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Why Apparel Companies Need Images in Review Content

  • Best Practices    |   
  • Sheila Doolittle
Reading Time: 2 minutes

By now, most brands and retailers recognize that ratings and reviews play a key role in the purchase journey. A huge 96% of consumers consult product reviews, and more than 86% say reviews are an essential resource when making a purchase decision. But if you’re an apparel brand or retailer, your review content might be missing something that could help you drive even more traffic and sales: user submitted images.

Read on to learn why visual review content is key for apparel brands and retailers.

Increase Conversions
Today’s consumers have become accustomed to visual, engaging content, which is driving the demand to see a product being used before they buy. For apparel brands and retailers, visual content is no longer optional, it’s expected.

Photos provided by the brand or retailer have their part to play, but they’re not enough to satisfy today’s information hungry shoppers. Our Centennial Shopper Study found that 40% of Centennials (age 13-18, aka Generation Z) won’t purchase a product if there are no photos of people using the product. 

People want to see photos of real people using a product. This is especially true when a consumer is purchasing clothing or shoes online without first trying on the product in a store. For example, let’s say a shopper is searching for a dress on a brand’s website, but she wants to know what a particular dress looks like on different body types. She notices several shoppers submitted photos of themselves wearing the dress as part of their reviews, so she clicks around and finds someone with a similar body type to hers. She also notices that the shopper paired the dress with a cardigan from the same brand. She confidently adds both the dress and the cardigan to her shopping cart.

Reduce Return Rates
One of the biggest challenges apparel brands and retailers face is keeping return rates at bay. According to a study conducted last year by Shorr Packaging, consumers were predicted to return more than 30% of items purchased online during the 2015 holiday season.

The study found that the top two reasons people choose to return a product are:

  • “The product was not what I expected.”
  • “My product did not fit properly.”

It’s key, then, for brands and retailers to provide shoppers with an accurate picture of what to expect from a purchase so there are fewer surprises when the item arrives in the mail. The professional photos you feature on your site are a great start, but allowing reviewers to submit their own photos allows future shoppers to see what a product looks like “in real life.” For example, a shopper looking for a new handbag can get a better idea of what the bag looks like on a real person who has actually purchased the handbag rather than an anonymous model or mannequin. Armed with this visual information, the shopper can make a well informed purchase…and be less likely to return the product she purchases.

Get Started Collecting More Visual Review Content
Collecting visual review content doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, the PowerReviews write-a-review form is an easy way for consumers to submit authentic, visual UGC along with their written review. Visual UGC enriches your product details pages, while providing consumers with multiple examples of your product being used by real buyers. If you’re an existing PowerReviews customer, ask your Client Success Director or Community Manager about some upcoming enhancements that will make image collection even easier.


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  1. Ric Bender Reply

    We would like to place this blog post in our online news magazine – giving full credit to sheila and links to original article.

Sheila Doolittle

As Vice President of Client Success, Sheila is responsible for the overall success of PowerReviews customers. Her primary focus in enabling customers to get the most out of the PowerReviews solutions and products while ensuring client satisfaction, retention and renewal. Since 2010, she has been deeply immersed in client success within the ratings and reviews… Read more »