User Generated Content (UGC): eCommerce Hack #03

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User Generated Content in E-Commerce: The key to trust interaction and increased sales

Whenever trust and authenticity are decisive factors for success in e-commerce, user-generated content (UGC) plays a central role. UGC, or user-generated content, includes all types of content that are created and shared online by customers or users of a brand. This includes product reviews, customer photos and videos, testimonials, social media posts and blog articles. This content is hugely important in e-commerce as it builds trust and credibility, increases conversion rates, improves customer loyalty, optimizes SEO and is a cost-effective marketing strategy. By using UGC in a targeted way, companies can provide authentic insights that are valued by other customers, significantly improving the customer experience and business success.

1. Overview and Definition from User Generated Content (UGC)

UGC stands for “user-generated content”. This is all types of content that are created and shared online by customers or users of a brand, rather than by the brand itself.

Examples of UGC are

Product ratings and reviews: Customer opinions and experiences on products.

Customer photos and videos: Pictures and videos that customers have taken of themselves using the product.

Testimonials: Written or verbal statements from customers about their positive experiences.

Social media posts: Posts, stories or tweets about the product, often with hashtags or brand mentions. 

Blog posts or articles: More detailed reports on the use of the product.

The importance of UGC in e-commerce is enormous

Trust and credibility: Potential customers are more likely to trust the opinions of other customers than the brand's own advertising. UGC appears authentic and shows that real people are satisfied with the product.

Higher conversion rate: Studies show that UGC increases the likelihood of customers making a purchase. UGC can dispel doubts and positively influence purchasing decisions.

Stronger customer loyalty: When customers share their experiences and engage with the brand, they feel valued and more connected to the brand.

Improved SEO: UGC often contains relevant keywords and can help the website to be found better in search engines.

Cost efficiency: UGC is an effective and cost-efficient marketing method compared to traditional advertising measures.

In short: UGC is a valuable resource for e-commerce businesses to build trust, increase sales and create a loyal customer base.

2. How does UGC build trust in e-commerce, increase interaction and influence purchasing decisions?

1. Building trust


Real experiences: Because UGC is created by real customers, it comes across as authentic and credible. Potential buyers trust the experiences and opinions of other consumers more than the marketing messages of the brand itself.

Transparency: Customer reviews and photos show the products in real situations, which enables a transparent and honest presentation. This reduces scepticism and promotes trust in the brand.

Social Proof

Recommendations from like-minded people: When potential customers see that other people have bought the product and rated it positively, they feel more confident in their purchase decision. This acts as social proof that strengthens the credibility of the brand.

Numerous reviews: A high number of reviews signals that many people trust the product and the brand, which builds additional trust.

2. Increase interaction


Comments and discussions: UGC, like reviews and photos, encourages customer interaction with each other and with the brand. Customers leave comments, share their opinions and discuss their experiences, which increases the engagement rate.

Reviews as feedback: By leaving reviews, customers give valuable feedback to the brand, which increases interaction and shows that their opinion is valued.


Sense of community: The integration of UGC creates a community around the brand. Customers feel part of a larger group, which promotes loyalty and engagement.

User participation: The ability to contribute their own content motivates customers to actively participate and strengthens their bond with the brand.

3. Influencing purchasing decisions

Information and advice:

Genuine product reviews: Customer reviews provide detailed information about the pros and cons of a product from the user's perspective. This helps potential buyers to make informed decisions.

Visual evidence: Photos and videos from real customers show the product in different usage scenarios, which helps to confirm expectations and dispel uncertainty.


Authentic recommendations: Positive reviews and visual content from satisfied customers act like personal recommendations that strengthen trust in the product and the brand.

Reduction of barriers to purchase: Negative reviews can be equally useful as they lend credibility to the brand by showing that all opinions are published transparently. This can help potential buyers gain confidence and dispel any doubts they may have.

Influence on the brand image:

Positive brand experience: Regular positive feedback and visual content contribute to a positive brand image, which increases the likelihood of new customers making a purchase.

