Report: UGC Is More Influential Than Traditional Marketing

TurnTo Networks, a provider of next-generation customer content solutions, released findings from its new consumer study, titled "Hearing the Voice of the Consumer: UGC and the Commerce Experience." Developed by TurnTo and executed by Ipsos, the report represents responses from more than 1,000 U.S. shoppers who made an online purchase in the past 12 months. The study examines what motivates shoppers, how they prefer to shop and the impact and influence user-generated content (UGC) plays in shaping the consumer experience and building long-term engagement once a purchase has been made.

Results from the study show most shoppers (90 percent) report UGC influences their decisions to make a purchase, outranking all other forms of marketing, including search engines (87 percent) and promotional emails (79 percent), which came in second and third. Notably, shoppers are also willing to pay more (81 percent) and wait longer (81 percent) for products paired with UGC.

Additional key findings from the study include the following:
  • Nearly a quarter of female shoppers (24 percent) consider UGC to be the most influential marketing tool.
  • Shoppers under 30 report a greater influence of UGC in purchasing decisions versus older respondents. Of those aged 18-29, 97 percent report UGC has an extreme influence.
  • Nearly two-thirds of shoppers (63 percent) believe UGC creates a more authentic shopping experience.
  • Nearly three-quarters (73 percent) say UGC increases their purchasing confidence.
  • Nearly two-thirds (61 percent) report UGC encourages them to engage with brands.
"Shoppers today are more sophisticated and marketers must understand discounts and free shipping offers are simply tablestakes," said Jim Davidson, director of research, TurnTo Networks. "Consumers demand a more engaging shopping experience; they're looking to fellow shoppers to answer questions about products and share insights about purchases. This study demonstrates UGC is outpacing traditional marketing tools when it comes to increasing shopper confidence and influencing decisions. Marketers who want to connect with the consumer must find ways to incorporate UGC into each step of the customer journey – not just the product page."
This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds