10 Stats That Show Why You Need to Up Your UGC Game

User-generated content isn’t just a buzzword — it’s increasingly key to engaging a younger generation in brand content and sales. But don’t just take our word for it. Here are 10 stats that show why your brand needs to up its UGC game.

1. 90% of US consumers say that UGC is the biggest influence on purchasing decisions

Many brands focus on their email marketing and search engine results before UGC. That’s backwards, according to a recent study of 1,070 online shoppers by TurnTo Networks and Ipsos. They found that UGC displayed on brands’ websites was the biggest influencer of purchasing, according to 90% of respondents. In second place, with 87%, came search engine results, with promotional emails third at 79%.

2. One in three Millennial shoppers find UGC better than brand content

Some 34% of U.S. shoppers aged 18–24 strongly agree that UGC is more interesting than content created by brands, according to TurnTo and Ipsos.

3. 79% of 18-24-year-olds distrust company experts

Many brands like to use experts to verify the quality of their products, but this can also be costly. In terms of user trust, according to Salesforce‘s 2016 Connected Consumer Report, only 21% of 18-24-year-olds completely trust expert brand content, with 41% saying they partly trust it and 9% expressing high distrust.

4. 90% of 18-24-year-olds will pay more for a product with UGC

In the TurnTo survey, consumers were asked to pick between two similar products, one with a lower price and no UGC and one with a higher price and UGC. Some 90% of them picked the UGC option. Their willingness to pay more displays the level of trust they place in UGC, and the value it adds to their purchase.

5. 81% of younger shoppers will take slower shipping when there’s UGC

In today’s fast fashion and Amazon-centric world, it might surprise brand barons to learn a segment of the market would support slower shipping for products with UGC, but that’s just what 81% of 18-24-year-olds told TurnTo. This number rises to 88% for ages 25-29, perhaps indicative of the more expensive purchases made by this age group (washing machines, televisions, etc.) and their need to feel secure about the quality of their items.

6. 40% of 18-24-year-olds submit questions to brands online

UGC isn’t restricted to images and videos, and creating useful answers to customer queries can be a great way for a brand to show you understand your consumer needs. Some 48% of 18-24-year-olds ask questions once or more per month.

7. 97% of Millennials say UGC impacts purchasing decisions

Millennials represent the largest UGC consumers, with 72% of 18-24 years old rating UGC as “extremely influential” or “very influential” when making purchasing decisions. In regards to email marketing, 19% of 18-24 year olds say emails had no influence at all.

8. 51% of shoppers say UGC inspires expensive purchases

This speaks to the trust provided by UGC, which makes purchasers more confident in their shopping decisions. Some 25% of 18-24-year-olds report that UGC content makes them significantly more likely to buy expensive items, and 19% say they’d be more likely to buy average priced (as defined by the respondents) items with UGC.

9. 34% are more likely to buy cheap stuff, too

Low-cost items and brands can also benefit from using UGC to engage with fans, the TurnTo and Ipsos study finds. This can be seen in the success of lower-priced brands such as Forever21, which heavily invests in UGC, and whose low-cost fashion has a large online following. This applies across all age groups, but especially for the youngest adult shoppers.

10. 37% of 18-24-year-olds upload product photos

The 18-24 demographic is the most active at uploading product photos, according to the TurnTo and Ipsos study, compared to 22% of all age groups. Some 31% of the younger set upload once or more per week — far outranking this age groups uploads of product featuring videos, in which only 19% participate.

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