Yotpo + FINDIFY Benchmark Report

How UGC & Personalized Search
Increase Conversion Rates

01. Yotpo + Findify

Together we integrate user-generated content (UCG) into a real-time, personalized search experience, increasing product visibility, conversion, and customer satisfaction for online businesses.

02. Is your business a digitally native vertical brand?

Bonobos founder Andy Dunn uses the term digitally native vertical brand (DNVB), to categorize companies that:

  • Start out online – are born digitally – and use the internet as their main form of communication and transaction with consumers.
  • Establish a strong vertical brand identity as the core asset of their company.
  • Prioritize customer experience and intimacy.
  • Expand to a brick-and-mortar presence, but on their own terms.

In this report we show you how to prioritize customer experience and intimacy, and how doing so with customer content and personalized search improves on-site conversions, product visibility, and customer experience.

03. Why personalization and UGC are essential for the online shopping experience

A seamless online shopping experience is paramount for businesses whose revenue is directly tied to delivering tailor-made experiences online.

We crunched the numbers to find out how user-generated content and personalized search impact the on-site experience through key metrics, such as customer engagement, conversion rate and revenue.

04. What is personalized search?

Online stores without personalized search give all of their shoppers the same experience: they see the same products in the same order, every time.

These days, “one-size-fits-all” just won’t cut it. This system completely ignores each customer’s personal preferences such as favorite colors, price sensitivity, size and more. It disregards customer experience and intimacy entirely.

Online shoppers today hold stores to a very high standard. They expect brands to know exactly what they are looking for, from the first keystroke. This is especially true for millennials who expect immediate gratification – and tend to form the majority of a DNVB’s customer base.

It is essential for DNVBs to implement a core strategy that meets these expectations. Personalization eases shoppers into buying by providing them with a relevant, tailored online purchasing experience.

How personalized search transforms the consumer experience

A truly personalized search solution is able to tailor search results to every customer individually based on their personal preferences.

When you walk into a brick-and-mortar store, a salesperson usually offers to help. If you say you’re looking for an outfit for a party, the person helping might ask some questions about your size, budget and the event details, then use your answers to provide a few suggestions. If the suggested outfits aren’t your style, the salesperson can reevaluate and offer alternatives that are closer to – or even exactly fit – your personal style.

A few things happened in that scenario:

1. The salesperson responded to your input in real time, and updated their suggested products in response to your “search.”

2. You were super happy with your shopping experience because you felt that the salesperson genuinely wanted to help you find what you were looking for.

This is exactly what personalized search does for online shopping customers.

When consumers shop on a site with personalized search, the store shows them products that match their individual preferences by automatically considering all of the “answers” they have already given. This includes:

  • Where they came from.
  • What kind of device they’re using .
  • How much time they spent looking at which products.
  • The characteristics they care about most (e.g. category, size, price, etc.)

05. What is user-generated content (UGC)?

User-generated content (UGC) is any content that your customers voluntarily produce about your business. This content can include product and site reviews, community Q&A, photos and videos – anything that consumer creates.

For Digitally Native Vertical Brands – most of which are direct-to-consumer – customer content is gold.

Your customers are producing content about your brand – whether leaving a product review, uploading a photo to Instagram with their latest purchase, or an interested shopper asking a question answered by a past buyer – that user-generated content should be collected, curated and amplified.

Leveraging UGC enhances the customer experience and intimacy of DNVBs by keeping customers’ voices at the forefront and establishing consumer trust.

User-generated content marketing transforms the consumer conversation from businesses talking about themselves to customers talking about businesses.

The authenticity of customer voices boosts a shopper’s confidence in your brand and increases their likelihood of making a purchase.

See how some Digitally Native Brands are using UGC to grow their business and improve customer relationships.

06. How user-generated content supercharges the customer experience

Shoppers trust past buyers more than they trust branded content. Displaying UGC throughout your site and on your off-site assets directly translates into increased conversion rates and supercharged customer engagement.

Yotpo data – based on more than 200,000 stores – shows that on average ⅓ of site visitors engage with or view customer content. In some industries, such as electronics that number surpasses 40%.

Of all site visitors who end up making a purchase, 55.39% engage with on-site user-generated content. This includes clicking on review widgets, star ratings and customer photos.

It’s no surprise that consumers who read customer reviews are 186% more likely to buy than those who don’t. Further, Yotpo data shows that shoppers who see customer product photos are 137% more likely to buy than those who don’t.

In some industries like Fashion and Accessories, the conversion rate of shoppers who engage with UGC is 207% higher than those that don’t.

