Power Points

  • Review analytics can help brands and retailers boost review collection efforts, improve product marketing, and increase conversion rates.

  • Five UGC reports, including insights into overall review trends, merchant specific questions, Amazon reviews, and more.

  • We break down each report and share actionable tips for using the data.

Nearly 90% of shoppers say they simply won’t buy products without reading reviews first. And when consumers interact with ratings and reviews, the product experiences a 120.3% lift in conversion

The value of reviews is evident. As for how to squeeze more value from reviews… that’s where things get murkier. 

Fortunately, there’s something that can help: review analytics. Analyzing your reviews can provide answers to questions like:

  • What do your customers care about when it comes to your products?

  • Why, exactly, are your best-sellers best-sellers?

  • What changes can you make to turn your lower-sellers into better sellers?

  • Which of your review collection strategies generate the most reviews?

  • And much more

Regularly analyze your review content, and you’ll get ideas for increasing your review collection, improving your product marketing, and selling more products.

Here are five very specific reports that will help you level up your entire Ratings and Reviews program, ensuring you optimize for review collection and display – and in turn conversion – success.

1. Review Trends Report: How is your native review collection performing over time?

Any Review Trends Report displays a bird’s-eye view of how your review collection efforts are going. On a month-by-month basis, you can see the average star rating across all of your products. How many reviews have you collected? How long are those reviews, on average?

Here’s an example from a PowerReviews customer.

Review Trends Report Overview

The report also reveals the same metrics for your highest- and lowest-rated products.

Review Trends Report Product Comparison

Reports containing this information can help you spot trends in your native review collection efforts (e.g. the reviews you collect directly onto your website from shoppers who have bought your products). Does review volume stay steady throughout the year, or are there certain months when your review volume slumps or soars?

One potential actionable takeaway: To ensure you maintain a consistent flow of reviews, slower months could be an opportune time to run a review sweepstakes or sampling campaign to ensure recent reviews come in at a steady clip. 

Consistent review generation is essential to satisfying consumer expectations and keeping them on your product pages. Nearly 80% of consumers “always” or “regularly” consider review volume, and 86% of shoppers feel that recent reviews are more important when considering a product or brand they haven’t purchased before. And just over a third (38%) of shoppers will simply not purchase a product if the only reviews available were published three months ago or more.

For your products, you can see at a glance which products could use a little TLC. Low-rated products with longer review lengths indicate customers have a lot to complain about. Are there product or manufacturing issues you can fix? For products with longer reviews, what features or benefits do customers speak about? Be sure to call them out in your product description.

2. Review Form Performance Analytics: How is your review collection form performing?

In some aspects, your review generation efforts hinge on one critical element: how you ask for reviews. That’s why understanding the performance of your Review collection form is critical. 

At PowerReviews,  we solve for this with our Write-a-Review Report (or WAR Report for short). It shares key details, including your review submission rate, review starts, and review submissions — both overall and for every single one of your products. If you have significantly fewer review submissions than starts, you may have too many questions on your Write-a-Review form. Are there any non-essential questions you can remove to increase your submission rates?

Write-a-Review Report

In this example you can also see how many reviews you collect per day, on average, as well as your review start and submission rates by device (desktop, mobile, tablet, or other). If certain devices have significantly fewer submissions than starts, that could be a sign that the form or another element on your website is not mobile-friendly.

Also understand your review submission trends over time. If lower submission rates are becoming a trend, you might try shortening your review form to make it easier to submit a review.

3. Observations Reporting: How much of my review content never makes it to publication?

Some reviews aren’t fit to publish. They may contain profanity, personally identifiable information, or irrelevant content. At PowerReviews, our four-step content moderation process filters out this kind of content and tags it for review by our human moderation team. We call these “observations.”

Some of this content can’t be fixed – for example, angry reviewers who drop “F” or any other naughty bombs. However, some reviewers may unintentionally include personally identifiable information (PII), and that’s something that can be fixed with instructions on your review form.

In the report below (taken as an example from the PowerReviews Observation report), you can see a breakdown of publishable vs. unpublishable content based on observation moderations.

PowerReviews Observation Report

If you notice a significant number of reviews are moderated with “PII,” you can add helper text to your Write-a-Review form reminding people not to include personal information like names and location.

