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Visual UGC Benchmarks: Av. Interactor And Impression Conversion Lift


Modest conversion lift for Visual UGC impressions; but Visual UGC Interactions more than double conversion

Key Findings:

  • When site visitors interact with visual UGC (user-generated images and videos), the product experiences a 114.4% conversion lift, on average.
  • Product verticals with the highest conversion lift when visitors interact with visual UGC are Automotive & Motor Sport (161.3%); Luggage & Bags (157.7%); and Apparel & Accessories (151%).
  • Even a Visual UGC impression has a mildly positive impact on conversion, lifting it by 2.5%.
  • The verticals with the highest Visual UGC impression conversion lift were Office Supplies; Shoes; and Department/Multi-Category Retail. 

Methodology: Analysis of consumer UGC interaction across 25.4MM+ online product pages on 3,600+ brand and retailer sites in the previous 12 month period prior to June 28, 2022. Conversion data based on visits (i.e. subsequent conversion action took place 24 hours after the interaction or impression was recorded).

Pictures (and videos) paint a thousand words

Reviews can paint a picture, but there’s a reason they say an image is worth a thousand words. Visual UGC brings your product to life. It allows customers to see how your product looks, how it can be used, and who is using it — all of which makes them feel more confident about their purchase. 

That confidence is key and it is a huge factor in why consumers overwhelmingly prefer photos from other customers over photos provided by the brand. Pictures taken by real people, in real settings, feel more trustworthy. Today, a majority (80%) of consumers find photos from other customers more valuable than photos from brands or retailers, a number that has nearly doubled in the past five years (this same number was 44% in 2016).

At the same time, visual media is simply another input for customers. So – while for some it will be a positive – for others, it will give them the information they need to move onto another product. This explains why the impression uplifts are relatively modest while the interaction (which implies a deeper interest in the product) uplifts are significant.

In our analysis, we looked at both the conversion lift by visitor (those who merely saw visual UGC on the product page they visited) and by interactor (those who interacted with visual UGC on the product page they visited). We’ve also shared the average conversion rate for each vertical as a baseline.

Modest Visual UGC Impression Uplift

The mere presence of visual UGC had a slight, but positive, impact on conversion, at an average conversion lift of 2.5% across verticals. However, some categories benefited much more from the presence of visual UGC on their product pages. These included Office Supplies (+14.6%), Shoes (+8.2%), and Department/Multi-Category Retail (+5.3%).

Significant Visual UGC Interaction Uplift

When site visitors actually interact with visual UGC – e.g. clicking on an image, browsing a gallery, or watching a video – the conversion lift is much, much higher. Across verticals, interacting with visual UGC resulted in an average conversion lift of 114.4%. Even the vertical with the lowest media interactor conversion lift – Office Supplies – experienced a significant lift of 30.1%, showing just how powerful visual UGC can be when it comes to converting customers. The verticals that enjoyed the highest media interactor conversion lift included Automotive & Motor Sport (+161.3%), Luggage & Bags (+157.7%), and Apparel & Accessories (151.0%).

Five Snackable Data-Backed Visual UGC Tips

  1. Enable easy media collection through your review form. 85% of shoppers indicate they’re more likely to buy a product that has reviews that feature photos and videos in addition to written text. Make sure you have plenty of media on-hand by asking for it in your review form.
  2. Collect more content from social media. A third of Gen Zers and nearly a quarter of Millennials simply won’t purchase a product if there are no photos or videos from others who have purchased it. If you need to beef up your visual UGC, use your customers’ social media posts as an additional resource. 
  3. Display customer media in a visual content gallery. Our research found there’s a 110.7% conversion lift among shoppers who click on any image within such a gallery. 
  4. The more, the merrier: Create an extensive gallery. People like being able to easily browse through a gallery of customer-generated photos and videos. And, the ones who do are around twice more likely to convert.
  5. Make reviews containing images easily findable. Consumers that seek out this additional context about a product have a demonstrably bigger intent to buy. In fact, our research shows that shoppers who sort for reviews containing images have a 89.3% conversion lift.

Special thanks to our friends at PowerReviews for their insights on this topic.
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