How to Reduce Return Rates With User-Generated Content
Rebecca Fox

March 12, 2023

Picture this: While scrolling through Instagram, you notice one of your favorite influencers wearing a stunning outfit. “I want that!” you think. 

You click on the link in their bio, but you’re not quite sold yet. Then you see the product reviews and customer photos. People just like you wearing and loving the outfit. 

Suddenly, you feel more confident about buying it.

That’s the power of user-generated content for eCommerce. By providing social proof, user-generated content helps potential customers make informed purchase decisions, reducing the likelihood of a return.

What is User-Generated Content?

User-generated content (UGC) is content created and shared by your customers about your products. UGC can be in the form of reviews, photos, videos, and more.

Including user-generated content on your eCommerce store offers potential customers valuable information about the products, which helps reduce return rates and improve the customer experience.

You can use a UGC platform such as Loox to easily collect and display user-generated content for your online store.

How Does User-Generated Content Reduce Return Rates?

User-generated content reduces return rates by providing potential customers with relevant information about the products they are considering purchasing. 

Customers are more likely to trust information coming from other customers rather than the eCommerce store itself. In fact, 80% of customers say they value customer photos more than brand photos.

UGC provides an authentic and reliable representation of the product, and customers can see real-life examples of how the product is used and what others think of it. 

86% of customers prefer UGC because it enables them to see what the product looks like in real life. Brand-produced photos and videos can show off a product’s best features, while user-generated content shows a real person using the product in real situations, giving customers a more realistic view of how it might benefit them.

By displaying user-generated content on your eCommerce store, you can tap into this customer trust and provide potential customers with valuable information to help them make informed purchasing decisions, reducing return rates and improving customer satisfaction.

How To Encourage User-Generated Content

Here are some ways you can encourage your customers to create UGC for your eCommerce store:

Offer Incentives

Offer incentives such as discounts, special promotions, or exclusive access to products and services to encourage customers to create UGC.

By offering incentives to create user-generated content, you motivate customers to engage with your brand and create UGC that can help other customers with their buying decisions.

Make it Easy

Make it easy for customers to create user-generated content by including a simple review or feedback form on your website or product pages.

The process of submitting UGC should be simple and straightforward, without lengthy forms or complicated authentication processes. 

By streamlining the process and reducing any barriers or obstacles to leaving reviews, photos, or feedback, you can encourage more people to contribute valuable UGC.

Respond to UGC

Responding to user-generated content shows that you value your customers’ opinions and feedback, which can encourage them to create more content in the future.

When responding to UGC, it’s important to be timely and professional. Acknowledge the customer’s contribution and thank them for taking the time to share their experience. Address any concerns or questions they may have raised. 

Make it a standard practice to respond to all UGC in a timely manner, regardless of whether the feedback is positive or negative, to demonstrate your commitment to customer satisfaction.

5 Types of User-Generated Content for eCommerce

User-generated content can come in many different forms such as product reviews, customer photos and videos, and FAQs. 

Incorporate different types of UGC into your eCommerce strategy to improve the customer experience and reduce return rates by providing customers with the information they need to make purchasing decisions. 

Here are five types of eCommerce UGC and how they can help you reduce return rates.

1. Product Reviews

Product reviews are one of the most common forms of UGC. They provide valuable insights into the product’s quality, functionality, and usage, and can help potential customers make informed purchasing decisions. 

97% of customers typically read product reviews and look at ratings before making a purchase.

Reviews can provide an inside look into the quality, fit, and overall experience of a product, giving customers a more informed perspective and helping to reduce the risk of them buying a product that doesn’t meet their expectations.

Customers who interact with ratings and reviews on a product page convert at 120.3% the rate of those who don’t.

Positive reviews from other customers can provide social proof that a product is of good quality, which can lead to customers feeling more confident in making a purchase. 

Product reviews can also provide valuable information about a product that isn’t included in product descriptions or other marketing materials, helping customers make more informed purchasing decisions.

By monitoring and responding to customer product reviews, you can demonstrate your commitment to customer satisfaction, improve the customer experience, and identify recurring problems with specific products.

2. Customer Size & Fit Information

User-generated content is important for helping customers with sizing and reducing return rates because it provides customers with real-life examples of how a product fits. 

Customers are more likely to feel confident about the sizing of a product when they see pictures or videos of other people wearing the product or read about their experiences. This can help reduce returns due to sizing issues.

Ask customers to share sizing information by asking for it when they submit a product review. Encourage customers to include their height, weight, and measurements along with a photo of themselves wearing the product. Other customers can then use this information to determine how the product might fit them.

75% of customers say that user-generated content helps them get a better sense of the product’s sizing. 

By providing customers with size and fit information from real people, you can reduce the number of returns due to sizing issues. 

3. Real-Life Photos & Videos

Encouraging customers to share real-life photos and videos of your products can provide potential customers with a more realistic idea of what the product looks like and how it works. 

85% of customers say they’re more likely to buy a product that has photos and videos included in the reviews. 

User-submitted photos and videos can help you convert more browsers into buyers, especially in highly visual categories such as apparel and home improvement.

With customer photos and videos, you can reduce return rates as customers are more likely to make a purchase if they have a clear understanding of what they are getting.

4. FAQ of Customer Questions

An FAQ section can be a valuable resource for customers, as it provides answers to common questions about your products. 

Regardless of how comprehensive your product descriptions are, some customers are likely to still have questions. In this situation, customers are likely to check your FAQ section to see whether another customer has already asked the same question, and if not, they can ask it themselves.

Customers’ interactions with FAQ sections can greatly affect their buying decisions. FAQs are the most effective form of user-generated content, driving a 157.1% increase in conversions. Getting quick answers to questions (and reading answers to questions that have already been asked) gives visitors the confidence they need to convert.

Encourage customers to ask questions and answer them in a detailed FAQ section that can reduce return rates by giving potential customers the information they need to make an informed purchase decision.

5. Customer Feedback

Customer feedback is an essential type of UGC as it provides valuable insights into what customers like and dislike about your products. 

Feedback from customers can be used to make improvements and enhance the customer experience, reducing return rates due to product defects, functionality issues, or other types of customer dissatisfaction. 

For example, if a customer provides feedback indicating that a product is too small or too large, you can use that information to adjust the sizing. Alternatively, if a customer provides feedback indicating that a product is difficult to use or has a short lifespan, you can improve the product design or quality.

How to collect customer feedback:

  • Online Surveys Collect customer feedback with online surveys, which can be used to gather information on customer satisfaction, product feedback, and suggestions for improvement.
  • Social Media Monitoring – Monitor mentions and comments about your brand on your social media channels.
  • Customer Service Interactions – Encourage your customer service team to ask customers for feedback during phone or live chat interactions.
  • Post-Purchase Emails – Ask for customer feedback in post-purchase emails, which can include a rating or feedback form, and ask customers for their thoughts about the product.

By using customer feedback to improve products, you can reduce returns and improve customer loyalty, since customers are more likely to make repeat purchases from your store if they know you take their feedback into consideration. 

Customers Want User-Generated Content

A growing number of customers depend on user-generated content such as photos, videos, and reviews to make purchase decisions.

UGC can be an effective tool for reducing eCommerce return rates, as it provides information in advance so that customers feel more confident and are less likely to return items due to misunderstandings.

Displaying product reviews, highlighting customer size information, and using customer feedback to improve products can help increase customer trust and provide valuable insights into customer preferences. 

Leverage the power of user-generated content to reduce return rates, improve customer satisfaction, and optimize your products.

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