If there’s a high proportion of “irrelevant” content, you can enable review rejection emails to explain why a person’s review couldn’t be published. Once they understand the issue, they may go back and update their review. Either way, they’ll know how to write a publishable review the next time they purchase from you.

4. Deeper Review Collection Analytics: Which questions are answered the most on my review form?

To make their reviews more helpful to customers, many brands and retailers opt to add optional questions to their review form, beyond the standard star rating and blank text box. This is something we always encourage as it improves review quality – which shoppers value highly.

At PowerReviews, we call these merchant specific questions (or MSQs for short). MSQs can range from questions about size and fit (for apparel or shoe brands) to ideal use cases, pros and cons, and demographic information. Analyzing how these perform can be super valuable to informing future collection efforts.

For example: the below “MSQ Report” reveals which of these questions are most popular with customers, and the average star rating that corresponds to those questions.

MSQ Report

This data can inform your review collection efforts as well as your product marketing. For example, let’s say you manage reviews for a shoe brand. If a majority of customers say the shoe “feels narrow” and give it a low star rating, that may be your cue to update the product description with text like “This shoe runs small.”

5. Amazon Review Performance Report: How are reviews shared to Amazon from my site impacting my performance on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk?

At PowerReviews, we enable shoppers to also publish reviews they submit to your site to Amazon. After customers finish writing a review for your website, all they have to do is click this button. They’re taken directly to the corresponding product page on Amazon.com, where they can paste and submit their review.

The Share to Amazon Report displays several key metrics related to your Amazon reviews, including:

  • The total number of Amazon product pages you have
  • The total number of Amazon reviews for your products
  • The total number of reviews shared from PowerReviews to Amazon

You can also see the percentage of reviews shared from your site to Amazon, so you can understand how many customers are using this feature. 

The report even calculates the difference in review length between the two platforms. Review length is something consumers care about, with nearly 70% regularly seeking out longer, more detailed reviews. So this information can help you identify and act on this issue.

Unlock fresh insights with review analytics

Review collection, display, and promotion are all part of a well-rounded UGC marketing strategy. Add in review analytics, and your efforts will go so much further. You can make smarter decisions, optimize your marketing, and supercharge your review collection efforts.

The good news if you’re a PowerReviews customer is that you can access these reports now. And even if you’re not, we’d be happy to show them to you any time.

Savannah Claspell

Savannah is an Enterprise Customer Success Manager, passionate about using data and analytics to empower brands to grow their business. When she isn’t helping brands increase and leverage their UGC you can find her deep in a good book, running, or mountainside skiing.

A comprehensive breakdown of how various components of user-generated content impact conversion rates, based on an analysis of 1.5MM online product pages from over 1,200 brand and retailer sites during 2021.

Research at a Glance:

The Conversion Impact of User-Generated Content: The Complete Breakdown for 2022 is based on an analysis of 1.5MM online product pages from over 1,200 brand and retailer sites throughout the course of 2021 (and is an update of the previous version of this same research). Here’s a snapshot of our key findings.

The Very Presence of UGC Has a Positive Impact on Conversion
  • There’s an 8.5% increase in conversion among visitors who are served up some form of UGC on product pages.

  • The conversion lift is significantly larger – 100.6% – among visitors who interact with the UGC in some manner.
Reviews Double Conversion
  • Visitors who interact with ratings and reviews convert at a rate that’s 108.3% higher than average. 

  • Specific review features lead to even larger conversion lifts, including Helpful Yes votes (414.3%), Helpful No votes (292.9%), and Review Search (260.7%) – among others. We’ve included examples of these features in action later on in this report. 

  • 61.6% of visitors who interact with star rating filters specifically filter to see one-star reviews. These visitors still convert at a rate that’s 85.7% higher than average, proving that negative reviews aren’t conversion killers.
Q&A Remains the Most Powerful Form of UGC – and Its Impact Continues to Grow
  • In 2021, there was a 194.2% lift in conversion among visitors who interacted with Q&A content, making it the type of UGC that impacts conversion most. This is up significantly from a 157.1% conversion lift among Q&A interactors in 2020. 