Returning customers: Satisfied customers who share their experiences increase the chance that they will buy again and motivate others to do the same.

3. Content-advantages: What is content that only generates users?

Practical experience:

Real usage scenarios: Customers often share detailed descriptions of how they use a product on a day-to-day basis. These descriptions provide potential buyers with realistic insights into the functionality and usefulness of the product. For example, a customer may explain how a particular kitchen gadget has simplified their cooking routine.

Testimonials and reviews: Customers share their personal experiences with the product, including the specific use cases they use it for and the problems it solves for them. This information can be very valuable to other customers who have similar needs.

Solve everyday problems: Customer reviews can highlight specific issues that were solved by the product. This helps other shoppers envision the product in their own lives and how it can meet their needs.

Visual demonstrations from real life:

Customer photos and videos: Photos and videos from customers show the product in different applications and perspectives. This visual content can clarify details that are missing in the official product images, such as the actual size, colour or fit of the product.

Before and after images: Such images are particularly effective for products that promise changes or improvements, such as skin care products or cleaning products.

Additional benefits and features

Unexpected advantages:

Undiscovered features: Customer reviews can highlight additional features or benefits of a product that the brand may not have mentioned. An example could be a backpack that customers praise for its hidden pockets, which are ideal for keeping valuables safe.

Individual benefits: Customers can describe personal benefits they have experienced from using the product. These individual experiences can be more relevant and convincing to other customers than general brand claims.

Long-term use: Reviews from customers who have used the product over a longer period of time can provide information on durability and longevity, giving potential buyers additional reassurance.

Personal recommendations:

Subjective opinions: Personal opinions and recommendations in customer reviews provide an authentic perspective that may differ from the brand's standardized descriptions. For example, a customer might recommend a particular jacket as particularly suitable for extreme weather conditions based on their own experiences.

4. Integrate UGC on e-commerce websites

Integrating UGC (user-generated content) into your e-commerce website can be done in a variety of ways to increase engagement and build customer trust. Here are some examples of particularly successful integrations and recommendations for different page types:

UGC elements on the start page:

  • UGC carousel or slider: Present selected customer photos or videos to draw attention to positive experiences and convey an authentic impression.
  • Testimonials: Show short, meaningful quotes from satisfied customers to strengthen trust in your brand.
  • Social media feed: Integrate a feed of recent UGC posts from your social media channels to increase the reach of your content and engage the community.

UGC on product pages:

  • Customer ratings and reviews: Allow customers to submit and display ratings and reviews for products. Highlight particularly positive or helpful ratings.
  • Customer photos and videos: Show pictures and videos of customers using the product to give potential buyers a realistic idea of how the product looks and works.
  • Questions and answers: Allow customers to ask questions about products and have them answered by other customers or your customer service team. This can eliminate uncertainty and make purchasing decisions easier.

UGC elements of category pages:

  • UGC Galleries: Create galleries with curated customer photos showing products in different categories. This can make navigation easier and inspire customers.
  • Popular products: Display products that have been frequently purchased or positively reviewed by other customers to leverage social proof and influence purchase decisions.

UGC on the checkout page:

  • Trust badges: Display trust badges that indicate positive reviews or awards to increase customer confidence during the checkout process.
Customer reviews: Display short, positive reviews to remind customers of your positive experience with your brand and encourage them to complete the purchase.

5. Increase customer engagement - How to Generate a lot of user-generated content on your site

1. Visibility and user-friendliness:

  • Place UGC prominently: Display UGC elements (e.g. reviews, photos, comments) in highly visible places on your product pages, category pages and homepage.
  • Easy creation of UGC: Make it easy for customers to write reviews, upload photos or ask questions. Use clear call-to-action buttons (e.g. “Write review”, “Share photo”) and intuitive forms.
  • Filter and sorting options: Allow users to filter and sort UGC by relevance, date, rating or other criteria to quickly find the information they need.
  • Gamification elements: Add elements such as badges, points or rankings to reward customers for your UGC contributions and motivate them to create more content.

