Austin Canoe and Kayak is in the business of adventure — and they’re using UGC to tell their brand story


Austin Canoe & Kayak (ACK) is in the business of adventure. Their customers are enthusiasts, fishermen, boaters, hikers — and they all use ACK products in interesting (and highly-visual) ways.

Two years ago, the outdoor sports e-tailer saw opportunity in tapping into their customer base to help tell their brand story. But to do it, they needed some organization.

“We had a lot of customers just giving us their content on social media, but there wasn’t a hub for it,” Trent Lootens, digital marketing manager, ACK, said. “It was all sporadic, and it would just get lost.”

So ACK turned to Rivet Works, an automated UGC platform, to help make sense of their content, and capitalize on insights.. Over the last two years, ACK has developed a viable marketing strategy that’s attributed to a 90 percent growth in product page conversions, the brand says.

How did they do it? Here’s a closer look behind the scenes:

A more dynamic product page

At ACK, a customer photos carousel is included on product pages, with a call-to-action to “submit your own picture” underneath. When a shopper clicks the link, they’re taken to a landing page where they can upload photos, tag locations, and write their own captions. Contributors can choose what topics the photos best represent (something that could help ACK organize content on the backend) before opting-in to their terms and conditions and/or other product offers.

“When they engage the consumer, they’re being very transparent of what they are asking for,” Michael Svatek, CEO and co-founder, Rivet Works, said of consent. “They’re saying ‘we would like to know your experiences with service and your product.’ It’s very, very clear what the brand is asking.”

The images are then curated…