  • Q&A features that have a particularly high impact on conversion include Show More Answers (217.9%), Click Read Answers (192.9%), and Answer Helpful voting (192.9%). Later on in this report, we’ll share real-life examples of each.
User-Generated Imagery Strongly Impacts Conversion
  • There is a 106.3% lift in conversion among visitors who interact with user-generated imagery on a product page, up significantly from a 91.4% lift in 2020.
  • Imagery interactions that are particularly impactful on conversion include clicking on the image gallery (110.7%), clicking to view the next image/video (103.6%), and clicking to see the previous image/video (96.4%)
Find What Works for Your Business
  • When it comes to displaying UGC on your product pages, best practices are a great place to start. However, there’s no “right” way to do it.

  • Instead, analyze your UGC performance regularly and then optimize your strategy accordingly.
Chapter 1

Introduction

UGC Has Become an Expected Part of the Purchase Journey

When consumers are researching products and services, they’re no longer satisfied to hear from the brands and retailers that sell them. Instead, they want to hear from the real experts: those who have purchased and used the product or service in question.

In fact, user-generated content, including ratings & reviews, questions & answers, and visual content has become an essential component of the shopping journey for modern consumers. If there’s any doubt in your mind, consider these statistics:

0 %
of consumers read reviews when shopping online at least sometimes
0 %
of consumers read Q&A at least occasionally; 68% have submitted their own questions
0 %
of consumers regularly or always seek out visual content from other consumers prior to making a purchase

But What’s the Conversion Impact of UGC?

Collecting and displaying user-generated content is an important way to meet shoppers’ expectations. However, before investing in UGC, brands and retailers (understandably) want to know what’s in it for them. In other words, how does the presence of this content impact one of their most important metrics: conversion?

Now, we have a definitive answer.

We analyzed activity on over 1,200 brand and retailer sites over the course of 2021 to pinpoint the conversion impact of three key types of UGC: ratings & reviews, Q&A, and visual content. We also examined how that impact has changed in the year since our last analysis

Of course, each UGC display is different. While a visually appealing, on-brand UGC display is typically a priority for many, the ultimate aim must be to create a display that has the greatest conversion impact. For this reason, we have examined how specific features of each type of UGC impact conversion.

Measure and Optimize UGC Regularly to Unlock the Biggest ROI

While understanding how UGC elements impact conversion is important, it’s only the beginning. That’s because each business is different. And while one feature may be particularly impactful for some brands and retailers, it might not be as effective for others. 

Ultimately, you’ve got to determine what works best for your business. 

Start with best practices, and test new features and functionality that are shown to impact conversion. Then, measure your UGC performance on a regular basis and use those insights to optimize your UGC display for even better results. 

Chapter 2

Methodology & Definitions

This report is based on an analysis of 1.5MM online product pages from over 1,200 brand and retailer sites over the course of 2022. Here is a key of terminology to refer back to when reading the report:

Time period for analysis
This data was pulled for the period from January 1, 2021 to December 31, 2021.
Websites analyzed
Activity on more than 1.5 million product detail pages across 1,200 ecommerce websites. These websites run the gamut of ecommerce categories.
Visitor conversion
The visitor conversion metric, used as the baseline for this report, is calculated based on conversions from individual visitors within a 24 hour period. A new visitor session starts every 24 hours, with all accompanying downstream implications on the conversion metric.
Ecommerce UGC page visitor overall
Calculated for any consumer visiting a product detail page that runs PowerReviews UGC display analytics technology.
UGC impression
Calculated based on unique visitors who have scrolled a product page enough to be served an impression of at least one type of UGC (review, Q&A, or imagery). The review snippet (the UGC element used at the top of PDPs to display a summary of the average star rating, number of reviews, etc.) is excluded from the UGC impression metric. Throughout this report, we use this metric to more closely examine the different types of UGC – specifically reviews, Q&A, videos and imagery.
UGC interaction
A metric calculated based on visitors who interact with UGC. Some examples of UGC interactions include clicking “read more” on a review, opening a user-submitted photo, or using the search box to run a search within review content.
Chapter 3

A High Level View of How UGC Impacts Visitor Conversion

The Mere Presence of UGC on a Product Page Positively Impacts Conversion

During 2021, there was a 2.8% conversion rate on the 1,200 sites we analyzed that run PowerReviews’ UGC technology. 

This may be slightly higher than benchmarks you’ve seen from other sources. There are a couple reasons for this variance.

  1. We base conversion on visitors rather than sessions. See above for more information on our methodology.

  2. Assuming the PDP is built this way (which most are), all shoppers in the sample we analyzed are served up some form of UGC above the fold. Typically, this is a summary that includes average star rating and review distribution. Again, see the methodology section for more details on what we classify as a UGC impression or UGC interaction. 