2. Interactive functions:

  • “Was this review helpful?” function: Allow customers to mark reviews as helpful or unhelpful. This helps other customers to find relevant reviews and increases interaction.
  • Comment functions: Allow customers to comment on reviews or ask questions. This encourages dialogue and creates a community atmosphere.
  • Share function: Allow customers to easily share UGC content via social media or other channels to increase reach and attract new customers.
  • Live chat or messaging: Offer a live chat or messaging feature to quickly assist customers with questions or issues and encourage interaction.

3. Personalization:

  • Personalized recommendations: Use UGC data to display personalized product recommendations based on other customers' reviews and preferences.
  • User profiles: Enable customers to create profiles where they can manage their reviews, photos and other UGC contributions. This strengthens customer loyalty and promotes identification with the brand.

4. Community-Building:

  • UGC competitions or challenges: Organize regular competitions or challenges where customers can submit their best photos, videos or reviews. Reward the winners with prizes or discounts.
  • UGC platform: Create a special UGC platform where customers can share their content, exchange ideas and interact with each other. This promotes a sense of community and brand loyalty.

5. Moderation and feedback:

  • Active moderation: Monitor UGC content regularly to ensure that it complies with community guidelines and does not contain inappropriate or misleading information.
  • Respond to reviews: Respond to both positive and negative reviews. Use negative reviews as an opportunity to resolve issues and improve the customer experience.

By integrating these recommendations into your site architecture, you can effectively promote UGC activities, increase interaction and build a vibrant community around your brand.

6. Tools, platforms, and general UGC integration tips for e-commerce websites 

Tools and platforms for the collection and curation of UGC


  • Description: Yotpo is a comprehensive platform that enables brands to collect and curate reviews, photos and videos from customers. It also offers features for automated email prompts and sharing UGC on social media.
  • Integration: Yotpo integrates seamlessly with many e-commerce platforms such as Shopify, Magento and WooCommerce and offers widgets to display reviews and photos on product pages.
    Advantages: Easy setup, extensive customization options and powerful analytics.

Screenshot from Yotpo's homepage


  • Description: Bazaarvoice provides solutions for collecting and curating reviews and customer content that can be used on product pages and in marketing campaigns. The platform helps build customer trust and increase conversion rates.
  • Integration: It supports integration with leading e-commerce platforms and provides APIs for custom implementations.
  • Benefits: Extensive network effects, as reviews can be shared across a network of partner sites.

Screenshot from Bazaarvoice homepage


  • Description: Trustpilot is a widely used platform for collecting reviews. It provides tools to collect, manage and analyze reviews, as well as widgets to display them on the website.
  • Integration: Trustpilot integrates easily with e-commerce platforms and offers various widgets and APIs.
  • Advantages: High credibility and visibility due to a large user base and strong SEO benefits.

Screenshot from the Trustpilot homepage


  • Description: Loox is a specialized visual review tool that encourages customers to upload photos with their reviews. It is particularly popular with Shopify users.
  • Integration: Seamless integration with Shopify and easy to configure widgets.
  • Benefits: Focus on visual content, which is especially beneficial in image-heavy industries.

Screenshot from the Loox homepage


  • Description: Okendo provides a platform for collecting and displaying ratings and visual content. It offers extensive customization options and detailed analytics.
  • Integration: Easy integration with Shopify and other e-commerce platforms.
  • Benefits: High flexibility and detailed review forms

Screenshot from Okendo's homepage

7. Concrete data and studies on the influence of UGC on consumer behaviour

In order to become clear about the use of UGC, it is worth knowing the following figures, which demonstrate the significant influence of user-generated content (UGC), especially reviews and testimonials, on consumer behaviour, in some cases quite impressively:

BrightLocal’s Local Consumer Review Survey 2023:

Trust in reviews: 76% of consumers “always” or “regularly” read online reviews for local businesses. This high number shows how important reviews are to consumers when evaluating and choosing local businesses.

