The value of reviews is no longer debatable: 96% of customers consult product reviews and more than 86% of consumers say reviews are an essential resource when making a purchasing decision. So, you have reviews, great. But there’s one important addition to reviews that perhaps has an even larger impact on engagement: images.
Visual Connection is Key
Images allow your customers to visually connect with the product. It’s hard to find a better way to know how a product will look than by seeing a picture of someone who owns the product wearing or using it. It helps customers visualize how the item will fit into their own life. It’s the same logic behind including images of meals on restaurant menu items, people connect to the visual representation. According to our partners at Olapic, 32% of customers would be more likely to buy clothing online if the site featured photos of real customers wearing the product.
Images Influence Purchase Decisions
Customer images in reviews can move the needle when it comes to conversion — Crowdtap found that 53% of millennials say user generated content influences their product purchases. People are more likely to order a meal in a restaurant when there is a photo beside it. The same logic applies to buying products online. People are more likely to purchase the product if there is a customer image associated with it. Sure, product images from the brand or retailer do some of the leg work for you here, but customers trust other customers. They identify with other customers more so than with an anonymous model or a shoe stand propping up the shoes in the image. They want to see the product in the wild. A picture is worth a thousand words, and even more dollars.
Make it Mobile and Make it Easy
The trend in image-driven media isn’t going anywhere — 60 million photos are shared on Instagram every day — and it’s important for brands and retailers to stay ahead and kick start their image acquisition strategies.
With most consumers posting photos from their smartphone and increasingly reading and writing reviews on mobile (up 237% from Holiday 2013 to 2014!), PowerReviews recently introduced product updates focused on mobile and ease of use. This release empowers consumers to upload unlimited photos with their reviews, both on desktop and on mobile, making it easy for them to share photos as part of a review.
How Do You Encourage Visual Content?
With the value of images rapidly increasing, you need to consider how you can increase images and videos as part of your ratings and reviews:
- People need motivation. According to a survey of consumers, more than 55% of shoppers need motivation to write a review.
- Recognition is a motivator. Everyone likes when their pictures are liked and shared on social media. That “like” or positive comment is an emotional motivator.
- PowerReviews’ Social Loyalty helps generate more content — including images — by providing points and showing ranks on the leaderboard. Users who earn enough points can earn coupons, gift cards, samples, and other rewards. By awarding more points for images, you can help consumers earn rewards more quickly and help generate more images.