Skip to content
Logo Skeepers
Open mobile menu button
The Impact of UGC on Consumer Decision-Making in 2024 
Influencer Marketing Redesigning your customer journey

The Impact of UGC on Consumer Decision-Making in 2024 

The consumer of 2024 is not merely a passive observer but an active participant in the decision-making process. Their behaviours and shopping patterns are driven by reviews and recommendations from peers and fellow shoppers. Shopping is no longer a mere transaction, but an immersive journey guided by the collective wisdom of a global community. 

User-Generated Content (UGC) has emerged as a powerful force shaping consumer choices and preferences. Unlike their predecessors, these consumers are digitally savvy, discerning, and inherently skeptical of traditional advertising methods. UGC has become the cornerstone of their decision-making process, providing an authentic and relatable lens through which they view products and services. 

Inside the Modern Decision-Making Process 

The new age consumer no longer follows a linear decision-making process. Thanks to the influx of channels such as ecommerce, digital media, online videos, social reviews, etc. the modern consumers move back and forth between stages and sometimes even skip them. It’s a shocker, but it’s true.  

With solutions such as Live Shopping, a simple click within the video can swiftly transition you from the exploration phase to the final purchase stage, effectively discarding the intermediate steps. Modern consumers have the flexibility to initiate or conclude their decision-making journey at any point, breaking free from the conventional approach of meticulously progressing from the top to the bottom of the marketing funnel. 

“We keep saying the buyer journey has changed and it has. Customers no longer follow a linear progression from the awareness stage through the funnel to reach the purchase stage. While the modern consumer deviates from the traditional buyer journey, it’s vital for brands to strategize for each stage. This is where leveraging UGC ensures a holistic experience, irrespective of where the customer begins their journey.” 

Courtney Siegel, VP Marketing, North America 

This is Where you Adopt a Consumer-First Approach, the UGC Solution

With a plethora of options, consumers wield complete control over determining the success or failure of a brand. Consequently, their behavior is transitioning towards platforms where they feel seen, heard, and understood. In a consumer centric world, the journey they take can only be supported and not directed. 

Therefore, it is essential to strategize for every stage of the buyer’s journey as your customer may not adhere to the traditional path on the funnel. In this highly digital world, consumer journeys have become unique to each one, and not everyone takes the same path. Regardless of the entry stage, the goal is to ensure a sense of connection. Disregarding stages, consumer segments, or personas can introduce friction in their journey, presenting potential opportunities for competitors at any point of friction. 

Consumers don’t compartmentalize their thoughts into individual touchpoints; rather, they consider the entirety of their experience. Given the interconnected and dynamic nature of the consumer decision-making process, it is imperative for marketers and advertisers to guarantee a unified, seamless, and contextually relevant experience across all stages of the journey. 

Mapping The Buyer Journey Thanks to UGC 

The buyer journey is nuanced comprising awareness, consideration, decision-making, purchase, and advocacy.  

example of a Buyer's Journey Pyramid
Example of a Buyer’s Journey Pyramid

The buyer journey, a pivotal concept in modern marketing, encompasses the series of stages a consumer undergoes when making a purchase. It typically begins with awareness, where the consumer identifies a need or problem. This leads to the consideration stage, where options are evaluated, followed by the decision-making phase, culminating in the actual purchase. Post-purchase, the buyer may enter the advocacy stage, becoming a brand advocate and influencing others. In today’s dynamic landscape, the buyer journey is far from linear, influenced by various touchpoints, channels, and evolving consumer behaviors. Understanding and adapting to this journey are crucial for businesses aiming to build lasting connections with their audience. 

What Role does UGC Play at Each Stage of the Buyer Journey? 

1 – Awareness: Solving a Problem 

In the pivotal awareness stage of the customer journey, where consumers first recognize a problem or need, leveraging User-Generated Content (UGC) becomes instrumental in capturing their attention. Businesses can strategically employ UGC through customer testimonials, social media posts, and engaging visuals that showcase real-life solutions. A well-crafted UGC strategy acts as a bridge between brand messaging and consumer needs, providing an authentic narrative that resonates with potential customers. 

