How User-Generated Content Can Help You Win Over E-Commerce Shoppers (With Examples)
← Back to Blog Emil Kristensen

How User-Generated Content Can Help You Win Over E-Commerce Shoppers (With Examples)

User-Generated Content [Wordpress]

I probably don’t need to tell you that trust is vital for winning over e-commerce shoppers. If you can’t establish some base level of trust and prove that your product does what you say it will, you’re going to face an uphill battle.

When you get right down to it, there are two main ways to build trust. You can either: 

  • Promote your brand yourself through traditional marketing techniques; or
  • Have your customers promote your brand for you.

Option A can be useful and drive a ton of qualified leads—many of which will ultimately become paying customers. But option B tends to be even more effective and can potentially be a game-changer. 

Say for example, an ultra satisfied customer raves about your product on social media, and thousands of people see it. This could result in an influx of orders overnight and could catapult your brand to a whole new level. 

As more and more e-commerce businesses are finding out, user-generated content is one of the best mediums for getting customers to promote your brand. 

Here’s how this strategy works, why it’s beneficial, and a handful of examples of real-life brands who are succeeding in using it. 


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Table of Contents

1. Social Media Posts

2. Customer Videos

3. Customer Reviews

4. An Instagram Gallery

The Basics of User-Generated Content 

If you’re not entirely sure what this term means, it refers to any branded content that’s created by unaffiliated users who aren’t part of your brand.

A simple example would be a social media influencer, like someone’s who’s Instagram famous, creating a post featuring your product and giving it their nod of approval.

Because of the level of trust they have with their audience and because they’re not affiliated with your brand, their opinion carries a lot of weight. In turn, you can quickly build trust with other shoppers and increase the odds of them buying. 

Or even if someone isn’t an “influencer” with a built-in audience and simply leaves a positive review, that would also be considered user-generated content and could help propel your brand. 

User-generated content is potent because it relies on objective, unbiased voices who don’t have any ulterior motives when promoting your brand. Instead, they are simply people who are legitimately impressed with your product and decide to give it a thumbs up by sharing it with others.

It’s a powerful form of social proof that can have a massive impact.

In fact, “82 percent of consumers consider user-generated reviews extremely valuable.”

Furthermore, “70 percent of all consumers will look to reviews or ratings before making a purchasing decision, with at least 41 percent of consumers reading 4-7 reviews in their quest for product information.”

Considering how saturated many industries are, user-generated content can be your ticket to distinguishing your brand from competitors and getting shoppers to buy. 

Now that I’ve covered the fundamentals of this strategy and why it’s so beneficial, here are some specific types of user-generated content that have proven to be successful, along with examples from brands who have crushed it. 

1. Social Media Posts

Social media has the potential to reach hundreds of thousands or even millions of people. As of 2019, nearly four out of every five (79 percent) Americans had a social media profile. 

So this is one of the top forms of user-generated content. If the right person shares your brand with their audience, you can blow up in a hurry. 

Here’s an example.

Jojo Babie is a famous Instagram model, with 9.2 million followers as of December 2019. 

Instagram Account And Followers Count

She places a big emphasis on fitness and nutrition, and many of her followers are interested in the exercise techniques she performs and the products she uses to stay fit.

One particular product she features is this protein shake from high-performance nutrition company 1st Phorm

1st Phorm Placement

Click on the post, and you see a brief comment where she gives it her stamp of approval, and it ended up receiving over 6,500 likes.

Amount Of Likes In This Post

Given that Jojo Babie has well over 9 million followers on Instagram, it’s safe to say that this post received a lot of attention and helped 1st Phorm boost their exposure dramatically.

When you check out their Instagram page and see that they had 873k followers as of December 2019, this type of user-generated content is having an impact.

1st Phorm Account

Even if you can get just a handful of social media influencers to create content featuring your products, it can be the catalyst for a ton of qualified leads and elevate your brand reputation considerably. 

This makes social media a great place to start when diving into user-generated content. 

2. Customer Videos

Did you know that YouTube is the world’s second-largest search engine after Google? It’s true. People use it to search for anything and everything. And more than 60 billion hours of video are viewed on YouTube each month. 

This makes it an incredibly powerful medium for marketing and ideal for user-generated content.

Many e-commerce brands have experienced massive success after being featured on YouTube, with Dollar Shave Club being one of the main standouts. 

A good example is this video from Eamon and Bec featuring ten van life essentials. 

Van Life Youtube Video

They’re a couple who has chosen to live a minimalist lifestyle where they travel in their van full-time and document their adventures. They currently have 420k subscribers and are a respected voice in the van life community.

In this particular video, they talk about ten amazing products they frequently use to make their lives easier while traveling.

Product Placement In Youtube

One of which is Chaiwala Chai, a company that sells high-quality chai tea. Eamon and Bec mention it in their video and show a brief clip of them preparing a cup of this brand’s tea in their van.

Promotion Of Tea

They also include a link to the Chaiwala Chai Kit, so viewers can conveniently find it.

Description Mention

Click on the link, and it takes you to the Chaiwala Chai website, where you can learn more about the product and buy it. 

Meet Your New Favourite Tea
Promoted Tea Options

Now put yourself in the shoes of an average YouTube user for a second. They see the product mentioned in the video, Eamon and Bec talk about how much they enjoy the product, and the user sees the link listed in the video description.

