How to get more user-generated content in your online store

User-generated content is becoming a more common feature in online shopping. We have explored what types of user-generated content is out there and what it takes to succeed.

Example of user-generated content in Jernia's online store

This article will give you an overview of what types of user-generated exist there and how you can encourage your customers to create good content.

Generally, there are four types of user-generated content in online stores:

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at all four types.

Product reviews

When shopping online, it’s usual that the store will contact you after you have bought something to ask what you thought about the product. This is product reviews.

We make the distinction between ratings and reviews. A rating is a score, usually measured by stars. A review is a text where customers can write whatever they want about the product.

People are usually quite happy with what they buy online and leave positive reviews. The challenge is gathering enough customer feedback to get a good volume of feedback on both best-selling and long-tail products. The best online stores have a 20% response rate for ratings and a 7% response rate for reviews.

Some online stores that excel in Norway are Kid Interiør, Jernia and Blivakker.no. The secret behind a high response rate is to make it easy for customers to leave a review. Tempting them with gift cards, points, or discount codes is not only unnecessary — Google doesn’t allow incentivized reviews. Most government consumer agencies aren’t happy about this practice either

Online stores that are good at gathering product reviews often experience increased trust from their customers, a better conversion rate and more traffic from organic and paid search. This, in turn, means increased sales and profitability. Product reviews are relevant for all brands and industries. They can have additional benefits for some categories, like helping customers choose the size for clothes or shoes.

The most experienced stores use their reviews to optimize their product range and quickly discontinue low-quality products.

Service reviews

A service review is when you let your customers rate the shopping experience, including delivery time, customer service and product. Generally speaking, service reviews are relevant for all brands and categories.

Service reviews are most used for online stores, but there’s a chance we’ll see more of this in physical stores too. We also distinguish between ratings (points) and reviews (text) for this type.

You might know service reviews from the Danish company Trustpilot. Today there are several similar solutions to gather feedback from your customers. It’s important to understand the topic well before deciding which solution you’ll get. A good solution can give you a 7%response rate for reviews and over 20% for ratings. The secret behind a high response rate is the same as for product reviews — you need to have a user-friendly solution that makes it easy for customers to give feedback.

Social media content

Social media content It doesn’t come as any surprise that a lot of content is made on social media. Still, it’s only recently that online stores started using this type of content on their websites. This type of user-generated content is better suited where the visual aspect is important — such as clothing, shoes, jewellery and interior. An online store focused on social media is Hemtex, owned by the KID Interiør.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

The fourth and final type of user-generated content is Frequently Asked Questions or FAQs. Customers repeatedly ask the same questions, which steals valuable time from customer service. Openly displaying the most commonly asked questions and answers on the product page and under customer service means customers get their questions answered quickly. In addition, it reduces pressure on customer service.

FAQ modules aren’t as common as the other types of user-generated content. Still, it’s an area with great potential, especially for online stores selling complex solutions, like electronics. The example below is from Elektroimportøren.

Work strategically with user-generated content

We’ve now covered four important types of user-generated content. Of course, all four types won’t necessarily work for all brands. Still, it’s important to see what the options are before working on increasing user-generated content.

We’ll write more store reviews, the act of measuring each physical store, in a different article.

Elektroimportøren is a company that is really impressive. They use Lipscore to gather ratings and reviews. It might sound strange that a company in the conservative electric industry is good at this, but they work really strategically with user-generated content. They have a high volume of product reviews in their online store and use the feedback actively when working on their product range and categories. In addition, they measure the overall customer satisfaction online and in their physical stores. They deal with negative feedback quickly, whether it’s related to logistics or employees in stores selling their products. Most brands are not this advanced, but it’s not hard to get to this level, at least from a technical perspective.

Also read Elektroimportøren improves their omnichannel concept with high volume customer data

Written by Ole-Martin Evensmo

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