Examples of user generated content on the TikTok platform - UGC - influencer marketing - skeepers
Examples of user generated content on the TikTok platform

During this phase, integrating User-Generated Content (UGC) into advertisements serves to capture customer attention more effectively, prompting them to pause and explore your products.  

While branded content may exude a polished and professional appearance, UGC offers your audience an authentic portrayal of what awaits them upon purchasing your products or services. This approach proves invaluable in establishing trust, enabling the audience to seamlessly uncover and retain information about your offerings. 

2 – Consideration: Evaluating Options 

As consumers progress to the consideration stage, where they meticulously evaluate various options, UGC continues to play a pivotal role. Here, the authentic insights provided by UGC serve as valuable social proof, influencing potential customers and differentiating a brand from its competitors. 

Interactive content such as unboxing videos, comparison reviews, and user-generated product demonstrations become a dynamic tool to engage the audience. By showcasing real-life scenarios and highlighting the unique value proposition through UGC, businesses can guide consumers through the consideration process, instilling confidence and aiding them in making informed decisions.  

In essence, UGC becomes the guiding light that navigates consumers through the plethora of choices available, facilitating a seamless transition from consideration to conversion. 

3 – Decision Making: Choosing a Product/Service 

As consumers transition to the decision-making stage, where they evaluate and narrow down their choices, UGC emerges as a powerful influencer.  

Businesses can strategically incorporate customer testimonials, reviews, and experiences shared by peers on their website or landing page. It serves as a compelling motivator, providing potential customers with real-life accounts of the benefits and unique features of a product or service.  

Screenshot of the Living Proof cosmetics brand, on the brand's website - UGC - influencer marketing - skeepers
Screenshot of the Living Proof cosmetics brand, on the brand’s website

By showcasing positive experiences, brands can guide consumers towards making confident decisions, emphasizing the tangible value they stand to gain. In the decision-making stage, UGC becomes a key driver in shaping preferences and fostering a sense of reliability that extends beyond traditional marketing efforts. 

4 – Purchase: Buying the Best Product/Service 

As consumers move to the purchase stage, the role of UGC becomes even more pronounced in expediting the buyer journey. UGC acts as a catalyst, addressing potential concerns and showcasing the product or service in action. 

Featuring UGC on the landing page or the ‘add to cart’ page during this stage not only validates the purchasing decision but also enhances the overall customer experience. Live Shopping empowers consumers to witness the product in real-time and make immediate purchases. It involves making your content shoppable, enabling customers to seamlessly click on the showcased product, redirecting them straight to the purchase page. This interactive and real-time engagement not only validates their choices but also streamlines the path from product discovery to acquisition. 

5 – Advocacy: UGC Post-Purchase Review 

Your relationship with a customer does not end after they make a purchase. It only begins there. Whether customers are happy or not, they’re most likely to share their experiences on social media or with their peers. You should leverage this to create a conversation, curate their reviews, and display them on your ads, social media, or website.  

Encourage customers to leave reviews, share their success stories, and participate in loyalty programs to foster advocacy and build social proof. When used correctly, UGC becomes an asset in shaping a brand’s narrative and building a community of loyal customers. 

Conclusion of the impact of UGC on consumer decision-making in 2024 

As we navigate the waters of consumer behavior in 2024, one thing remains clear – UGC is a game-changer. By understanding and strategically incorporating UGC into the different stages of the decision-making process, businesses can elevate their brand marketing efforts.  

They can understand customer expectations, their patterns and behaviors, giving in return exactly what their audience needs. Customer experiences, reviews, recommendations, etc. can be used to foster better relationships, grow a loyal community, and build a better brand image. 

2023-EN-SKP-ALL-CTA-EBK-Horizontal- UGC trends 2024

Placing Consumers at the Center: UGC Trends in 2024