Unleashing the Hidden Power of User-Generated Content to Drive Engagement and Profit

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Despite the abundant information in User-Generated Content (UGC), many retailers still need help to fully harness its potential. During the most recent CN webinar, “Unleashing the Hidden Power of User-Generated Content to Drive Engagement and Profit,” our panel of experts from Colgate-Palmolive, Saadia Group, REDCON1 and Yogi discussed how to get the most out of your (and your competitors) UGC by making it a central part of your strategic planning. 


  1. The number one factor in a consumer’s purchase decision is price, but the second is trust.
  2. The power of rethinking the current bifurcation of User-Generated Content.
  3. How to make the most of your ratings and reviews using AI.


  • Jaz Foster, Consumer Insights Manager of Challenger Brands, Colgate-Palmolive
  • Nick Kaplan, Chief Growth & Innovation Officer, Saadia Group
  • Ryan Monahan, CMO, REDCON1
  • Gautam Kanumuru, Co-Founder/CEO, Yogi
  • Moderator: Allan Dick, Co-Founder, CommerceNext

Watch the full webinar here or read on for the webinar’s key takeaways.

Starving for Trust

One of the most critical factors influencing consumer purchase decisions is trust. Nick Kaplan from Saadia Group highlighted that while price plays a crucial role, trust comes in as the second most significant consideration. User-Generated Content acts as an independent third-party validation, helping to build brand trust and encouraging purchase decisions.

Jaz Foster from Colgate-Palmolive pointed out that consumer skepticism is at an all-time high, leaving consumers yearning for someone they can trust. UGC can address this trust epidemic by providing authentic, user-driven content that showcases real experiences and opinions about a brand’s products or services.

Ryan Monahan from REDCON1 emphasized that UGC is the modern-day version of “word-of-mouth marketing.” It enables retailers to listen directly to consumers at the source and optimize their products, customer journey, ecommerce experience and overall organization to meet the wants and needs of their audience better.

Redefining UGC: Turning Feedback into Strategy

During the webinar, our expert panelists discussed the critical importance of transforming user feedback into a strategic asset for a brand. User-Generated Content can make or break a brand’s reputation, and when utilized effectively, it becomes one of the most potent forms of marketing.

Unlike the traditional categorization of UGC into “operational” and “marketing” buckets, Gautam Kanumuru from Yogi proposed considering it as a single interconnected entity. Operational UGC, such as support tickets, reviews, ratings and NPS surveys, should be seen as the foundation of marketing strategies. By using insights from operational UGC, brands can influence product placement, influencer partnerships and overall marketing strategies to be better suited to their audience and make a stronger impact.

In essence, the key lies in unifying the feedback collected from various sources and leveraging it to inform marketing decisions. This integrated approach ensures that user feedback serves as the bedrock for effective marketing strategies.

Making the Most of Ratings & Reviews by Leveraging AI 

Ratings and reviews provide a treasure trove of uncensored consumer insights, akin to a large focus group. They offer valuable data that can be benchmarked against competitors and mined for polishing messaging and product improvements.

The expert panel emphasized the role of Artificial Intelligence in efficiently gathering and analyzing UGC. REDCON1 uses tools like Tribe and OtterAI to collect and transcribe customer conversations across various platforms about their brand. Leveraging AI platforms like ChatGPT helps streamline the analysis of reviews by generating concise summaries, thereby extracting actionable insights from the vast amount of user feedback a retail brand receives on a daily basis.

For those without the resources for extensive AI tools, Saadia Group recommends starting with ChatGPT. Retailers can input their reviews and request concise summaries, allowing them to swiftly analyze feedback and focus on turning it into actionable strategies for brand optimization without the need for expensive, intricate AI platforms.


In a world where consumer trust and authentic experiences reign supreme, harnessing the power of UGC has become more critical than ever for success in ecommerce. By redefining UGC and turning feedback into strategy, retailers can make the most of User-Generated Content as a strategic asset. Embracing AI-powered tools further enables brands to efficiently collect and analyze UGC, refining products, marketing strategies and the overall customer experience. 

Looking for more ecommerce tips and tricks? Check out the CommerceNext YouTube channel today for hundreds of videos full of marketing insights!