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E-commerce brands of all sizes benefit from user-generated content (UGC), which lends authenticity to a post, builds trust for the brand, and provides social proof from customers. It’s a simple, affordable tactic for cutting through the clutter of feeds otherwise inundated with paid ads and branded content. Whether your e-commerce brand is looking for more reviews to share on product pages, better diversity in customer content for your asset library, or expanded product discoverability, UGC should be your go-to tool. Check out some of the reasons user-generated content is so vital for e-commerce brands.

Benefits of UGC for e-commerce brands

Expanded reach and awareness

When customers create content about their experience with your brand and share it on their social media channels, they typically reach your brand’s untapped audience with similar interests and values. This is especially true with non-celebrities, niche influencers, and others with a smaller audience of friends, family, and co-workers.

Even if you don’t capitalize on the UGC for use in marketing, the expanded reach allows you to generate some awareness around your brand.

Product discoverability

Hearing someone with no financial incentive from the brand talk up a product on social media is often how consumers discover new products. In fact, our Trust in Influencer Marketing report shows that 35% of consumers list influencer posts as the most effective way to get them to try new products. 

Help buyers discover your new, unique, or best-selling products by engaging UGC creators on your social media channels. 

Diversity of digital assets

As your marketing team will surely attest, creating content is time-consuming and the costs associated with making videos or paying for photography can chip away at your budget. Additionally, branded content can lack the diversity that comes with outside creators. 

Acquiring UGC allows your brand to share diverse voices to connect with a broader audience. By sharing content that shows customers of different ethnicities, gender identities, sizes, and abilities, your brand will likely be perceived as inclusive and accepting. By providing customers the opportunity to see themselves reflected in your brand, you’ll foster a sense of belonging.

Boost trust

Social media users have grown wary of the “hard sell” from brands pushing paid ads and slick marketing messages. Today’s younger consumers, in particular, are digital natives, making them among the most savvy of scrollers and shoppers. That’s why UGC and brand-related content created by someone they trust has so much weight.

When asked if they’re more likely to trust a brand if its product has been reviewed by someone they trust (like an online content creator), 66% of Millennials said yes, as did 63% of Gen Z. 

Consumers are also more likely to trust an influencer over a 

The takeaway? Let consumers sing your brand’s praises. It’s perceived as far more authentic than branded content. Gather as much UGC as you can because humanizing your messaging will help you build trust, boost relationships, and eventually, loyalty with customers.

Increased conversions

Although 90% of consumers say that online reviews impact their shopping choices, every piece of positive UGC has a place in your sales funnel. From awareness and consideration to the decision to make a purchase, consumer-created content can significantly influence the way others learn about products, weigh their value, and buy.

Look for opportunities to insert user-generated content into every point of the customer journey to escort consumers along the path with green flags. Need some ideas? Here are some examples from e-commerce brands:

  • Chewy: By allowing users to post photos of their purchases with their reviews, visitors to Chewy’s product pages, like this one for a wedding dress for dogs, get a sense of how items look on different breeds before buying. The online retailer also creates a sense of community among pet lovers.
  • Aerie: American Eagle Outfitters’ e-commerce brand Aerie captured this UGC from April Lockhart, who describes herself as a “disabled fashion girlie” promoting adaptive fashion.
  • Best Buy: When Blake Swanson wanted to demonstrate how to create custom drink combinations with a new Ninja Thirsti she purchased at Best Buy, the e-commerce giant shared the video on the brand’s Instagram channel to highlight the versatility of the product. 
  • E.l.f. Cosmetics: Offering a chance to win $250 worth of products, the makeup brand launched a contest with the hashtag #Eyeslipsface and an original branded song to gather UGC on TikTok. Among the countless entries were plenty of makeup tutorials featuring their products, like this video from MakeupByTammi

Improved SEO

User-generated content can boost your brand’s SEO efforts by:

  • Providing fresh, diverse content
  • Helping your brand identify long-tail keywords to optimize text and voice searches
  • Increasing engagement and keeping consumers on your social or e-commerce site longer
  • Driving more traffic to your site
  • Generating backlinks to your site

From testimonials and before-and-after photos to Q&As and video tutorials, UGC might be the most important tool in your marketing toolbox. 

If your e-commerce brand wants to boost brand awareness and drive engagement, UGC campaigns are a cost-effective way to accomplish both goals. 


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customers into
brand advocates.

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Turn your loyal customers into brand advocates.

Request a demo