How to Use Customer-Generated Content to Boost Conversions

Girl using her laptop

Creating content for your brand is not always easy. You have to identify your audience, craft content in a voice that speaks to them and ensure you have accurately captured their pain while delivering a relevant and much-needed solution. That can be a tall order to fill!

While brand-generated content is an important part of your e-commerce marketing efforts, why rely solely on your company’s voice to tell your story or sell your products? According to a number of recent studies, it’s the voices of fellow consumers that your customers really want to hear.

According to data gathered by Business Insider, customer-generated content is having a huge impact on e-commerce marketing. Shoppers who engage with customer-generated content are 97 percent more likely to convert into a sale than those that do not. What does this equate to for retailers? A 78 percent increase in conversions and a 106 percent increase in revenue per visitor, for starters.

Over 90 percent of consumers had more faith in recommendations from other consumers than from brand content, according to research found by The Shelf. This trust in fellow customers is why social proof works for e-commerce businesses. By providing evidence from actual customers that your product or service can fulfill a promise, consumers feel more at ease in making a decision to convert. Moreover, as more people flock to the Internet to capture and share every moment of their lives, there is a greater opportunity to take advantage of people’s eagerness to engage with brands and speak up.

4 Ways to Use Customer Content to Promote Your Online Store

If you are trying to build customer engagement, generate more word-of-mouth referrals, and increase conversions in 2017, it is time to start using customer-generated content to market your online store. Here are just four ways you can begin to use customer-generated content to market your online store this year:

1. Use Testimonials

Customer testimonials are a powerful tool in any company’s marketing efforts. While standard written testimonials are quite powerful, if you can get them in a video format, that would be even better. Just be sure that the sound bite is specific to your product and relatable to your audience. Then weave it into your online store, blog or social media, wherever it fits best.

2. Enable Ratings and Reviews

Why force prospective customers to leave your site to learn what other customers think about your products, store or customer service? Take matters into your own hands and set up a ratings and reviews system on your site. Then be sure to listen to what your customers are saying and respond in kind, so they know that you heard them.

3.  Create Unique Engagements

Creating unique engagements will be different for every business, so find something that works for your audience. If you are a clothing retailer, invite users to submit photos of themselves wearing your clothes on social media (along with a unique #hashtag). Here’s how Banana Republic does it:

Banana Republic website screen grab

Or maybe you are a coffee manufacturer, and you can ask customers to pick the next flavor of coffee you release. Get creative and have fun with this. It is about giving customers an opportunity to get involved with your brand while showing others how much they enjoy it.

4. Invite Them to a Community Q&A

Social proof does not work just by incentivizing customers to submit their own content. You have got to show them that their opinion matters. If you do not have one already, think about creating a community Q&A forum for your website. Customers can sign up and take the time to ask and answer questions alongside other customers. Watch them become actively involved in your community and watch as your company learns more about what your customers really want. Amazon is just one company doing this, providing Customer Questions & Answers on its product pages:

Amazon Q&A screen grab

Remember, these tips are all about giving your customers a chance to tell their story. Don’t forget to reward them for it—even if that simply means sharing their photos or videos on your social media or giving them a shout-out in the next newsletter. They are taking the time to share their thoughts and experiences with your product and company. Show them how grateful you are for the contribution. The efforts will pay off ten-fold in greater brand awareness, more loyal customers, more new customers and a bump to your bottom line.

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