User-generated content also directly affects traffic from social and acquisition channels. This is why 8.64% of businesses use reviews in paid advertising and 55.48% of businesses share customer reviews on social media. For example, using customer reviews in Facebook Ads can increase ROI up to 255%.

User-generated content also racks up serious SEO value and increases brand visibility by providing sites with fresh content, bundles of backlinks, and sources for organically shaping natural attributes.

How? The automated search engine algorithms use spiders looking for customer content, like product reviews and testimonials to evaluate a website. Additionally, manual search quality raters evaluate a site’s reputation, looking for aspects like expertise, authority, and truth, all of which are found in robust customer content.

Content written by customers gives your store’s site legitimacy, increases organic traffic and earns SEO points both from the manual and automatic rating systems.

Ultimately, the metrics and analytics speak for themselves. UGC’s effects on conversion rates, engagement and sales can all be measured, proving the widespread need your consumers have for customer content.

07. How integrating UGC into personalized search boosts conversions

User-generated content plays an incredibly important part in search personalization because it provides social proof for shoppers.

If one of your friends recommends a restaurant, you’re more likely to try it. And, if that same restaurant received 4.8 stars on TripAdvisor from 700 people, then you’re definitely going to try it.

Digitally native vertical brands are no different.
UGC builds trust. Trust increases sales.

That’s why Findify and Yotpo work closely to integrate UGC directly into search results and search algorithms. This combination delivers UGC in three ways:

1. Customers can see product ratings from the first letter typed into the Autocomplete overlay and in the search results.

2. Customers can filter results based on the average customer rating.

3. The average rating score and review velocity (the rate at which a product receives reviews) are factors within the ranking algorithm.

As previously mentioned, most eCommerce search engines are static, meaning that the ranking of products is based on text relevancy only.

Findify adds another- more valuable – layer. The Findify search engine includes user behaviour – in addition to text – to create a trend for the ranking algorithm.

This translates into:

1. Products that rank higher if they are more popular at a given time.

2. The range of products shown differs between users, based on their preferences.

Other customers’ opinions also impact the search results. The higher review score a product has, the higher it will rank in the search results. If a product is receiving reviews at a faster rate than other products in the same category, it will be ranked even higher.

Using UGC within the ranking algorithm ensures that the results your customers see are not only hyper-relevant, but also fresh and trending!

08. The data science behind integrating personalized search and UGC solutions

UGC + Personalized Search = More revenue + Better customer experience

Digitally native vertical brands need on-site search
Search is critical to increasing conversions in your store.

Nearly 30% of your revenue comes from site visitors who search.

Search is often overlooked as a method for boosting conversions, even though stores that use personalized search convert more than two times as much as stores that don’t.

Digitally native vertical brands need UGC

Taking advantage of search capitalizes on an enormous opportunity to capture intent in real time. By incorporating UGC into search, you instantly influence the consumer experience and increase the likelihood for conversion.

Of all the visitors to your site, those that search are 2x more likely to buy from you, and searchers are 40% more likely to convert with the Yotpo integration enabled.


Implementing search on your site directly affects what customers see. Incorporating UCG directly affects how they feel.

We make decisions based on our emotions first, and our rationale second. If customers like what they see and have UCG to emotionally influence their decision, the path to purchase breaks wide open.

Personalizing this first step – what they see – is a powerful tool for guiding shoppers to checkout. It is the digitally native version of a salesperson in a brick-and-mortar store. It knows what you like, how much you like to spend, and what others like you enjoy viewing.

09. Key Takeaways: the data-driven insights behind this report

Here is a review of the data-driven insights on how personalized search and UGC impact online businesses:

1. While only 18% of site visitors search, they generate up to 28% of the revenue.

2. Customers who search are more than 2x (213%) as likely to convert than those that don’t.

3. Searchers are 40% more likely to convert when customer reviews are integrated into the search results.

4. UGC is worth too much to ignore: On average, across all industries, there is a 166% uplift in conversion rates between shoppers that interact with UGC and those that don’t.

5. Combine the two and see your revenues skyrocket: The average order value of customers who search without UGC is $59. The AOV of customers who search, with UGC is $66. That’s a revenue increase of 12%.

Find out how your online business can leverage personalized search and user-generated content to see conversions and revenue skyrocket.

What is Findify?

Findify provides solutions such as Self-Learning Search, Smart Category Filtering, Product Recommendations and merchandising tools. All through one simple and painless integration.

Findify partners with over 1000 merchants worldwide, who see a revenue increase of up to 30%.

What is Yotpo?

Yotpo helps brands collect and leverage reviews and photos throughout the buyer journey to increase trust, social proof, and sales.

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