How Retailers Can Leverage UGC to Acquire Millennials
Millennials are one of if not the most sought after customer demographics for retail brands. The largest generation in the world — 80 million strong in the U.S. alone — are forecast to spend $200 billion annually by 2017, and $10 trillion over their lifetimes as consumers. And that’s just in the U.S. You can see why retailers are investing significant time and money trying to capture these valuable customers.
Increasingly, retailers are leveraging social media and user generated content (UGC) to better connect with millennials, who are skeptical of traditional media for product and brand information. In the following interview with Total Retail, Rory Dennis, chief marketing officer of Amplience, a SaaS-based platform that enables retailers to produce digital campaign and product media, discusses the growing trend of UGC and how brands can best leverage this content source, particularly for acquiring younger customers.
Total Retail: Why is UGC valuable for retailers?
Rory Dennis: User-generated content is valuable to retailers because of the increasing importance of social media in today’s society, especially among younger generations. Social media use is growing at a record pace, with almost half of today’s consumers (43 percent) using social media to make a purchase decision. The content created and shared across these channels presents a great opportunity for retailers to tap into conversations and effectively cater to users’ demands and interests.
By doing this, they can create a more authentic and engaging shopping experience that enhances customer loyalty and credibility among shoppers. Simply put, people are influenced by other people. Therefore, using relevant posts from other social media users helps generate interest in the retailer, therefore boosting sales.
TR: What are the types of UGC that retailers are collecting?
RD: UGC comes in many shapes and sizes, enabling each retailer to use whatever form best benefits their brand. UGC can be a simple blog post, a product review, user-submitted images and videos, etc. With the increase of social media use, retailers have unlimited access to customers’ positive feedback on their products and/or brand, making it more important than ever for them to capitalize on these key third-party testimonials.