March 27, 2023

UGC videos are taking over DTC brands' product pages - here’s why

How many of us have seen an influencer-branded TikTok review of a product and hit add-to-card immediately? This format of brand and content marketing has led to brands becoming viral overnight and never-before-seen products becoming must-haves.

So it’s no surprise that DTC brand marketers have begun to leverage this format to seed user-generated content (UGC) videos in strategic ways to speed up their brand development and increase overall e-commerce sales.

One of the companies leading this is Viddy - Viddy allows you to embed video UIs (like Instagram Stories and TikTok feeds) with shoppable products and call-to-actions to increase conversion and engagement. 

We asked them to share their expertise about how direct-to-consumer brands can optimize their product detail pages (PDPs) with UGC video. Here’s what Harris Gani, Co-Founder of Viddy, had to say:

The importance of UGC content on PDPs

PDPs are one of the most important types of pages for any e-commerce website, as these pages provide the customer with all the necessary information about a product prior to making their purchase decision.

The most successful PDPs on eCom websites contain UGC in video formats to:

  • Establish social proof
  • Provide an element of authenticity to the shopper

With video reviews, shoppers get a more realistic idea of the products they’re considering by seeing how they function in real life from users who have already purchased them. Video reviews make it much easier for potential customers to trust a product and make an informed decision about the purchase.

Most e-commerce websites these days rely on traditional text-based and image-based product reviews on their PDPs, but unfortunately these aren't as effective as they used to be. People now expect to see products have at least hundreds of reviews for them to appear legitimate against fake or bought reviews.

This has only worsened due to Amazon and their top products consistently having tens of thousands of reviews. It's almost as if our thinking has been inverted with how we now view text-based product reviews - not having many reviews makes us skeptical and lacking trust in an online shopping setting.

Compared to text-based product reviews, UGC video reviews are significantly more engaging. In the advent of TikTok, Instagram, SnapChat, and YouTube shorts, people are becoming increasingly accustomed to video content in their everyday lives and this is largely why video-based reviews tend to perform better on e-commerce product pages. These social media platforms have created a behavioral shift in how content is consumed and it's time for e-commerce to catch up and adapt to this new medium.

Effective ways to incorporate video

The most engaging way to use video on a PDP is to make the experience look and feel like social media. This means immersive video experiences where videos are autoplaying and are swipeable like their social app counterparts. It also means that these videos should be mobile-optimized to support fullscreen vertical video.

Brands should be shying away from traditional YouTube and Vimeo embeds as these are horizontal video formats that don't feel immersive on mobiles. This is important because most people are shopping on their phones these days and this segment is increasingly growing.

Best types of video content

When thinking of what types of video content to use for a PDP it's best to understand the industry a brand is in to see what would be most effective.

  • Beauty brands that focus on skincare and cosmetics are likely to find success with videos that show tutorials and live demonstrations of their product in use. This type of content is best for brands that want to focus on product education. Subtl Beauty used Viddy’s Carousel to feature video reviews of their custom stack products and how people were using them. Viddy also added captions to the videos to explain the benefits so that users could self-select and click into which videos they were most intrigued by. This increased their conversion rate by 10% and average time on site by 32%. 

Regardless of brand vertical, a general rule of thumb is that UGC content tends to perform well when compared to production grade quality content (there are of course exceptions depending on the specific e-commerce brand in question).

UGC is king when it comes to giving shoppers an authentic feel and are best at establishing credibility as it's much harder to fake things on video compared to plain text. When videos have high production quality, it comes off as having been heavily edited, losing that natural and authentic feel that comes from something that looks like it was just shot on an iPhone. UGC is also much more inline with content trends on social media, which also helps.

When adding video content on a PDP, it's critical to understand that the quality of the actual video content is just as important as the way it's implemented on site. Not every brand will see great success in their first attempt of adding video on-site. It's typically best practice to A/B test content just like brands do with their messaging and copy and PDPs and landing pages. 

Setting up an A/B test to measure the performance in terms of conversion rate and engagement of different video content is very important as this is the only way to truly understand which content resonates best with a brand's audience. Taking a data-driven approach here and constantly iterating are when brands find the best success with video. 

Viddy does all of this

Viddy makes it easy for e-commerce brands to add engaging video UIs that are modeled after Instagram and TikTok to a e-commerce website. They have a few different video formats that they offer - stories (an Instagram stories UI that you can customize and configure on your actual website), animated carousels, and floating players. Each of these formats are mobile-optimized, but do support desktop as well.

Viddy also allows custom call-to-actions within every video so that shoppers can take the action a brand wants (adding a product to cart, taking a quiz, redirecting to a PDP page, etc.).

The following shows an example of Viddy’s animated carousel featuring video reviews on a PDP:

Here’s an example of Viddy’s Stories UI below seen under the hero section: 

See below for an example of Viddy’s Floating Player on a PDP:

Here’s what Viddy’s expanded player looks like with an ‘Add to Cart’ call-to-action within the video:

Viddy has enabled several 8-figure DTC brands to increase their conversion rate by up to 18% and their average session duration (engagement) by over 100% at statistically significant levels. If you'd like to join their waitlist you can do so here.

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