Influence on purchasing decisions: 98% of consumers at least “occasionally” read online reviews before making a decision. This underlines the central role of reviews in the consumer decision-making process.

Spiegel Research Center Study:

Conversion rate: Products with reviews have a 270% higher probability of being purchased than products without reviews. For more expensive items, this probability rises to 380%. This data shows the strong effect of reviews on the willingness to buy.

PowerReviews Study 2021:

Influence of reviews: 95% of customers read reviews before making a purchase decision. The data also shows that products with a star rating between 4.0 and 4.7 are purchased most frequently, while ratings below 4.0 can have a deterrent effect.

Bazaarvoice Report 2020:

Conversion rate and revenue: Displaying reviews on product pages can increase the conversion rate by up to 52% and lead to an 18% increase in revenue. These figures illustrate the direct financial benefits of UGC for e-commerce companies.

Harvard Business Review:

Increase sales through reviews: An increase in star rating by just one point (on a 5-point scale) can increase a company's sales by 5-9%. This shows how strongly positive reviews can influence business results.

Nielsen’s Global Trust in Advertising Report:

Trust in UGC: 70% of consumers trust online reviews and testimonials from unknown users, demonstrating the high credibility and influence of UGC on purchasing decisions.

TurnTo Networks Study:

Time spent on UGC: Consumers spend an average of 5.4 minutes reading and viewing UGC before making a purchase decision. In addition, 72% of consumers say they are more likely to buy a product if they can see customer photos and videos.

These data and studies clearly show that user-generated content in e-commerce has a significant influence on consumer behaviour. It promotes trust, increases interaction and can significantly influence consumers' purchasing decisions.

8. How UGC-tools fit into the common store systems

What can be said in particular about Shopify, Magento and WooCommerce in relation to UGC? Which plugins and generally which features of these systems support the handling and reinforcement of UGC?


Integrated functions: Shopify offers basic functions for collecting and displaying customer reviews directly in the platform.

Shopify Plugins for UGC:

Yotpo: The UGC platforms described above with extensive functions for reviews, photos, questions, and answers and loyalty programs are also available specifically for Shopify.

Loox: Loox also focuses on the collection and display of product reviews with photos specifically for Shopify in order to generate social proof. Provides a user-friendly interface for managing reviews and questions and answers. A flexible UGC platform with ratings, photos, videos and community functions.


Integrated functions: Magento provides basic functionality for customer reviews, but additional extensions are required for full UGC integration.

Magento Extensions for UGC:

Yotpo: Also available for Magento, Yotpo offers the same extensive functions as for Shopify.

Bazaarvoice: Mentioned above and also available for Magento: Another leading UGC platform with similar functions to Yotpo.

PowerReviews: Provides functions for collecting and displaying ratings, questions and answers as well as for analyzing UGC data.

Feefo: Provides functions for collecting and displaying ratings, questions and answers as well as for analyzing UGC data.


Integrated functions: WooCommerce offers basic features for customer reviews, but again, plugins are required for advanced UGC features.

WooCommerce Plugins:

Yotpo: Yotpo is also available for WooCommerce and offers the same extensive functions.

Bazaarvoice: The aforementioned Bazaarvoice is also available for WooCommerce and offers a wide range of UGC functions.

CusRev: An easy-to-use plugin for customer reviews with functions for moderating and displaying reviews.

WP Customer Reviews: A free plugin for customer reviews with basic functions.

9. Conclusion: The importance of UGC in e-commerce

User-generated content (UGC) plays a crucial role in e-commerce as it creates trust and credibility, strengthens customer loyalty and increases conversion rates. By integrating UGC such as product reviews, customer photos and videos, testimonials and social media posts, companies can offer authentic insights and convince potential buyers.

Various studies show that UGC has a significant positive impact on consumer behaviour. The use of specialized tools and plugins such as Yotpo, Bazaarvoice and Trustpilot can facilitate and optimize the collection and display of UGC. Overall, UGC is a cost-efficient and effective way to improve the customer experience and increase business success.