Reaching More Shoppers With Visual Content
There’s no question that visual content is changing the way consumers browse for and purchase products. Today, 97% of consumers seek out visual content prior to purchase. And 88% specifically seek out photos and videos submitted by other consumers like them.
You’ve heard the message loud and clear and have started collecting visual content from your shoppers, both natively and through Instagram. Now, it’s time to start getting this visual content in front of your shoppers in more places to boost buying confidence and increase conversion. Read on to learn six easy steps for more effectively displaying the user-generated photos and videos you’ve collected from your shoppers.
1. Feature Visual Content in a Gallery on Product Pages
Consumers want to find user-generated photos and videos of the products they’re considering — but they don’t want to work hard to find it. PowerReviews research found that two-fifths of shoppers prefer to see images and videos from shoppers like them directly on a brand or retailer website.
Once you’ve started generating photos and videos from your consumers, be sure to showcase this powerful visual content in an engaging gallery directly on the product page. This will get more eyes on your visual content, leading to higher engagement on the page and greater conversion.
2. Make Sure Photos Are Oriented Correctly
Imagine you’re a health and beauty retailer and one of your shoppers purchases a lipstick she loves. She takes a couple selfies wearing the lipstick and attempts to upload one of them natively, as part of a review. But the photo appears sideways, and there isn’t a way for her to fix it.
The lesson here? Make sure your visual content provider makes it easy for your shoppers to properly orient photos when they’re being uploaded. That way, this content will appear correctly in your visual content gallery.
3. Syndicate Visual Content to Retail Partners
In some cases, a shopper will shop for a brand’s product directly from the brand’s ecommerce site. But in other cases, they’ll opt to shop via a retailer that sells the brand’s products. Be sure both types of shoppers can find the visual information they’re seeking out, regardless of where they shop. How? By syndicating the visual content you collect (both natively and through Instagram) to your retail partners (or, if you’re a retailer, by accepting this content from your brands).
If you’re a brand that syndicates visual content to your retail partners, you benefit from getting this conversion-boosting content in front of more shoppers, wherever they purchase your products. If you’re a retailer that accepts syndicated visual content, you benefit from displaying more photos and videos on more products, without having to generate this content yourself.
4. Add a UGC Snippet to Product Pages
Consumers are busy people with short attention spans, so it’s key to provide them with all the information they’re looking for in one place. That includes photos and videos — both brand-provided and submitted by consumers like them.
Ask your visual content provider if it’s possible to add a snippet to your product display page to allow your shoppers to easily access photos and videos submitted by other consumers, right alongside brand-provided product images.
5. Include Visual Content in Other Marketing Campaigns
Make the most of the great visual content you’re generating from your customers by including this content in other marketing initiatives. For example, once you’ve received permission, consider including user-submitted visual content in social media campaigns and marketing emails. Or, include content on in-store displays to engage shoppers in your brick-and-mortar locations.
6. Give Credit to Instagram Contributors
You’ll need to get permission from consumers before using their Instagram photos or videos on your website or in your other marketing materials. The good news is, your visual content partner should make this an easy process for you.
Once you get permission, be sure to give the shopper a shout out when you use their photo or video. For example, if you repost a user’s photo on your company’s Instagram page, tag them in it as another way to give them props. This will encourage other consumers to share content with you, in hopes of being featured on your page.
Start Collecting and Displaying More Visual Content
Collecting and displaying visual content is a win-win for consumers and businesses alike. Seeing photos and videos of a product “in real life” helps consumers make more confident purchase decisions. And it helps brands and retailers boost traffic, conversion, and sales — and reduce returns.
Are you already a PowerReviews client? Contact your Client Success Director to learn more about how you can start generating and displaying more visual content today. Not a PowerReviews customer yet? Contact us to schedule a demo.
Choosing the Best Ratings and Reviews Provider for Your Business
Whether you’re new to ratings and reviews or have plenty of experience collecting user-generated content (UGC), searching for a new technology provider can seem like an overwhelming experience. This is especially true when you don’t know what factors to consider or which questions to ask.
To help you along the way, we’ve created a comprehensive ratings and reviews Buyer’s Guide, exclusively for Salesforce Commerce Cloud merchants. Download this guide to access:
- Criteria to consider when evaluating your options
- Questions to ask potential vendors in the Salesforce Commerce Cloud ecosystem
- How to know when it’s time to switch to a new provider
- And more!
The Growing Importance of Consumer-Submitted Visual Content
Visual content has become an integral part of the lives of today’s consumers — and it’s changing the way they shop, too. PowerReviews research found that nearly all (97%) of shoppers seek out visual content prior to purchase.