When a visitor scrolls to a point where they see some form of UGC, they’re more likely to convert. In fact, there’s an 8.5% lift in conversion when a visitor is served up some form of UGC. In comparison, UGC impressions resulted in a 4.3% lift in conversion in 2020.

UGC Interactions Significantly Boost Conversion

When site visitors actually interact with UGC, the impact on conversion is even more significant. There’s a 100.6% lift in conversion among those who interact with UGC, down slightly from a 108.4% lift in 2020. 

We’ll dive deeper into how consumers interact with UGC throughout this report.

How UGC Impacts Conversion
2020
Ecommerce UGC Page Visitor Overall Conversion Rate
3.4%
UGC Impression Conversion Rate
3.6%
4.3% conversion lift from UGC Impression
UGC Interaction Conversion Rate
7.2%
108.4% conversion lift from UGC Interaction
2021
Ecommerce UGC Page Visitor Overall Conversion Rate
2.8%
UGC Impression Conversion Rate
3.1%
8.5% conversion lift from UGC Impression
UGC Interaction Conversion Rate
5.7%
100.6% conversion lift from UGC Interaction

By simply displaying UGC (including reviews, Q&A and visual content) you can experience a notable lift in conversion. However, UGC interactions drive an even larger impact. 

Chapter 4

How Review Interactions Impact Conversion

Reviews Double Conversion Rates

It’s no secret that a growing portion of consumers are shopping online – a trend that is unlikely to slow down. Statista forecasts that ecommerce will make up nearly a quarter of total retail sales worldwide by 2025. 

While online shopping is convenient, it also involves a level of risk. That’s because it’s impossible to know for certain that a product will fit one’s needs – especially without seeing it in person first.

Reviews can help shoppers overcome this risk and increase their likelihood of making a purchase. There’s a 108.3% lift in conversion among visitors who interact with reviews.

The Impact of Review Interactions on Conversion
Lift in conversion when visitors interact with reviews
2020
120.3%
2021
108.3%

The Impact of Various Review Features on Conversion

How Various Review Features Impact Conversion
The conversion lift for visitors who engaged with each ratings and reviews feature, compared to the standard conversion rate for the same pages
2020
Helpful Yes
314.7%
Helpful No
182.4%
Review Search
202.9%
Footer Page Previous
288.2%
Footer Back to Top
129.4%
Review Snippet
129.4%
Faceoff Positive
138.2%
Footer Page Next
182.4%
Faceoff Negative
120.6%
Review Sort
109.7%
Filter Stars
111.8%
Filter Tag
35.3%
More Details
105.9%
2021
Helpful Yes
414.3%
Helpful No
292.9%
Review Search
260.7%
Footer Page Previous
242.9%
Footer Back to Top
178.6%
Review Snippet
164.3%
Faceoff Positive
128.6%
Footer Page Next
117.9%
Faceoff Negative
114.3%
Review Sort
114.3%
Filter Stars
89.3%
Filter Tag
78.6%
More Details
50%

Helpful Votes

While some reviews are helpful when a shopper is making a purchase decision, others simply aren’t. A visitor can indicate if a given review is helpful (or not) by clicking on the thumbs up or thumbs down icon.

Helpful voting is the review interaction that impacts conversion most. There’s a 414.3% lift in conversion among visitors who click the thumbs up icon. In comparison, there was a 314.7% lift in conversion as a result of this interaction in 2020.

Interestingly, there’s also a large conversion lift – 292.9% – among visitors who click the thumbs down icon on a review. While a specific review might not be particularly helpful, it doesn’t necessarily deter a shopper altogether.

Review Search

Typically, a consumer doesn’t read every single review for a given product. Instead, they seek out content that’s relevant to them. One way they can do this is by typing a search term into the review search box.

There’s a 260.7% lift in conversion among visitors who interact with the review search feature, up from 202.9% among those who took this action in 2020. 

Footer Page Actions

Once a visitor has scrolled to the bottom of a review display, they have the opportunity to take a few different actions. They can go to the next page of reviews, return to the previous page, or return to the top.

Here’s a snapshot of how these footer actions impact conversion – both in 2020 and in 2021. Notably, “back to top” is the footer action that’s garnered the largest year-over-year lift in conversion. 

