Here’s how to help your online store customers find the perfect holiday gift by harnessing the power of social proof.
There’s a clear desire to make this year’s holiday season extra special. For many of us, it’ll be a chance to reunite with family after months apart. This anticipation is showing in the realm of retail – over half of UK consumers started their Christmas shopping already in September.
Holiday season 2021 will be less restricted than 2020 (fingers crossed), but the last two years have permanently shifted global consumer behavior towards digital. Shoppers are proving hesitant to return en masse to physical stores, with 57% planning to do most of their shopping from home.
So, how can you help your customers find that perfect gift – and give them a stress-free holiday shopping experience? By harnessing the power of social proof through user-generated content (UGC) in your online store.
Why you should use UGC
User-generated content (UGC) refers to non-branded, user-made content. This could be a review, an unboxing or how-to video, or a social media post. UGC’s core marketing strength? Authenticity.
- 55% of consumers trust UGC above all forms of marketing
- 64% of consumers will actively seek UGC before committing to a purchasing decision
- UGC videos on YouTube get 10x more views than branded content
There’s not a whole lot of time before the holiday season, especially as some consider it kicks off with Black Friday. But the good news for online retailers is that implementing UGC is easy. It’s all about content curation rather than content creation.
How to harness the power of social proof this holiday season
1. ‘Tis the season to unbox
There’s a clear demand from consumers for UGC videos. 93% of millennials watch how-to videos. Make use of this enthusiasm by highlighting videos that explain and showcase your products. With UGC videos, your customers get to see the product in action – the way a garment moves or the sounds a gadget makes. Only video can provide this level of information, making it all the easier for online browsers to decide if this is the gift for them. And, after all, holiday season is the perfect time to share an unboxing video or two.
2. Share the good reviews
UGC reviews work. 95% of health and beauty shoppers say online customer reviews influence their product search. On-site user-made reviews and ratings can increase conversions by as much as 74%. Personal, subjective reviews without an agenda create trust and mean your customers don’t have to rely on technical product information. With UGC videos, they can see what an actual human being thinks of the item they may be considering as a holiday gift.
3. Leverage the community
Looking to share the love for your brand during the holiday season? UGC’s wide usage means it’s a supreme way to promote your brand and products. But you can’t just rely on users to post content – you also have to boost this content through your own social media presence. Sharing posts from your customers can be the crucial social proof that convinces customers to convert. 75% of consumers have purchased something because they saw it on social media. That’s the kind of data you can’t afford to ignore when looking to transform your online holiday browsers into buyers.
4. Who can say no to a holiday giveaway?
But how to get your customers to create and share content on your brand and product? To engage the audience and generate UGC, throw a festive giveaway contest. Choose a hashtag for your audience to use when posting their own content or ask them to tag your channel in their posts, gather the best content and select the best ones to be shared on your social media channel (and reward the winners). In the best-case scenario, you can end up having a library of user-generated reviews, tutorials and unboxings of your products for future use.