Two-thirds of Australians (66%) say that photos from other shoppers on a product page increases the likelihood of them buying a product, according to the latest annual Shopper Experience Index from leading provider of product reviews and user-generated content (UGC) solutions, Bazaarvoice.

The report proves today’s power shift from brands to consumers, reinforcing the importance of shopper-driven content over brand-created content.

More than three-quarters (76%) of Australians read shopper reviews when browsing or buying, and 60% of Australians look at photos and videos from other shoppers. 

Social commerce has also been adopted quickly thanks to its convenience, with 42% of Australians saying they didn’t buy on social media prior to 2021. But now, 45% purchase on social media one to two times a month, up from 32% in 2021.

Facebook and Instagram remain the most popular social media browsing destinations, with 74% of respondents saying they were inspired to make a purchase on these two platforms. Globally, 58% said they would be more likely to buy if they could read customer reviews directly on the social post.

While half of Australians want brands to use a mix of both professional photography and UGC when showcasing products, more respondents (52%) said that UGC makes them more confident in their purchase decision than professional photography (48%) does.

“The marketing dynamic is changing, with consumers placing more value and emphasis on the opinions and reviews of other consumers rather than branded content. Word of mouth and user-generated content have never been more important to convert wishlists into shopping carts,” Bazaarvoice managing director for Asia Pacific, Kate Musgrove said.

“Brands must urgently reconsider their paid media and content strategies to better capitalise on the peer-to-peer conversations that are influencing final purchasing decisions.”