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Online shoppers prefer content from peers over influencers

By Don-Alvin Adegeest


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Image: Influencer via Pexels

A new survey suggests 65 percent of consumers have purchased apparel or fashion items because of user-generated images or videos from real customers, instead of influencers.

The majority (79 percent) of online shoppers reveal that user-generated content (UGC) highly impacts their purchasing decisions according to new research from Stackla, an visual content marketing platform. The findings also show only 9 percent say the same for content produced by influencers.

53 percent have purchased a beauty, health or wellness product based on user-generated images or videos on social media. For 72 percent of consumers, photos and videos from real customers is the content they most want to see on e-commerce sites when making purchasing decisions.

Stackla’s report, Post-Pandemic Shifts in Consumer Shopping Habits: Authenticity, Personalisation and the Power of UGC, is based on a survey of 2,042 consumers across the US, UK and Australia. 66 percent of those questioned admit to having been inspired to purchase from a new brand after seeing social media images of that brand from other consumers. And 56 percent say they’re more influenced by images and videos from social media when online shopping now than they were pre-pandemic.

Post-pandemic consumers demand authenticity from brands.

The overwhelming majority (88 percent) of the survey respondents say authenticity – described as relating to firms being genuine and real – is an important factor in deciding which brands they like and support. And 83 percent believe retailers need to provide more authentic shopping experiences to customers like them.

Only 10 percent say influencer content resonates as authentic and 19 percent say that brand-created content is the most authentic.

More time spent on social media

The pandemic saw a rise of social media posts and usage, with research suggesting that many consumers are now open to the idea of creating and seeing their own user-generated content being shared by brands on social platforms. 58 percent would grant a brand permission to use an image or video they had posted of clothing or accessories to use in their marketing.

“All generations of shoppers are telling brands they’re more likely to purchase products if they see authentic customer content on websites,” said Damien Mahoney, CEO and Co-founder at Stackla. “The survey results tell us online shoppers are influenced by and expect to see visual content from real customers more than ever before.”

“As more consumers make the shift to online shopping, they’re increasingly seeking authentic and personalized experiences to help them make purchasing decisions,” Mahoney said. “Luckily, today’s consumers are creating and willing to share with brands the exact content they want to see throughout their eCommerce experiences. The brands who use UGC to deliver these types of real and relevant experiences are the ones who will win shoppers now and in the future.”

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