VTEX Accelerator winner Photoslurp mixes UGC and ecommerce
Social networks have turned millions of people into content creators during the last decade. The rise of influencers has revealed that people are eager to consume content curated and created by people like themselves, but marketing teams around the world haven’t really found a way to benefit from this trend.
Photoslurp, winner of the second edition of the VTEX Accelerator, has found a way to put user-generated content (UGC) front and center in the ecommerce experience. How? By integrating social media images into companies’ websites and product pages.
The right idea, with a ‘but’
Photoslurp started in 2013 as a tech solution that allowed the exchange of photos taken at social events. ‘Photoslurp 1.0’, as the company calls it, searched different social networks, like Instagram and Twitter, to create shared albums of photos taken at private events – weddings, birthdays and the like. The albums were later made available on Dropbox.
At the time, Photoslurp didn’t have the impact that it was hoping for, and it was closed down. When this happened, one of the few users of the technology asked if it could be restructured in such a way that it would look for pictures uploaded with certain hashtags and then, instead of sharing the albums, use these images for ecommerce experiences. This is when the current version of Photoslurp was born, and also when it got its first client.
In November 2014 four brands, all from the same parent company, were paying for Photoslurp services, so the start-up started adding partners and looking for a go-to-market strategy. Photoslurp was officially launched in May 2015.
The ecommerce boom
Five years later, the year 2020 was an important moment for ecommerce growth around the world and Photoslurp didn’t escape that phenomenon. Despite the first six months being challenging, the second half of the year brought an impressive amount of new companies interested in UGC. Even better, some of those were from markets and industries that Photoslurp hadn’t even considered.
“When we started we had two clients, now we have more than 300 brands in 28 countries that include Australia, Hong Kong, Turkey, UEA, United States, Canada, Colombia, Chile, Perú, Brazil and México.”Eulogi Bordas, CEO and Co-Founder of Photoslurp
Bordas revealed that, at first, the companies interested in UGC were mainly in the fashion sector, but then makeup and sportswear jumped on the bandwagon, and now furniture and retail is starting to notice the trend.
The power of user-generated content
With a broad portfolio of clients, Photoslurp has been able to prove their worth in different product categories with one key metric: conversion rate. The average amongst all of its customers is a growth of around 15%, but there are certain examples that are much more impressive. TAF México, the biggest sneaker retailer in their country and Latin America, and a globally-renowned brand, is one of them.
“The company was looking for this link with users, and having the user play a major role is fundamental to what we do as a brand. We know the value that UGC currently holds, and we know how our client interacts with brands and social media, so we wanted to engage with that scenario.”Samuel Martínez, Marketing Manager at TAF México
TAF knew that its audience was specially open to UGC content, and that they tended to react better to real-life scenarios as opposed to professional pictures in the company’s social media profiles.
“When we hold a presentation for potential clients we tell them that we help drive sales and grow the percentage of people who buy from their website. With TAF, we’ve seen that people who interact with UGC are 2.3 times more likely to buy something compared to people who haven’t interacted with this type of content.”Eulogi Bordas, CEO and Co-Founder of Photoslurp
TAF had migrated to the VTEX Commerce Platform in July 2020, and it was eager to try a UGC section since the very inception of its website. It analyzed two different solutions and ultimately chose Photoslurp, partially because of the ease of its integration with VTEX.
Photoslurp helped TAF grow its engagement with their customers, a peculiar one where a multi-brand retailer actually manages to have recognition and loyalty among its buyers, who constantly mention it as a reference in the sneaker market, a remarkable feat in a sneaker-crazed country such as Mexico.
The impact of the Photoslurp implementation has been so impressive that they admit TAF’s marketing isn’t promoting the tool yet, since it’s already involved in the buyer’s journey and it’s doing so well on its own. Still, TAF hasn’t given up on this promotion, and the company knows that once this happens, the amplification of the message will make an even bigger impact on its “sneaker lover” community.
Photoslurp & VTEX Accelerator
Recently, a new avenue of growth has opened for Photoslurp, which entered the second edition of VTEX Accelerator last May. The team’s interest and in-depth preparation resulted in the company being named one of the two winners of said edition. So far the team has had four mentorship sessions with the VTEX Team, with a strong focus in Latin American expansion. Most importantly, however, Photoslurp’s solution is already available through the VTEX App Store, as are the ideas of the other three finalists of the Accelerator (i.e. Usedesk, ChatCenter and BrainDW).
Throughout its previous two editions, VTEX Accelerator has had a combined pool of 538 applications from more than 44 countries, but there is always more room for commerce innovation. If you know a start-up that could benefit from participating in VTEX Accelerator, applications to the third edition are now open here until the 14th of November.