User-generated content is becoming a mainstay of any marketing strategy. It’s been proven that integrating UGC into brand marketing campaigns helps acquire new customers, drive loyalty, and increase revenue. Consumers trust user-generated content above branded content and are more likely to make a purchase based on the word of mouth marketing from their peers.
UGC marketing is powerful because it can be used across multiple channels and platforms. It is especially effective when used in visual e-commerce—where customers can shop directly from photos on social media platforms. These examples show how three brands boosted e-commerce sales with user-generated content.
Gaiam is an authentic and innovative creator in the active lifestyle space that seeks to make yoga, wellness, and fitness accessible. The company wanted to create a platform that would showcase the user-generated content created by fans on a regular basis. The goals for the platform were to increase conversions and order value, and to improve the overall authenticity of the Gaiam site.
Gaiam created homepage galleries with shoppable images and integrated shoppable images into their Instagram pages. The company also added visual reviews on product and category pages. By making their galleries and Instagram shoppable, Gaiam reduced the length of the path to purchase which helps smooth the transition from social media to e-commerce.
Gaiam found that customers were 2.2x more likely to make a purchase after engaging with their user-generated content and that their average order value was 6.3% higher. By making user-generated content shoppable, Gaiam took advantage of the benefits of social commerce, which allows consumers to purchase a product without leaving the native social media experience.
Glossier is a beauty company that celebrates real women and creates products for “real life.” The brand has built a cult following online that began with a beauty blog and later expanded into creating their own products. The brand owes 90% of its revenue to Instagram fans, according to the CEO. Glossier has successfully leveraged social media and word-of-mouth marketing to build brand awareness and drive marketing efforts.
For brands like Glossier, word of mouth marketing is a huge part of their business, and that marketing is done through user-generated content. Since its launch, Glossier has seen consistent growth and their base of loyal fans continues to grow. Their initial launch led to $8.4 million in Series A funding which was funnels into technology and data analytics to enable the company to study Instagram and other social platforms to know how the products themselves performed.
To market a new blush, Glossier used the product on celebrity clients and shared the results on social media. The campaign led to 1,700 user-generated images over 7 days and over 6,000 images by the fourth week. Glossier uses social media to engage with customers, crowdsourcing ideas for future products and cultivating a community of loyal brand advocates. Their online campaigns and out of home advertisements prompt happy customers to share photos.
Goorin Bros. is a fourth-generation family company with a rich history and a desire to keep its heritage and history at its core, offering premium quality, top-notch service, and stellar design. Known for their classic fedoras, they are popular among athletes and celebrities. That said, the brand places a high value on authenticity, which led them to use visual UGC shared by their community of regular hat-loving customers.
Given the highly visual and photographic nature of their hats, Goorin Bros. knew they already had vast amounts of user-generated content images and videos that they could leverage. Using tools to collect, curate, and display these visuals on their website, they sought to increase online conversions.
Utilizing best-in-class solutions to A/B test the effects on its online sales of displaying shoppable galleries of real customers photos and videos, as well advanced image recognition to tag the products in photos, Goorin Bros. was able to assess the overall impact of user-generated content on its e-commerce sales.
Overall, Goorin Bros. saw an 11% increase in total online sales that could be directly tied to user-generated content, and moving forward, plans incorporate its highest-converting customer photos in email campaigns and across more marketing touchpoints.