How Footer Actions Impact Conversion
2020
Previous
288.2%
Next
182.4%
Back to Top
129.4%
2021
Previous
242.9%
Next
117.9%
Back to Top
178.6%

Review Snippet

It’s considered a best practice to display a review overview (also known as a snippet) at the top of product pages. The snippet provides a high level overview of the review content for a product and typically includes information such as the average star rating and the number of reviews available for the product.

If a visitor clicks on the snippet, they’re taken to the full review display, where they can read individual reviews, as well as sort and filter content to find what’s most relevant to them. There’s a 164.3% conversion lift among consumers who click the review snippet, up from a 129.4% lift in 2020. 

Review Faceoff

Some brands and retailers display a product’s most liked positive review alongside its most liked negative review one. This is referred to as a review faceoff, and it’s a great way for shoppers to quickly determine the best case and worst case scenarios of a given product.

There’s a 128.6% lift in conversion when shoppers click to read the entire positive review that’s featured in the snapshot. 

What’s perhaps more interesting is that there’s a 114.3% lift among shoppers who click to read the entire negative review. This is proof that negative reviews don’t necessarily deter shoppers. Instead, this content allows consumers to understand the worst case scenario of a given product. If it’s something they can live with (or that simply isn’t relevant to them), they’re still likely to move forward with the purchase. 

Review Sorting

The best review displays allow visitors to easily sort reviews to surface what matters most to them. For example, a visitor might sort content based on recency, helpfulness, or the availability of visual content.

There is a 114.3% lift in conversion among shoppers who click to sort reviews. This is up slightly from 2020, when there was a 109.7% conversion lift for this type of interaction. 

Here’s a closer look at how different types of sorting behavior impact conversion – both in 2020 and 2021.

Conversion Lift by Type of Review Sorting Behavior
2020
Review Sort Most Recent
73.5%
Review Sort Highest
158.8%
Review Sort Most Helpful
200%
Review Sort Oldest
108.8%
Review Sort Lowest
102.9%
Review Sort Images
170.6%
2021
Review Sort Most Recent
196.4%
Review Sort Highest
142.9%
Review Sort Most Helpful
121.4%
Review Sort Oldest
110.7%
Review Sort Lowest
103.6%
Review Sort Images
89.3%

Star Filters

Many brands and retailers include a feature in their review display that allows shoppers to see how many reviews were written for each star rating. Shoppers can then click on a specific star rating – and just the content submitted with that particular rating will be displayed.

There’s a 89.3% lift among shoppers who click to filter by star rating. 

Let’s zoom in further to see how many visitors filter reviews by each star rating – and how it impacts conversion.

Conversion Lift by Type of Review Sorting Behavior
5 Stars
Star Interactors Engage
29.3%
Conversion Lift
139.3%
4 Stars
Star Interactors Engage
20.3%
Conversion Lift
146.4%
3 Stars
Star Interactors Engage
22.4%
Conversion Lift
121.4%
2 Stars
Star Interactors Engage
22.4%
Conversion Lift
107.1%
1 Star
Star Interactors Engage
61.6%
Conversion Lift
85.7%
Note: Star interactors typically filter by more than one rating.

The most common way to filter by star rating is to see only one-star content. This isn’t surprising, as previous research found that 96% of consumers specifically seek out negative reviews – with over half (52%) explicitly looking for one-star content.

What is surprising is that those who filter to see one-star content still convert at a rate that’s much higher than average. In fact, there’s a 85.7% lift in conversion among those who filter to see one-star reviews. Again, this is proof that the presence of negative reviews isn’t enough to deter many consumers. Rather, negative reviews are a tool that consumers depend on to make more informed purchase decisions.

Filter Tags

Some brands and retailers ask those writing reviews to select “tags” related to the product. These might include pros, cons and best uses of a product – among others. 

These brands and retailers then allow future shoppers to filter reviews by these specific “tags.” 

Visitors who filter reviews by tags convert at a rate that’s 78.6% higher than average. This is up significantly from 2020, when there was a 35.3% conversion lift among visitors who filtered reviews by tags. 

More Details

When a visitor is reading a review, sometimes they have the opportunity to expand it to get additional details about the shopper that wrote the review and their experience with the product.

There’s a 50% lift in conversion among shoppers who click to expand a given review to read more details. 

