In today’s omnichannel world with hyperconnected consumers, leveraging customer-generated content has proven to be a powerful way to accelerate sales. Data shows most people rely upon reviews to validate their purchase decisions. In fact, the vast majority of FitForCommerce retail clients have found that ratings and reviews have positively influenced overall sales. It’s no wonder this type of consumer-generated content has become a staple of online stores.
With the right tools, retailers can tap into the power of the customer voice and deliver relevant content that inspires and guides shoppers from exploration to purchase — and even post-purchase. This could be in the form of real-time feedback gathered at the moment of purchase, community Q&A, or photos shared by customers. These prove to be influential in driving conversion along the customer journey. The effect doesn’t stop there, however; it also proves valuable for traffic acquisition — e.g., improving SEO results and encouraging social sharing — and for capturing important insights into customer mind-sets and product impressions.
To fully harness the value of customer-generated content, we recommend that retailers apply it accordingly based on product selection and where the shopper is in their journey. The customer journey can be divided into three primary phases: pre-purchase, purchase and post-purchase. Retailers should understand these phases to identify opportunities for customer-generated content.
Here are some best practices for customer-generated content:
Make no mistake: traditional ratings and reviews still play an important role in e-commerce. However, retailers need to move beyond these everyday tactics to keep pace with evolving shopper behavior. By harnessing these changes and taking advantage of more types of customer-generated content, brands can address pressing merchandising challenges while enabling better shopping experiences.
To learn more about the power of the customer voice, download FitForCommerce’s whitepaper here.
Mara Seigerman is a senior consultant at FitForCommerce, a boutique consultancy that helps hundreds of online and multichannel brands and retailers make informed digital, e-commerce and omnichannel retail investment decisions.
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