When compared to brand generated content, UGC and authentic reviews have far more influence on purchase decisions. And as consumer behaviour continues to evolve, these powerful forms of social proof are now essential for capturing an audience willing to pay more for what you offer.

The importance of reviews is nothing new. There’s plenty of statistics across the internet that prove how much sway they hold. What is new is the dramatic shift in buying habits - a consequence of the ongoing pandemic and a trend that puts a younger, more savvy, more demanding demographic at the centre of the consumer landscape.

To understand just how valuable reviews and UGC are to a business, we first need to understand what that consumer landscape now looks like.


Background Statistics

  • In the US alone, eCommerce sales have seen an increase of over 68% as a result of the pandemic - with far more people shopping online then ever before, building trust and engagement is now key.
  • According to Forbes, the consumer demographic has shifted significantly, with Millennials and Generation Z responsible for $350 billion in spending - this demographic has increased expectations and looks for an authentic brand experience.
  • Surveys show over 82% of consumers will continue to shop online, even after physical stores are able to fully reopen - this gives brands an opportunity to build relationships, ensuring customer loyalty in the competitive online marketplace.
  • 52% of consumers say they’re paying attention to brands that have taken a proactive approach to the crisis, and will continue to purchase from them in the future - authentic engagement and consumer interaction is now what sets businesses apart.
  • Around 40% of retailers use social platforms to generate sales, influencing the 30% of users that say they’d buy via social if a brand captured their attention - the most popular platforms are Facebook and Instagram, both used heavily by Millennials and Generation Z, and both perfect for marketing through UGC.
When we started growing our business I knew from day one that to give the business integrity, reviews were essential. People need that confidence. As soon as we started getting user generated content - pictures, videos, things like that - we definitely saw a sharp increase in sales.

Tom Jeffery, Managing Director

Wave Spa's

When you take into account the increase in online sales, the changing demographics and their increased brand expectations, it’s clear reviews and UGC are now more valuable assets than ever before.


The Influence of UGC

For another supporting statistic, 90% of consumers trust in UGC, using it as a brand quality indicator to influence their purchase decisions. That shows just how important it is, but why is it so powerful?

When we talk about UGC, we mean anything created by the user - text, imagery and, increasingly, video.

Video content is driving UGC for brands, with reviews that create an emotional response and are tangible for the viewer. This kind of content shows more than customer satisfaction. It shows an experience. Engagement with a purchase that gives potential buyers an insight as to how a product could fit into their lives.

And what’s more, it’s incredibly easy to share across the very platforms the most profitable demographic uses everyday, like Instagram.

Savvy brands are taking advantage of this. Boomf went from novelty gift to shock value cards, using video reviews to share customer experiences through authentic content.

The best part about it is that something so powerful is so easy to come by. It’s as simple as including a video upload option in review requests.

The Influence of Reviews

One last statistic - people trust online reviews around 78% as much as they trust personal recommendations from friends and family. That makes them a must have, regardless of whether you sell products or provide services.

And review management doesn’t have to be taxing. REVIEWS.io helps you reach a wider audience, promote trust and increase sales by using 3rd party reviews to improve your online reputation, all with one single solution.

Simply collecting reviews though isn’t enough. They need to be shared and celebrated, turning authentic reviews into branded social content to increase brand recognition. That’s simple to do with our new social proof editor. This feature grew out of a suggestion from our client Coombe Farm, who wanted improved editing functionality to easily share dynamic, branded review content across all their marketing platforms.  

Here is a good example of how a brand positively responds to positive reviews to provide good customer service through attentive communication.

Screenshot 2021-01-06 at 2.43.48 PM.png

Then there’s the way you deal with feedback. How you respond to positive and negative reviews is vital in building a strong reputation and consumer loyalty. Ultimately, a good review strategy covers all bases - collection, publication and interaction.

Here is a good example of how a brand positively responds to a negative  review giving the customer reassurance that the brand can be trusted by giving them the support they need.

Screenshot 2021-01-06 at 2.40.40 PM.png


Summary

The new generation of online shoppers are willing to spend more with brands they trust, and that provide them with an authentic experience. That means any business looking to stay relevant needs to be offering social proof through feedback and engaging content created by its customer base. Sign up with REVIEWS.io to start collecting reviews and build a library of UGC that helps boost your bottom line.

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2021 State of Reviews

Changes in Consumer 
Buying Behaviour

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