Chapter 5

The Growing Impact of Q&A Interactions on Conversion

When a consumer is shopping in a store, they can reach out to a sales associate to ask questions and get product recommendations. That’s not possible for online shoppers. 

Instead, many of these consumers scroll the product page to find the questions and answers (Q&A) portion of the page. There, they can see if other shoppers have already submitted similar questions – and gotten answers. If not, they can submit their own. 

Q&A Continues to be the Most Impactful Kind of User-Generated Content – And its Impact is Growing

When we analyzed 2020 data, we found that of the types of UGC, Q&A had the largest impact on conversion. 

This continues to be the case. In fact, the impact of Q&A on conversion continues to grow. In 2021, there was a 194.2% lift in conversion among those who interacted with Q&A content, up significantly from a 157.1% conversion lift in 2020.

Impact of Q&A on Conversion
Lift in conversion when visitors interact with Q&A
2020
157.1%
2021
194.2%

Many Types of Q&A Interactions Positively Impact Conversion

A typical Q&A display includes various features and functionality. Let’s examine how interacting with key features impacts purchase behavior. 

How Key Q&A Features Impact Shopper Behavior
Conversion lift among visitors who engaged with each Q&A feature
2020
Show More Answers
164.7%
Click Read Answers
158.8%
Answer Helpful
141.2%
Answer Question
111.8%
Ask Question Snippet
137.1%
Ask Question Header
79.4%
2021
Show More Answers
217.9%
Click Read Answers
192.9%
Answer Helpful
192.9%
Answer Question
150%
Ask Question Snippet
139.3%
Ask Question Header
100%

Show More Answers

On a typical product page, a set number of questions and answers appear. If there is more Q&A than what is initially displayed, the shopper can click on text that reads “Show more Q&A” to access it. 

If a shopper seeks out additional Q&A beyond the content that’s initially displayed, it’s clear they’re interested in learning a lot about a given product. They’re also more likely to convert. In fact, there’s a 217.9% lift in conversion among shoppers who click “Show more Q&A.” This is up significantly year-over-year. In 2020, there was a 164.7% conversion lift when shoppers clicked to show more Q&A.

Click Read Answers

By default, a single answer is usually displayed for a given question submitted via Q&A. However, there are instances when there might be multiple responses to a single question. For example, a question might have an official response from the brand, as well as from someone who purchased the product. The visitor can click “show more answers” to see any additional responses. 

There’s a conversion lift of 192.9% among visitors who click to show more answers. In 2020, the lift for this action was 158.8%

Answer Helpful

If a shopper finds a response to a previous customer’s question to be particularly helpful, they might opt to tap or click the thumbs up icon.

Those who click the helpful icon convert at a rate that’s 192.9% higher than average. This is up significantly from 2020, when there was a 141.2% lift in conversion among visitors who took this action.

Answer Question

Our previous research found that 94% of shoppers value answers to Q&A that are posted by verified buyers who have already purchased the product in question. So it’s not surprising that a growing number of brands and retailers allow different experts to post answers to Q&A – including existing customers. 

A site visitor can post an answer to an existing question by clicking on the text that says “add your answer.” 

There’s a 150% lift in conversion among visitors who take this action. This is up significantly from 2020, when there was a 111.8% lift in conversion among visitors who clicked “add your answer.” 

Ask Question Snippet

On some brand and retailer sites, shoppers see an overview – or “snippet” – at the top of product pages. This snippet provides shoppers with a high-level overview of the UGC available for that particular item, and it may include a link a visitor can click to submit their own question.

Visitors who click on “Ask a Question” in the UGC snippet convert at a rate that’s 139.3% higher than average. This is up slightly from a 137.1% lift in conversion among visitors who took this action in 2020. 

Ask Question Header

Visitors can also submit questions by clicking or tapping the “Add a Question” button that’s part of the Q&A header. 

In 2021, there was a 100% increase in conversion among visitors who clicked “Add a Question” from the Q&A header, compared to a 79.4% lift among those who took the same action in 2020.

Chapter 6

How User-Generated Imagery Impacts Purchase Behavior

Shoppers Who Interact With User-Generated Visual Content are (a Lot) More Likely to Convert

During 2021, the overall conversion rate across the brand and retailer sites we analyzed was 2.8%. However, that rate is significantly higher among visitors who interact with user-generated photos and videos on a product page: 5.9%. That’s a huge 106.3% lift in conversion.