If they’re at all a fan of chai tea, there’s a high chance they’ll click on the link and want to learn more. And because they’re already “warmed up” and value the opinion of Eamon and Bec, their odds of converting skyrocket. 

So you can see how user-generated content in the form of video can be so compelling.

3. Customer Reviews

There’s nothing new about customer reviews. In fact, they’re one of the most old school ways to win over new customers. But there’s a good reason they’ve been used for so long—they work.

Incorporating customer reviews into your user-generated content campaign can quickly boost your credibility and motivate shoppers to make a purchase.

One brand that uses customer reviews well is Yoga Rebel, a company that specializes in premium yoga and fitness wear. They’ve got a great looking website that’s super professional. 

Yoga Rebel

And they seamlessly weave three customer reviews into their homepage.

Yoga Rebel Reviews

This, no doubt, encourages many shoppers to take the Yoga Rebel brand more seriously and increases website engagement. But they take it one step further and have a “Reviews” section in the footer of their site.

Footer Reviews Section

Click on that, and you go to a page that’s entirely devoted to customer reviews.

Yoga Rebel Review Page

Scroll through it, and you’ll find a ton of helpful reviews, with the vast majority being incredibly positive. 

What People Say

This is a simple but effective way to leverage user-generated content and provides shoppers with an objective perspective of what they can expect when doing business with Yoga Rebel. And it’s a technique that you can implement as well. 

It’s just a matter of collecting at least a handful of reviews from satisfied customers and incorporating them into your e-commerce store. Do that effectively, and your conversion rate is almost guaranteed to increase. 

4. An Instagram Gallery

This technique overlaps somewhat with user-generated content on social media posts but involves adding an Instagram gallery directly to your site.

In that gallery, you feature Instagram posts from actual customers who love your products. This is something beauty care product brand Vanity Planet has completely nailed.

Here’s the first thing you see when arriving on their site.

Vanity Planet Homepage

Scroll down a little further, and you see their Instagram gallery, featuring images of customers using their products, with their facial cleansing brush being the main highlight. 

Influencer Mentions

Here’s what happens when you click on one of the images.

Review From A Mexican Model

You see a legitimate review from Mexican model Claudia Salinas, where she says how much she loves using the facial cleansing brush.

Considering that she’s fairly well known with 295k Instagram followers as of late 2019, this is a great way for Vanity Planet to pique the interest of many shoppers.

Missalinas Following

Maybe a shopper has some level of interest in Vanity Planet’s products but was a little skeptical. Seeing a successful model sing the brand’s praises should eliminate a lot of that skepticism and make them feel more comfortable buying.

And by placing a “Shop Now” button directly into their content, shoppers can instantly find the exact product Claudia Salinas is referring to without having to search for it. 

Shop Through Instagram Caption

Here’s where that link leads to. 

Vanity Planet Skin Spa Product

Another smart thing Vanity Planet does is encourage shoppers to follow them on Instagram and use their hashtag #vpbeauty.

Vpbeauty Features

This is a simple way to build their Instagram following and increase their volume of user-generated content. And it’s paid off. The hashtag #vpbeauty has currently been used over 3,200 times, and Vanity Planet has 258k Instagram followers.

Vpbeauty Hashtag In Instagram
VanityPlanet Store Instagram

So this is a great example of how to get the absolute most out of an Instagram gallery. Another beautiful thing about encouraging customers to create user-generated content like this is that it gets them in on the action and lets them know that their patronage is valued.

The best part is that adding an Instagram gallery is easy to do. All you have to do is install a plugin from an e-commerce platform, such as Instafeed on Shopify, or the Instagram Feed Widget on Magento

These plugins are fully customizable and allow you to showcase your top user-generated content from Instagram right on your website even if you have minimal design skills. 


Want More Conversion Optimization Tips?

We’ve put together 12 CRO resources to help you drive more leads and revenue.

Whether you’re looking for satisfaction guarantee examples or product page examples, we’ve got something for you.

You’ll also get immediate access to 23+ other bonus resources, categorized in Notion for your convenience.

Download Swipe File Now →


Having a product approved by actual customers will almost always go further than having a team of marketers tell shoppers how great it is. 

In fact, “Consumers are 92 percent more likely to trust their peers over advertising when it comes to purchase decisions.” And it’s easy to see why.

Marketers always have an agenda and want to push their product, which doesn’t always translate into product or brand quality. With all of the charlatans and snake oil salespeople out there, many consumers are understandably skeptical.

But user-generated content slashes through much of that skepticism. Because customers don’t have an agenda and are merely voicing their opinion, they’ll tell it like it is.

If a product is good, they’ll say that it’s good. Or if it doesn’t hit the mark, they’ll be honest about that as well. As a result, user-generated content helps achieve a level of transparency that’s appealing to most e-commerce shoppers.

After all, if it works for one of their peers, it should work for them as well. This makes it one of the most potent ways to reel in leads and provides them with the proof they need to make a well-informed purchasing decision.

Understanding the psychology behind user-generated content and applying strategies like the ones I mentioned here can do wonders for your brand and help you stand out from the masses. 

How much more likely are you to buy a product after it’s been validated by a customer?

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