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Boost Ecommerce Website Accessibility with UGC

Some internet users feel sidelined on some websites despite the web being available to all. Poor customer service, superficial marketing strategies, and inaccessible websites make it difficult for certain users to engage with brands.

Fortunately, user-generated content (UGC) provides brands an authentic opportunity to build a welcoming brand community and provide improved web accessibility. Let’s dive into how original community content can transform your brand in terms of diversity and accessibility.

UGC and Accessibility for Ecommerce

UGC, any type of media created by your brand community, is 35% more memorable than other media, as well as 50% more trusted. UGC is a broad term; it can include many types of content, such as:

  • Customer Testimonials
  • Influencer and ambassador content
  • Product Ratings & Reviews
  • Social Posts (video, text, or static image)
  • Community Q&A forums
  • Employee-Generated Content

By using a Social UGC platform to manage customer content, your brand has the opportunity to automatically populate website content as UGC is collected. Additionally, sharing UGC across your most valuable marketing channels (like email and social media) can be streamlined in-platform.

UGC can help enrich the user experience and connect consumers closer to your brand – but it can also positively impact web accessibility when used correctly. Pixlee TurnTo’s platform provides alt text for images and videos collected in-platform, supplementary properties for active media, and the ability to navigate visual content with your keyboard. Colors in-platform are ADA-compliant to support visually-impaired users.

It’s in your best interest to make your brand available to all, no matter their device, location, language or ability. This strategy can take the form of alt text for screen readers, captions for deaf users, or definitions of industry terms for those unfamiliar with jargon.

Diversity is also a crucial part of web accessibility — customers should feel represented through the brand content you share across your marketing channels. Here’s how UGC can help.

1. UGC Is Naturally Inclusive

In the words of Catherine Seaton, VP of Marketing for Windsor, “UGC is powerful because when you can see someone similar to you, whether it's skin tone, or body shape, you feel more comfortable in understanding how that's going to look on you.”

Windsor uses Pixlee TurnTo to collect, curate, publish, and track ecommerce conversions from individual pieces of UGC.

The inclusivity of UGC — as any user has the power to take a picture featuring your brand and share it online —  is what naturally produces powerful brand affinity. 

2. UGC Can Be Easily Localized 

Customers worldwide should be able to interact with your brand content, no matter their time zone or language. That’s why a review translation service (part of Pixlee TurnTo) is especially important to implement when sharing customer testimonials on your site.

Pixlee TurnTo’s language and localization capabilities support localized languages in all UGC displays and messaging templates so your brand can connect with a global community. With galleries of community content woven throughout its website, intimates brand Leonisa’s team is able to “communicate to our new audiences that we are a brand that many people around the world love.”

3. UGC and SEO Impact Accessibility Together

UGC is also useful for fine-tuning your SEO. The customers who share their UGC with your brand, whether that be through visual content or reviews, will use phrases and tags that other shoppers may search for to find your brand. Aim to match the language customers use when talking about your brand or industry to rank for more keywords.

SEO and content can cater towards individuals with certain accessibility barriers; alt text, readability, and captions should be first on your list when making content more available to your audience.

UGC in the form of Community Q&A and Checkout Comments for Seattle Coffee Gear offer long-tail keywords and phrases that coffee drinkers are more likely to search for. This, in turn, will boost your website SEO, which is essential to maintaining accessibility.

4. UGC Is a Form of “Social Proof

Shoppers are more comfortable making their first purchase from you if they see other people like them using and enjoying your products, which is why featuring visual and textual UGC sitewide is crucial to conversion. Improve purchase confidence by building trust with your site visitors by showing them your existing, diverse customer base.

Make sure you stay open to feedback from customers on your approach to accessibility. Even negative comments or criticism can serve as fuel to make your website the best it can be.

Better Together: Web Accessibility and UGC

Taking a community-oriented and accessible approach to boosting your brand visibility is likely to pay off; not only will more users be able to interact with your content, but UGC will help them feel more comfortable shopping with you. The modern consumer values authenticity in ecomerce marketing, and UGC can bring that and more to your site.

Before you dive into UGC, consider researching how other brands like Alo Yoga and The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas make the most of community content.

Evelyn Taylor
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