How User Generated Content is Changing Retail Forever


New research indicates that visual content can bring powerful advantages for online retailers, with the top-performing brands achieving 11% conversion lift and 180% revenue per visitor (RPV).


The Shopper Experience Index from Bazaarvoice looks at how consumers engage with more than 2,600 websites contained under Bazaar Network brand and retailer domains. The organisation also talked to 400 brand and retail clients to discover their key areas of focus and investment, according to Net Imperative.



Growing influence of social media


Retailers are increasingly integrating social media into their marketing. As customers are used to an online world with unfiltered feedback and product reviews, retailers have harnessed this through including customer photos and video content in their e-commerce.


Around 60% of clients now say that use of customer photos and video is standard, with 81% saying the integration of social media and online shopping is a priority for their business.


Joe Rohrlich, executive vice president of Bazaarvoice, said: “The average consumer spends two hours a day on social media platforms, and visual customer generated content acts as a powerful conduit between social platforms and e-commerce. Consumers have embraced features such as shoppable social content, and are coming to expect scrollable galleries of product and lifestyle content alongside the online shopping experience.”


Visual content is powerful


We hear a lot about the growing importance of voice technologies in retail, but visual content is still a top concern for brands. The Shopper Experience Index found that shoppers look to visual content across social channels to determine their purchasing decisions, being influenced by other people’s experiences, behaviours and product choices.


The client survey showed that 80% of respondents said visual consumer-generated content (CGC) increases the discoverability of products, and 88% said visual CGC improves brand trust. Eight in 10 brands either have CGC or plan to introduce it within the next year.


Almost half (47%) of brands said that being able to discover and buy products through social media would be more important to shoppers in the next year, with 23% saying this will be a significant differentiator in the next 12 months.



Omnichannel is driving sales


Half of the survey respondents (50%) said they expect customer content, such as online ratings, reviews and Q&A, to drive offline sales – a 17% increase in awareness from 2016. A similar number of retailers (46%) are focusing on bringing advanced digital services such as frictionless checkout and geofencing in-store.


The percentage of customers who read online reviews before making offline purchases has increased 15% in a year, reaching 45% of consumers.


Do you know how to connect with shoppers?


Today’s retail environment requires understanding of how social media and ecommerce interconnect. If you have what it takes to reach consumers, we want to hear from you. Take a look at the vacancies in our Engineering team now.

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