How Interactions with User-Generated Visual Content Impact Conversion
Lift in conversion when visitors interact with user-generated imagery
2020
91.4%
2021
106.3%

User-generated visual content continues to have an increasingly large impact on conversion. For the sake of comparison, there was a 91.4% lift in conversion among visitors who interacted with this content in 2020.

How Various Interactions with User-Generated Visual Content Boost Conversion

There’s no denying that those who interact with photos and videos submitted by other consumers are a lot more likely to make a purchase Now, let’s explore how different types of visual content interactions impact conversion.

2020
Image Gallery
94.1%
Image Gallery Next
91.2%
Image Gallery Previous
79.4%
2021
Image Gallery
110.7%
Image Gallery Next
103.6%
Image Gallery Previous
96.4%

Image Gallery

Once you’ve started to collect photos and videos from your shoppers, it’s a best practice to showcase it in a visual content gallery on the appropriate product page. Our analysis found there’s a 110.7% conversion lift among shoppers who click on any image within such a gallery – up from a 94.1% lift in 2020. 

Image Gallery Navigation

Once a visitor has clicked on an image or video in an imagery gallery to enlarge it, they typically have the option to navigate to other imagery by clicking on the forward and back arrows.

There’s a 103.6% lift in conversion among visitors who click to see the next image. The conversion lift is 96.4% among those who click the arrow to view the previous image.

Notably, both forward and back navigation in the image gallery had a larger impact on conversion in 2021 than they did in 2020. 

Chapter 7

5 Key Takeaways

The impact of UGC can no longer be denied. Modern consumers expect it, regardless of what they’re shopping for. And those who interact with it are more likely to make a purchase. 

Here are our 5 key takeaways from our latest analysis.

One
The Very Presence of UGC Impacts Conversion

If a shopper scrolls a product page long enough to be served up some form of UGC, there’s a 8.5% lift in conversion. The impact is significantly higher – 100.6% – among visitors who interact with user-generated content.

UGC is no longer optional. It’s essential for any brand or retailer looking to grow sales in an increasingly competitive market. If you’re not already collecting and displaying this content, you’re leaving money on the table. 

Two
Reviews Fuel Confident Purchase Decisions

There’s risk involved with purchasing a product online, sight unseen. However, reviews can help shoppers overcome this risk – and increase the likelihood they’ll make a purchase. In fact, there’s a 108.3% lift in conversion among shoppers who interact with reviews on product pages. 

Start collecting reviews. And prominently showcase this content so it’s easy to find and consume, whether a shopper is using a computer or their mobile device. In addition, consider adding features and functionality to your review display that make it easy for your shoppers to sift through content to find the reviews that are most relevant to them. 

Three
Q&A is (Still) the Most Impactful Type of UGC on Conversion

Online shoppers don’t have the opportunity to ask questions and get recommendations from an in-store associate. Instead, many turn to the Q&A portion of a product page to read questions that have already been submitted – and pose their own. 

There’s a 194.2% lift in conversion when shoppers interact with Q&A content, making it the type of UGC that has the largest conversion impact. 

It’s essential to provide online shoppers with a means to get answers to outstanding questions. Add a Q&A section to your product pages, and be sure to equip it with plenty of features that make it easy for shoppers to sift through existing questions – and ask their own. 

Four
User-Generated Visual Content is No Longer Optional

A growing number of consumers specifically seek out visual content from other shoppers before making a purchase. And this content has a large (and growing) impact on conversion. There’s a 106.3% lift in conversion among visitors who interact with imagery submitted by shoppers – which is up from a 91.4% lift the year prior. 

If you’re not already, start collecting photos and videos from your shoppers, both natively and via Instagram. Then, showcase it in a visual content gallery on your product pages that’s easy to find and navigate.

Five
Ongoing Measurement and Optimization is Key to Maximizing the Potential of Ratings & Review Programs

Throughout this report, we’ve explored the features of UGC that have the largest impact on conversion overall. However, it’s important to remember there’s no “one size fits all” UGC display that’ll work for all businesses. Rather, a feature that’s a powerful conversion-driver for one brand may have very little impact for another.

As such, it’s essential to continuously measure the performance of your UGC program. Your UGC partner should make it easy to determine which UGC features are driving conversion – and which aren’t. You can use those insights to make impactful changes to your display that’ll help you drive an even larger lift in conversion – and help you grow your sales and market share.

USAUK