And while brand-provided images and videos have their role to play in satisfying a consumer’s need for visual information, increasingly, consumers are specifically seeking out content submitted by others like them. Consumer images and videos fill in product gaps that a brand missed or could not properly showcase in a written description or specification overview. From texture to scale, consumers’ content plays an essential role in answering conversion driving questions and boosting confidence. The same study mentioned above found that 88% of consumers specifically look for visual content submitted by other consumers prior to making a purchase. This visual content helps the end user connect with a product. In fact, 72% of shoppers are more likely to buy a product that has reviews that feature photos and videos in addition to written text.
Clearly, visual content plays a large (and growing) role in the path to purchase. And it’s an important tool when building shopper confidence and ensuring a product is the right fit to prevent returns. This is especially true when consumers are shopping for products that are visual in nature — including apparel, footwear, and health and beauty items. Because consumers want to connect with a person like them to decide whether a product will fit their specific needs, it’s key for brands and retailers to make it a priority to start collecting and displaying more visual content from shoppers.
How can you start collecting more of the conversion-boosting photos and videos that your customers are actively seeking out? Read on to learn five ways to start collecting more visual content from your shoppers today.
1. Collect Photos and Videos Natively
Displaying consumer provided photos and videos as part of your reviews helps build buyer confidence. And confident shoppers are more likely to convert. Remember, 72% of shoppers are more likely to buy a product that has reviews that feature photos and videos in addition to written text!
The best way to generate more visual content as part of reviews is to make the process as easy as possible. Today’s user has their best content in the palm of their hand. Literally. Allow your consumers to submit photos and videos directly on your website from the camera rolls on their mobile phones — rather than through YouTube or other third-party sites. That way, you’ll generate more photos and videos and keep shoppers on your website.
2. Integrate Your Write-a-Review Form With Social Media
According to data from Statista, the average internet user spent 135 minutes per day on social media in 2017. If your customers are anything like the average consumer, they’re likely spending a good amount of their time on social media, often posting photos and videos to share with their friends. And some of these photos and videos likely include your products.
So in addition to allowing consumers to upload photos and videos from their camera rolls, be sure they can also upload this content straight from their Instagram and Facebook profiles, where this content already lives.
3. Prioritize Visual Content Collection
Traditionally, consumers think of reviews as star ratings and written text. But if you’re focused on generating more visual content as part of reviews, you need to make it clear to your consumers that you want them to share photos and videos of your products.
Ask your ratings and reviews provider if they offer a visual content collection feature, which enables you to send a post purchase email that specifically asks your shoppers to provide an image before you ask for a review. At PowerReviews, our customers have seen a 144% increase in images collected with an image-first call to action. And more than half of purchasers continue to write a review after submitting an image through the visual content collection form.
4. Collect Content from Instagram
Instagram is one of the most popular social media channels today, with more than 800 million monthly active users and over 95 million photos shared each day. Chances are, there are plenty of “real life” photos and videos of your products already living on Instagram. If you’re not collecting this content, you’re missing out on a big opportunity.
Your ratings and reviews provider should make it easy to leverage the content that already exists on Instagram — then display this content directly on your product detail pages. For example, Social Collection from PowerReviews allows brands and retailers to collect Instagram content generated by hashtags and @mentions, and then gather visual content rights from the person that posted the content. Then, the brand or retailer can display this content directly on product display pages and in marketing campaigns to boost shopper confidence — and conversion.
5. Syndicate Visual Content
Once you’ve started collecting visual content from your customers, the next step is to get that content in front of future shoppers, regardless of where they shop. If you’re a brand, make sure you’re syndicating user-generated photos and videos (both from social and the content you collect natively) to your retail partners. That way, you’re getting this conversion-boosting content in front of more consumers, whether they’re shopping directly through your website or through one of your retail partners. If you’re a retailer, start accepting syndicated visual content from your brands. By doing so, you’ll benefit from displaying a higher volume of visual content — without having to collect it yourself.
Start Collecting More Visual Content
We know that 88% of consumers specifically look for visuals — such as photos or videos — submitted by other consumers prior to making a purchase. It’s key to provide these shoppers with the information they’re looking for — or else you risk losing them to a competitor that does.
Are you already a PowerReviews client? Contact your Client Success Director to learn more about how you can start generating more visual content today. Not a PowerReviews customer yet? Contact us to schedule a demo.
PowerReviews and SEO Compliance
This is important for our clients, brands and retailers in all industries, who want their products to appear in Google search. Especially since we know that 35% of consumers begin their purchasing journey on a search engine.
Loud Interactive Findings
If you want to learn more about Loud Interactive’s methodology and the results they found, check out the full study here.
