The Importance of User-Generated Content
To date, PowerReviews has helped our clients collect more than 100 million pieces of user-generated content (UGC) — such as ratings and reviews, photos and videos, questions and answers — from consumers all around the world. This content is then syndicated across the Open Network to search engines and retailers, both large and small, reaching one billion shoppers each month.
Collecting and displaying authentic user-generated content helps brands and retailers drive site traffic (SEO), increase site conversion by as much as 20 percent and build customer trust and loyalty. And ultimately, UGC helps consumers make confident purchasing decisions.
Over the last several years, PowerReviews has developed the most advanced technologies to help our clients syndicate content at a global scale. With the help of the Product Knowledge Graph, we leverage both artificial and human intelligence to help improve the reach of UGC between brands and retailers to quickly deliver authentic user-generated content to thousands of retailers on behalf of brands.
The Traditional Approach to Syndication
Historically, the approach to matching products between brands and retailers was simple, but limited and inflexible. Products that appear to be the same across catalogs that are matched. Then, if a sharing agreement is in place between the brand and retailer, content can be shared. There are three major limitations to this approach that lead to missed opportunities for delivering the most impactful UGC possible during a consumer’s purchase journey:
- Rate of change: With the rate of change across hundreds of millions of products (especially in industries like apparel), the moment a product match is made between sites, it may already be out of date.
- Related products: UGC is not only useful to consumers looking at identical products, but it’s also valuable for consumers shopping for similar or opposing products. The content that will have the biggest impact on a purchasing decision depends on the industry, product category or even the momentary availability of usable content.
- Product data quality: Many product catalogs have incomplete, incorrect or alternative product identifications. This missing information makes it difficult to directly connect products and often requires manual data cleanup. This does not scale to the massive size of the PowerReviews product network.
In September 2017, PowerReviews became the first in the industry to create a complete Product Knowledge Graph containing over half a billion recognized similarities and relationships across hundreds of millions of products in the Open Network. At every opportunity to influence a consumer making a purchasing decision, the entire Product Knowledge Graph is leveraged by algorithms designed to provide the best possible UGC publishing decision for that unique situation.
The Product Knowledge Graph Advantage
Instantaneous syndication decisions: When the PowerReviews platform is determining what content to share or not share, it leverages the knowledge of every potential product relationship in real-time. This drives a better decision of what content will help inform the consumer, made in the moment with no dependencies on previous manual or offline decisions. With the ever-changing product catalogs in apparel, shoes, beauty and other industries, it will become imperative that the most appropriate and useful content is available for the consumer. At this time, PowerReviews is the only technology vendor in our space that makes it easy for retailers and brands to take advantage of this.
Dynamic relationships: Graph technology allows for a rich representation of any potential similarity or difference between products, built into the heart of our SaaS platform. Those choices are not limited to a predefined “type” or constrained list. Currently, there are over 700 million relationships between many different types of products — and the list is growing. PowerReviews can represent valuable concepts like similarity, appearance, color or any related attributes to bring related and valuable UGC for consumers to make an informed decision before buying. This allows brands and retailers to quickly bring useful UGC to consumers considering products that have recently launched or would otherwise lack content.
A.I. error correction: Brands and retailers may have inconsistencies or gaps in their product data, leading to missed opportunities to share UGC. The Product Knowledge Graph often finds products that are indirectly connected to thousands of other products, overcoming the data quality challenge automatically. This is possible because we use multiple algorithms based on different aspects of the product data to find direct and indirect relationships between products. Gaps in product data can be overcome using context learned from other indirectly connected products. You may have seen a similar concept if you use any popular social media platform. Using similar technology, they infer you are likely to know someone if the majority of your connections also know that person. Once the possible relationship is identified, the similarities across the group (like location, age, profession) can predict with high confidence that you should know this person. PowerReviews now does the same thing, only with product data.
Using advanced algorithms, missing or incorrect data is also automatically detected. PowerReviews software evaluates the “fit” of a product across all of the directly and indirectly related products. Scoring is done to correct bad product data, to avoid incorrect content being published to a consumer.
PowerReviews continues to prioritize innovation and technology to maximize the quantity, quality and impact of user-generated content shared to the Open Network. Trusted by the world’s largest brands and retailers, PowerReviews is committed to providing our clients with the most advanced technology to increase UGC, conversion, traffic and insights.
David Hummel is Chief Technology Officer at PowerReviews.