The End is Near: Engage Last-Minute Holiday Shoppers with UGC

December 6, 2016 by Jim Davidson

The end is near. Not exactly the holly, jolly message you want to hear during the holidays. Whether you’re ready or not, you only have a few days to grab that gift that every marketer wants – record-breaking Q4 revenue!

As your festive promotions approach their final days, you may find your marketing messages getting staler than your Aunt Bertha’s fruitcake. How many times can you effectively promote percent off sales, dollar discounts and free shipping offers?

It may be time to change the conversation you are having with your customers. After all, you don’t want to be that person at the holiday party who keeps repeating the same story.

User-generated content can be an effective tool to re-energize your exhausted shoppers. Inboxes have been overstuffed with emails and sites have been slammed with special seasonal sales. It can all take its toll on consumers.

Shifting the conversation away from what you want to say to what other consumers say about your products can be a refreshing way to fight shopper fatigue. User-generated content can help you to pivot the promotional perspective of your holiday marketing without having to significantly overhaul your existing plans.

TurnTo’s 2016 UGC Holiday Lookbook showcases various ways top retailers featured user-generated content during the peak shopping days of Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday. These UGC strategies can be a source of inspiration as the holidays wrap up.

Here are a few ways to use your existing user-generated content to mix up your final few merry messages.

Get into the Gifting Groove
Your remaining holiday messages will likely feature lifestyle shots of your products being worn or used. Pair these promotional photos with quotes and comments that your customers left as reviews on your product pages. UGC that evokes the senses can be especially impactful during this season of gifting. Remember, many shoppers will be buying for others. Help shoppers who are unfamiliar with your products to buy with confidence by quoting reviews that explain why customers love the product.

This email sent by Garnet Hill contains a quote from a review of a customer who bought the product as a gift. This kind of quote may be more effective than one that focuses on product details that could motivate someone buying for their own use.

 

Garnet Hill Holiday Promotion with Customer Quote

Click to view larger image.

Feature the Quality and Quantity of Ratings
Curated collections are perfect for last-minute shoppers looking for those final few gifts. Many retailers will feature shop by price, gifts by recipient (him/her, mom/dad), top sellers, staff picks, etc…

These gift guides will help the shopper to self-select their shopping path and help you to direct them to related products. Boost the power of these promotions by coupling the collections with the ratings for related products.

A simple star rating may be an effective addition to a variety of hand-picked products, though you should consider additional UGC data points that could entice the shopper to click and cart the items.

The numerical value of the star rating, the quantity of reviews and even the number of questions answered or customer photos can offer a more compelling reason for the shopper to explore a collection.

Athleta added the star rating, numerical rating and the number of reviews to the products featured in their Black Friday email.

 

Athleta Holiday Promotion Ratings and Reviews

Click to view larger image.

Boost Your Brand
Shipping deadlines are quickly approaching. Last-minute shoppers will be searching for expedited shipping offers, in-store pick-up and digital gifts that can help them to check off the final few folks on their list.

Calm these procrastinating purchasers by assuring them that your brand can make things merry before Christmas Day arrives. Feature customer service ratings and quotes that highlight happy customers and showcase your company’s commitment to their satisfaction.

This strategy can be effective for retailers who do not have a rich supply of UGC to use, sell bespoke products or have limited inventory items.

In addition to featuring how their products were showcased on Ellen, Balsam Hill used quotes from happy customers to give shoppers even more reasons to buy.

 

Balsam Hill Holiday Promotion

Click to view larger image.

The holiday season is a crazy, chaotic stress fest for marketers. Months of planning will go into ensuring that year-end revenue goals are met. As you approach these final days of the final quarter of 2016, take a moment to see if there are any tweaks you can make to your marketing plan that will build on the successes seen so far this season. UGC can be a valuable resource for boosting holiday sales and finishing the season strong.

Download the 2016 UGC Holiday Lookbook to see how top retailers featured user-generated content in their Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday and Cyber Monday marketing.