THE POWER OF UGC: Why visual user-generated content can influence the customer journey
The customer journey begins when users take a photo or review their instagram or other social media profiles. User-generated content is very important for fashion retailers because it engages shoppers from initial product searches to product pages.
According to several surveys, 45 percent of consumers surf through social and digital news feeds on their mobile devices to find inspiration and 70 percent of customers check reviews or ratings before making their final purchase.
5 top benefits of User-Generated Images for fashion retailers
- Attract customers: UGC can be a real customer magnet. 45% of consumers look at visual user-generated content for inspiration once a day or more. In this sense, Instagram has quickly turned into the social platform where consumers can discover new brands and shop them with a single tap on their devices. So, turn inspiration into shoppable is the key to drive customers to the ecommerce.
- Boost eCommerce Sales: Seeing fashion product featured in a user-generated image motivate 63% of shoppers to complete purchases. UGC stand as a powerful force not only to attract customers but also to drive conversions on your product pages.
- Improve their trustworthiness: Social media posts, product reviews, blog posts, forum posts and other types of UGC have a bigger influence on consumers than marketing materials that come directly from brands. In this sense, 85% of consumers find visual UGC more influential than brand photos or videos. Consumers do, however, trust each other. In conclusion, User-Generated Content brings authenticity to brands.
- Reduce eCommerce Returns: Over 23% of all returns are from customers ordering the wrong size. With real-customer photos, they get to see tons of high-quality product photography on different body types and from different people. In essence, visual UGC help other users to pick the right size.
- Empower Marketing Campaigns: Studies have shown that ads featuring UGC have up to 4X higher click-through-rates and a 50% drop in cost-per-click than average ads.
but… How to connect UGC with product catalog? How to select the best images required?
As we have already seen, UGC is the key to steer shoppers down the right purchase path. But also, work with user-generated content might be challenging:
- 3.2 billion images are shared each day in Social Media
- only 1 in 10 UGC photos is considered “usable”
- the images which users use to do a visual search are not as optimal as the typical image that an ecommerce has for their products.
The solution is: Visual Intelligence. Retailers need image recognition technology for UGC to work for their brand. And in this sense, Wide Eyes Technologies is one of the most accurate fashion image recognition APIs of the market. It can tag, organize, and understand images automatically using artificial intelligence and deep learning.
The role of AI in visual user-generated content
- Image classification: Wide Eyes Technologies is able to assist companies who are looking to automate image classification, or improve their image curation backend tasks to get the best image required. Wide Eyes Technologies AI API is able to classify millions of fashion images to help retailers to properly file the best one for each item.
- Auto-tagging: The assigning of keywords or tags to item’s UGC images is another challenge any eCommerce has to face. It’s an essential task that becomes more complex if you have to manage tons of images, and also if the images that come are without metadata. Using the AI Solutions of Wide Eyes Technologies based on deep learning and image recognition, they can not only assign relevant tags to every trending item that appears in the image automatically, but also add tags that make the difference based on visual characteristics; because details do matter in fashion.
- Product description generator: Image recognition tool from Wide Eyes technologies not only auto-tags images, but also it automatically generates descriptions of fashion images. This AI API combines natural language processing and computer vision to create text descriptions from fashion images. This helps in reducing the back-office work and in increasing efficiency.
- Search-by-Image: Bringing social media into the store or ecommerce through the user-generated content (UGC) is possible thanks to the image recognition technology. Wide Eyes Technologies Search-by-Image solution is able to recognize different fashion items from image. Fully automatically and without the need to define the search area or to specify the category of garments. Wide Eyes Technologies’ AI API sends results of exact matches that appear in the image from the eCommerce product database as well as visually similar in-stock options instantly. This solution gives an opportunity to eCommerces players to make their users access automatically products that they are already inspired with and buy them.
In conclusion, social content is the New Storefront. Thanks to image recognition technology it is possible to drive engagement and revenue through visual user-generated content. In essence, AI is the key to optimize UGC.