Using ‘real people’ in marketing isn’t new. Back in 2017, Campaign magazine reported that ‘ads featuring ordinary, real people’ resonated three times more than ‘ads featuring celebrities. But it is becoming, well … a bit more real, more visible, more diverse, more inclusive. And amongst consumers, the joy of seeing people like themselves reflected and represented is past the stage of novelty, and on its way to being a proven way to make a brand more relevant, more respected and ultimately more successful.
The challenge for eCommerce brands?
The average eCommerce site sells thousands of products, each with their own set of imagery and content requirements. Keeping all of this content up to date and relevant is a huge marketing challenge in itself, and only gets harder when you consider how to make your shopping experience more diverse and relevant to customers. This is the reason why most product imagery is basic at best and when considering fashion, you can only really shoot one model wearing the clothing at a time. As a consumer, it is often hard to relate or ‘see yourself’ using or wearing that product. That lack of emotional connection or empathy results in lost sales.
Real content from real customers, the role of UGC
When people see themselves represented in marketing, they relate. They feel closer to the brand. That relationship and ‘investment’ in the brand means they are more likely to buy from it and recommend it. While their endorsement may not have the power of celebrity, it does have undeniable authenticity, and is the heartbeat of word-of-mouth marketing. At its heart, this is the value of user-generated content.
User-generated content represents a huge opportunity for eCommerce brands to offer more diverse content in their shopping experiences. It solves two huge challenges for eCommerce brands;
- It is inherently authentic and represents real people. Therefore you can showcase lots of styles and themes in content to better engage a wide range of audience needs.
- There is lots of it out there and customers want to contribute. This offers eCommerce content marketing teams a goldmine of ready-to-use low-cost assets (rights permitting, more on that here!)
“This is why I look at the Gallery before I buy clothes”
No better way to demonstrate the power of UGC in eCommerce, is looking at StoryStream customer, Boden. This below is a recent exchange of comments on Boden’s Facebook site from real customers.
The ‘Gallery’ in question – ‘Boden by Me’ – is powered by StoryStream, and brings together User Generated Content in a single, shoppable feed. And this translates into real results. Although only recently launched, the page represents a totally new way to discover and be inspired to buy products. As a result, Boden are seeing huge engagement levels on the page and it is now generating additional revenue directly from the page itself.
Our mission at StoryStream
With our own stated mission to ‘help brands be more authentic, engaging and human’, we’re fully invested in the need for more diverse eCommerce content.
It’s early days, but the following success found by brands including – Sweaty Betty, Porsche, Boden and Land Rover, we are excited about how our technology and expertise are helping to create more diverse and inclusive customer experiences for some of the best brands in the world