News • 01.09.2021

Online shoppers prefer authentic content from real consumers

New research: less than 10 percent of purchases impacted by influencer content

Hand holds smartphone showing a social media profile...
Source: Unsplash/Erik Lucatero

The majority (79%) of online shoppers reveal that user-generated content (UGC) such as images and videos from other consumers highly impacts their purchasing decisions according to new research. But only 9% say the same for content produced by influencers. 

In fact, the report from Stackla, the AI-powered visual content marketing platform, reveals that for 72% of consumers, photos and videos from real customers is the content they most want to see on eCommerce sites when making purchasing decisions. 66% admit to having been inspired to purchase from a new brand after seeing social media images of that brand from other consumers. And 56% say they’re more influenced by images and videos from social media when online shopping now than they were pre-pandemic.

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. The findings suggest that UGC strongly impacts a variety of industry categories. For example, 65% of consumers in the poll have purchased apparel or fashion items because of user-generated images or videos from real customers, while 53% have purchased a beauty, health or wellness product based on user-generated images or videos on social media. And 48% of consumers say UGC is the most influential content when making home or sporting goods purchasing decisions. 

The research indicates that post-pandemic consumers are crying out for more authenticity from brands. The overwhelming majority (88%) 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% believe retailers need to provide more authentic shopping experiences to customers like them. 

Perhaps unsurprisingly, 59% of online shoppers in the survey say content created by other consumers is the most authentic type of content; only 10% say influencer content resonates as authentic and 19% say that brand-created content is the most authentic.

The other side of the coin is that having spent more time social media during the pandemic (79% say they now spend more time and 41% post more on social media), the research reveals 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% would grant a brand permission to use an image or video they had posted of clothing or accessories to use in its marketing. And 58% would do the same for an image or video of a home goods product. For a beauty/health/wellness product it was 54%, a sporting goods product 53% and for images of a recent trip/excursion, 52%.

“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.”

Source: Stackla

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