Within the clothing and apparel sector, worldwide eCommerce revenue and revenue per user, after the global pandemic, are expected to reach $672.71 billion by 2023. With the growing demand for a compelling online journey, the need to enhance and update your eCommerce strategy is more important than ever.
Then, in the mix, is the trend of social shopping, which continues to grow with the rise of social proof. Customers want to know that their latest looks are Instagram approved, and that’s often where they find new products too.
So what can your brand do to bridge social shopping with your eCommerce? That’s where User Generated Content comes into the picture.
UGC is 5X more likely to convert customers into buying your products than professional product shots. For fashion and apparel brands in particular, there’s huge potential for growing your engagement and your sales.
And we’ve got proof! Let’s take a look at how these 5 fashion and apparel brands are using customer content to improve their eCommerce marketing.
Shoeby: Inspire shoppers by showing off how other customers wear and style your products
In the clothing & apparel sector, social shopping has a strong influence on fashion trends. Seeing an image of another user pairing one of your brand’s dresses with a jacket helps them envision how they would wear the product after purchase.
One could argue that models could do the same – but customers are aware that products don’t look the same styled professionally as they do on a normal user. As Fatma Simsek, Social Media Marketer at Shoeby said:
“Campaign photos are great for branding and are necessary for a fashion company, but that is not enough. So I do believe in displaying User Generated Content especially on the website. People can then see what the product looks like, how other people wear it, and it also becomes an inspiration point for other customers.”
That’s why UGC is so powerful.
Shoppers want to know that the people who spent money on your products love them! And customer content is the perfect way to show off your products in an authentic way.
With Shoeby’s Instastore, they give customers the opportunity to browse their customer content with filters for men, women, and children. Then, when customers click on an image, they are brought directly to the product that is featured within it.
This provides their customers with a compelling online shopping journey. Rather than seeing a product they like on Instagram and then trying to find it online themselves, they can be directed straight to the product pages without wasting time or losing interest.
This customer inspiration benefits the shopping journey – as well as sales. As Fatma Simsek states: “We see in the stats of the pictures and videos that we share that most of the time the User Generated Content has by far the most likes and engagement”.
So let’s learn how fashion and apparel brands increase their conversion rate with genuine customer content.
Barts: Increase sales with authentic UGC
Not only does Barts show how their customers style their products, their UGC implementation has also brought them a 9.19% increase of conversion rate and a 20.49% average order value increase.
When customers see an authentic product shot, they feel much more inspired to purchase and even add more to their shopping cart.
“UGC is very useful for us because we are selling fashion accessories. And I think it’s great for people to see someone who is wearing the product. With a hat, you have several ways you can combine it with an outfit, and it’s very useful to give our customers a little bit more inspiration.”
– Marlot Smeets, PR & Content Marketer at Barts
The benefit of a User Generated Content platform is that your brand can accurately measure exactly how well each piece of customer content is performing. This is useful because attributing conversions to specific images or videos helps you understand your customer better. Plus, it means you can use this same content on social ads to help improve performance.
“The analytics reports are very helpful because I can see if people actually clicked on the content and if they are buying from it. This is one of the main reasons we use it because we know that people are actually looking at the content.”
-Marlot Smeets, PR & Content Marketer at Barts
To learn more, read the whole Barts case study here.
For now, let’s move on to the power of visual reviews.
TopVintage: Provide your customers with visual reviews
Word-of-mouth has always been the most powerful form of marketing – and that’s why User Generated Content is so compelling. Your customers are already on social media producing high-quality content. If that content features your clothing, it’s like a stamp of approval that all of their friends can see.
As we know, written reviews are a great format for convincing people that your products look great, fit well, and are well-produced. But when you add a visual element to it, shoppers don’t have to just imagine how people look and feel in your products – they can see it for themselves.
If this kind of content exists on social media, wouldn’t you want to use it?
TopVintage has discovered the importance of these visual reviews to enhance their customers’ online shopping journey. Learn how TopVintage increased their average order value by 8.33% through their use of UGC, in this case study.
Once you’re leveraging visual reviews, you can start forming a community of people who love your brand and who talk about it on social media. Hopefully, with every happy face showing off your clothes, your community will only continue to grow.
KARL LAGERFELD: Create a community of customers by extending your social engagement
When your customers engage with your products on social media, you can extend this engagement into your eCommerce store. The best way to achieve this is to create a community that is excited to be considered a part of your brand.
When you feature this community prominently on your site, they feel like they belong to something bigger than just the purchase of a new dress. Suddenly, they are an ambassador for your brand, which will only make them – and others – want to post more.
KARL LAGERFELD is a brilliant of example this – they encourage their large fan base to post content featuring their products to be displayed on their eCommerce store. They give back to their loyal customers by acknowledging their authentic instagram content and showcasing it on their website. This proved effective as KARL LAGERFELD saw a 7.02% increase of conversion rate of people who interacted with UGC. They also saw a 20.84% average order value increase. Find out more about KARL LAGERFELD’s successful UGC strategy in this case study!
They also feature their earned images and videos within a shoppable lookbook, so that users never run out of inspirational styling content. Then, the fact that they can directly purchase the featured products from the content that interests them only makes the shopping journey that much more compelling.
United Colors of Benetton: Share brand values with both new and core customers
When an internationally renowned brand like United Colors of Benetton wanted to share its product message about its sustainable practices with a larger audience, UGC was the perfect way to do so.
“We would like United Colors of Benetton to be seen as a colorful, good-quality and eclectic collection – suitable for all and committed to be more and more sustainable. And User Generated Content is a great complement to this approach.”
– Vanessa Roccatelli – Digital Marketing Manager at United Colors of Benetton
Through UGC they were able to connect with both young new customers and their loyal core customer base. When new customers see images and videos of the Benetton community enjoying their designs, they too want to experience this connection to the brand’s promise of a brighter future, together.
Now after collecting over 294k User Generated images and videos, both old and new customers can scroll through authentic images of other customers enjoying this innovative brand’s designs, giving them full social proof to convert.
Find out more about United Colors of Benetton’s UGC strategy in this case study.
Embracing User Generated Content as a fashion & apparel brand
Now that you’ve learned how these 5 fashion and apparel brands leverage User Generated Content in their eCommerce stores, it’s your turn to try it out. But let us help you!
With Photoslurp’s User Generated Content platform, you can easily collect, manage, publish and analyze your customer content for a truly killer strategy. Learn more about our solution here.
Then start improving your eCommerce performance with the help of your customers. With so many key benefits, it’s really a no-brainer for fashion and apparel brands.