increase in conversion rate. Also, a 2% increase in the average order value can be achieved when UGC is directly incorporated on e-commerce product pages.
In addition to the above, businesses can delegate some of their brand building responsibilities to their loyal customers through UGC. Consumers are more interested in hearing the views of their peers than reading cleverly written sales messages, thus making users contribution to the content creation even more interesting.
Why is UGC such a strong strategy?
In terms of using UGC for fashion sites, we should look at a few reasons why it’s such a good fit for this sector.
It boils down to the concepts of social proof and brand identity.
A prospective buyer is more likely to identify with the models and purchase the product when he sees real people in the displayed content. A Forrester Research study reveals that only 14% of U.S. consumers trust on ad created by a brand compared to 48% of users who trust the words, pictures, and videos created by other consumers. Keeping this statistic in mind, online fashion retailers should allow potential buyers to see the products on real people, i.e. an active and loyal consumer base and highlight the questions and answers solution to satiate your shoppers need for information.
Why do we like a particular brand or why do we shop our jackets only from a particular brand/maker? More often than not, the answer lies in the way the brand identifies with our personality. Thus, when a person is able to identify his/her style with a brand’s identity, he/she becomes an advocate for the company’s style, brand story, and voice.
The way in which a brand wants to implement its contest depends upon its objectives. The more defined the objectives, the easier it is to design the program. Contests benefit the brands in the following ways:
Using ratings and reviews as word of mouth:
Ratings and reviews that are properly moderated and appropriated to the content can result in a traffic boost by attracting new visitors through long-tail search queries. User comments not only act towards SEO, but also provide additional valuable information to prospective customers by educating and guiding them through the product catalog. Ratings and reviews benefit the brands in the following ways:
Embedding the UGC:
A great way to enhance engagement and interaction with customers is to embed the posts and content from the users directly on your website, in emails, and in ads. This significantly helps in attracting visitors’ attention and improving their ‘on-site’ time. The benefits of embedding UGC onto the website are:
In terms of using UGC in ads and emails…
How can you run your own UGC campaign?
Implementing a UGC campaign is one of the most effective ways of building a brand, both in terms of spreading word of mouth and collecting high-quality content. Some of the best practices for running a UGC campaign are:
The following are some points to be considered when designing a UGC campaign for your fashion site:
Remember, no matter how you decide to promote your campaign, incentivize contributions, display your content, or market using it, be sure that your UGC strategy reflects the unique viewpoints of your customers.
Frye, a purveyor of leather shoes and handbags, has a really clean visual commerce implementation on their mobile site. Their layout boldly shows their products in a new light without cluttering the screen.
Delia’s use of a visual commerce slider on its product pages adds an extra dimension of color and interest to a relatively standard page.
Vionic is a footwear brand that prides itself on both style and comfort, with orthopedic technology built into its shoes. Because customers look to Vionic to relieve their foot problems, the company has to have a review system that accurately conveys who well their shoes pass each shopper’s test.
We love how ASOS uses trend categories to make visual commerce browsing easier. Instead of being overwhelmed by seemingly unrelated images, users can follow a brand’s story.
Levi’s Instagram ad with UGC is a strong example of the brand’s vivacious and versatile nature, which is better illustrated by a real customer than by a staged photo shoot.
This post was written by Rajiv Kanekal