CONSUMER GENERATED CONTENT EXERTING A GROWING INFLUENCE ON SHOPPERS’ DECISIONS

Consumer-generated content (CGC) has never been more influential for shoppers or important to marketers’ strategies. Bazaarvoice has released its annual CGC Index, an in-depth analysis of how CGC influences shopper behavior across different industries worldwide.

Drawing on data from more than 2,200 global client sites and 54.8 billion shopper touchpoints in the Bazaarvoice Network, the Bazaarvoice CGC Index reports that best-in-class performing brands and retailers experienced more than 90-106 percent lift in conversion and more than 101 – 116 percent lift in revenue per visitor (RPV) in 2016 when consumers interacted with CGC during the shopping process.

The research also explores how brands can use CGC in multiple moments throughout the shopper journey, the continued growth and influence of visual content, and how businesses can leverage CGC to improve their products and customer service experiences.

“Today’s customer journey is incredibly complex. Consumer purchase patterns are fragmented and their decisions are shaped by a massive amount of information and opinions,” said Sara Spivey, chief marketing officer at Bazaarvoice. ”The research in the CGC Index demonstrates how critical CGC is to winning hard-to-reach customers, deriving meaningful insights, and bringing value back to their businesses.”

Bazaarvoice found five consistent practices that shaped winning CGC strategies in 2016:

  • Content collection is at the core: Brands and retailers should actively request feedback from purchasers and employ a range of different tactics to gather a large volume and variety of content to paint a rich, representative picture of a product’s strengths and weaknesses.
  • Be there, in all the moments that matter: Best-in-class brands leverage CGC in-store, syndicate content to retail sites, and amplify content on social channels to reach today’s omnichannel shoppers.
  • Customers illustrate the story: Photos and videos create emotional connections with consumers because they are authentic and relatable; brands should integrate visual content into their CGG strategies to build trust and loyalty.
  • Active listeners win: Industry leading brands distill meaningful insights and feedback from CGC and use it to improve customer service, product features or their marketing tactics.
  • Consumer engagement is a conversation: Consumers expect instant information and a two-way conversation with the brands and retailers they shop. Businesses must connect, engage and answer questions to be successful.

“The consumer is definitely in charge today, and we as manufacturers are looking to support that consumer in any way we can,” said Bob Buhowski of LG’s Digital Marketing Group. “You can’t get closer to knowing what consumers want than having a direct interaction with them.”