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Text-Based Reviews No Longer Enough

Posted on 9.27.2016

Website owners are familiar with the role that reviews play in buyers' (B2C and B2B) purchasing decisions, but some may not be prioritizing visual user-generated content (UGC) in the same way.

New data from PowerReviews indicates 65 percent of shoppers are more likely to trust products that have user-generated photos or videos in their reviews but have to visit multiple sites to find it (more on that below). Additionally, nearly three quarters (72 percent) of shoppers say they are more likely to buy a product that has reviews that feature photos and video in addition to text.This trend is more prominent in millennials, with 84 percent of consumers age 18-29 reporting that they're more likely to buy a product that has reviews that feature photos and videos as well as find this content more valuable (see image).

Marketing professionals only need to look at their own shopping experiences to know that while the demand for visual UGC is there, retailers are typically not meeting the challenge. How often do you see UGC in reviews? Rarely, which is why most consumers start looking for visual content on Google (50 percent) followed by Amazon (26 percent), and finally a brand or retailer's website (13 percent). Since, 40 percent of consumers prefer to see visual content on the retailer or brand site, compared with 29 percent on Amazon and 26 percent on a third-party review site, brands will want to add that capability to their reviews section. 

The need to encourage visual UGC and collect it natively within a site or app will only continue to grow as shoppers get used to seeing "real people" wearing/using products from savvy brands like ModCloth. 

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