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Survey: In-store shoppers want access to customer-created content

Shoppers want to see content from other customers, across channels.

Customer reviews, photos and videos aren’t just for the Internet anymore.

According to the new “State of Retail Report” from user-generated content (UGC) solution provider Bazaarvoice Inc., when surveyed consumers were asked what technologies they would like to see integrated into the in-store experience, three of the most popular answers were virtual displays showing other customers’ reviews, photos, and videos (36%); QR codes that can be scanned to read reviews (34%); and availability of live/up-to-date star ratings in-store based on customer feedback (33%).

Around one-third of surveyed brands and retailers said these UGC solutions were the types of technologies they plan to integrate into the in-store experience.

In addition, 60% of surveyed global consumers want to see UGC on brand and retail websites and social channels. Consumer respondents said that written reviews (48%) and photo or video content from fellow consumers (30%) are the two types of content they find most influential when used by brands or retailers. 

Surveyed brands and retailers also ranked reviews (64%) and customer photo and video content (43%) as the most influential elements of their sales and advertising efforts.

Both surveyed consumers (9%) and brands and retailers (19%) ranked celebrity endorsements last. This result aligns with findings from a recent survey from visual content platform Stackla, which indicates that regular people have more impact on how consumers spend their money than influencers.

The Stackla survey of global consumers shows that about eight in 10  (79%) respondents say that UGC, such as images and videos from other consumers, highly impacts their purchasing decisions. But only 9% say the same for content produced by influencers.

The Stackla survey also found that 72% of respondents say photos and videos from real customers are the content they most want to see on e-commerce sites when making purchasing decisions. More than half (56%) of respondents say they’re more influenced by images and videos from social media when online shopping now than they were pre-pandemic. 

“For years, brands and retailers have been obsessed with ensuring their online shopping experience can measure up to the in-store one. Now, consumers want brick-and-mortar stores to have the same conveniences they enjoy online,” said Keith Nealon, Bazaarvoice CEO.  “After being forced to shop exclusively online for a majority of the last two years, shoppers became absolutely reliant on ratings, reviews, photos, and videos from their fellow shoppers. They want to still be able to easily access that same content now that they’re back to shopping in-store. UGC has become as integral to brands’ and retailers’ business success as their website or physical storefront themselves.” 

To see more of the State of Retail study, see Bazaarvoice’s infographic.

Research for “The State of Retail Report” was commissioned by Bazaarvoice and conducted in October 2021 by Savanta among 8,153 consumers and 505 employees in the retail industry (with titles such as VP of marketing, brand manager, and e-commerce manager) from the U.K., U.S., Canada, France, Germany, and Australia.

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