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Back in the day, retailers could focus solely on just getting the right products on shelves. But now? Not so much. Retailers need to provide an e-commerce experience and validation of products for them to make sales on their site. Customer ratings and reviews, and other forms of user-generated content (UGC), are imperative because they empower discovery and purchasing decisions.

Since the rollout of platforms like Instagram Shopping, UGC is the leading form of the interaction with consumers, with products merely attached to it. It’s clear that the future of online shopping relies heavily on content, with 53% of shoppers already saying UGC makes them more likely to make a purchase than professional photography.

For example, instead of filling product description pages (PDPs) with stock imagery, consumers want to see shopper-generated images that provide a more authentic and inspiring portrait of products. And brands can easily shorten the path to purchase by making social content shoppable

How to get more reviews on your e-commerce site

Content will continue to lead the way for consumer discovery and purchase of products. Retailers can boost their sales and reach new audiences by getting more of this content on their e-commerce site.

There’s three main ways to collect more content: native review content collection, sampling, and syndication. Here’s how to collect more of all three types. 

1. Native review content collection 

There’s multiple ways to collect more organic native reviews for your e-commerce site. At Bazaarvoice, we’ve made it easier than ever for retailers to collect reviews from shoppers post-purchase. To entice shoppers to take a moment to leave a review, it’s absolutely essential to request reviews in the moments that matter and to make it as convenient as possible.

We encourage our clients to set up a review request email to help support native review content collection. With review request emails, customers will be asked for a review soon after they’ve made a purchase, ensuring they leave feedback when what they’ve just bought is still top of mind. 

With in-mail submissions, shoppers can now write a review within an email and thus without the friction of having to click on any links or navigate to new pages. Retailers can also enable multi-product submissions, where shoppers can leave reviews for multiple products at the same time. 

2. Product sampling

Getting your products into the hands of your ideal customers via sampling is a quick way to collect reviews before a product goes live. Nowadays, you can collect more than just text-based reviews, too, and supercharge your launch with authentic visual content. 

A key strategy to drive review content for products is through sampling campaigns that are designed to supercharge review content collection. By leveraging the right sampling solutions, retailers and suppliers alike not only benefit from the ability to get their products into the hands of hyper-segmented shoppers, but also are able to collect authentic UGC for their e-commerce site (and other channels) simultaneously.

Retailers can benefit from leveraging review-seeding sampling campaigns for their own private label brands and also benefit from encouraging their suppliers to consider sampling campaigns for products sold on the retailer’s site.

Sampling is an ideal option for collecting authentic review content, whether it be for new products seeking pre-launch promotion, seasonal items, older products in need of new reviews, or retailer exclusives. 

Retailer Managed Sampling

Oftentimes, retailers also opt to create their own customized review-seeding programs — also known as Retailer Managed Sampling (RMS) programs. A key benefit of RMS programs is that retailers are able to build their own sampling communities of brand advocates, derived directly from their customer base.

Additionally, all content collected through RMS programs is native and exclusive to the retailer’s e-commerce site only. Some retailers utilizing RMS programs include Walmart’s Spark Reviewer program and Home Depot’s Seed Sampling program.

How does it work? Once a retailer has developed their own RMS program, they invite their suppliers to sample products through the program. Most of the time, retailers will also leverage their RMS program to support their own private label brands and products.

Once products are shipped to the sampling community members, retailers can begin to see an influx of native review content collected through the program on their site within just a few weeks of the shopper receiving the products. 

Sampling isn’t just for new products, though. Got a seasonal or hero product that could use a boost in UGC? Send samples to our Influenster community to drive mass awareness and deliver category level visibility for your signature products.

3. Content syndication 

Collecting more native UGC is great. Supplementing native review collection with syndication is even better. With content syndication, retailers that partner with Bazaarvoice to power their UGC on site get access to reviews collected from their brands/suppliers across from the entire Bazaarvoice Network. This is a win for both the brands collecting the content and retailers receiving it.

Retailers can turn on inbound syndication capabilities to collect both written and visual user-generated content from their suppliers. 

Content syndication takes this UGC and displays on it every channel your shoppers are — whether social media, your e-commerce site, or email — enabling your customers to make confident purchasing decisions wherever they shop.

Boost your e-commerce site with UGC

Consumers who interact with ratings and reviews are 2x more likely to convert. By collecting new UGC from a combination of native reviews, sampling, and syndication, retailers can fill their e-commerce site with content and thrive in the ever-evolving landscape of online shopping.

Start collecting more content now and stand out among your competitors and boost sales with a show-stopping e-commerce site. Want to see more more solutions for optimizing your e-commerce site? Learn more strategies to drive retail growth.

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