Are you a PowerReviews client?
Want to learn more about our reviews and SEO approach, best practices or how your site stacks up? Reach out to your Client Success Director today!
Not a PowerReviews client?
Reach out to us today to learn about the SEO value that reviews and other user-generated content drives, and how you can ensure your pages are indexed correctly!
Winning the digital shelf
Brands and retailers understand the importance of having great user-generated and brand content for their products to succeed in a hyper-competitive ecommerce channel. Great content drives more reach, shopper engagement, conversion and sales – and is the key to winning the “digital shelf.” One of the ways retailers compete in an hyper-competitive Amazon world is to work with brands to accept their syndicated content to ensure great coverage.
Reaching one billion ecommerce shoppers
PowerReviews has had a unique opportunity over the last four years to ensure that syndicating reviews and other user-generated content remain open, accessible and affordable. We created the PowerReviews Open Network to make it possible for brands and retailers of all sizes to reach more than one billion consumers wherever they shop each month.
This open and industry-friendly approach persuaded more than 800 brands to adopt the PowerReviews platform. At the same time, more than 25 of the world’s largest retailers joined hundreds of other retailers using the PowerReviews platform to participate in an open network.
Managing the transition to an open network
Recently, Bazaarvoice announced that on September 30, 2018, they will seek to require brands using PowerReviews to sign syndication agreements and pay exorbitant, unnecessary access fees to continue syndicating content to retailers using their platform.
PowerReviews has secured direct relationships with the largest retailers in the world not using our platform. PowerReviews will match content from brands that use our platform at no cost and provide retailers with an easy-to-ingest file. These direct relationships make signing new agreements and paying extra fees unnecessary. We can add new retailers quickly and easily upon request.
PowerReviews will also add additional value to brands by providing faster setup, up to 80% increases in product matching and enabling syndication of new content types such as Q&A and images.
Should Bazaarvoice attempt to block content against the wishes of their largest clients, it would be to the detriment of brands, retailers and consumers.
To be clear, let’s review the facts:
- PowerReviews has 1,000+ leading retailers and brands on our platform (including leading retailers such as Jet, Ulta, Dillard’s, Ace Hardware, and BJ’s Wholesale) accounting for billions in online sales and 500 million shopper visits.
- PowerReviews signed agreements with 25 of the largest retailers, reaching 1 billion shoppers using other review platforms (including in-house platforms) 18 months ago to directly syndicate content from brands using our platform.
- These retailers collectively reach more than one billion shoppers monthly, and represent the majority of the syndication network in terms of shopper visits and sales.
- PowerReviews has already started sending retailers fully matched and moderated files with millions of reviews from the 800+ PowerReviews brands.
- PowerReviews can onboard new retailers in 2 to 4 weeks, much faster than the current process.
This is a moment of truth for the market. Will Bazaarvoice defy the requests of their clients in a last-ditch effort to exert pricing control over a closed and proprietary network?
Will there be any disruption to network syndication?
Our goal is to minimize any disruption created by Bazaarvoice, particularly before the critical holiday shopping season. All retailers using PowerReviews will remain open and accessible to all brands without premium access fees. There are some retailers that are not yet accepting directly syndicated content. PowerReviews will work with any retailer to quickly onboard them at no cost on behalf of our brands and be fully transparent throughout this process.
The team at PowerReviews is working tirelessly on behalf of our clients and the industry to ensure an open syndication network for all. Brands and retailers need a competitive and open network that delivers more content coverage, reach, and innovation. We’ve heard from many of you and I want to personally thank you for allowing us to advocate on your behalf. Here are FAQs to answer questions immediately. For any additional questions, please contact our VP of Network (Jim O’Brien) and VP of Client Success (Jessica Teji).
What is cross-network syndication?
For the last six years, PowerReviews and Bazaarvoice have syndicated content from brands to retailers using our respective platforms. Cross-network syndication originally started in July 2012 when Bazaarvoice attempted to acquire PowerReviews. It was continued by order of a federal judge after Bazaarvoice’s attempted acquisition was found to be anti-competitive and was forced to divest PowerReviews. Prior to this time, Bazaarvoice operated a closed network and did not syndicate third party content. We estimate that Bazaarvoice has charged brands at least $100 million for access to retailers using their platform.
What is the PowerReviews Open Network?
In March 2017, PowerReviews announced the extension and expansion of the PowerReviews Open Network to provide syndication of content to any retailer seeking access to millions of reviews from more than 800+ brands using the PowerReviews platform. As always, any retailer using the PowerReviews platform can accept content from any brand regardless of the reviews platform the brand uses.
In January 2018, PowerReviews announced five new syndication capabilities and in June 2018, announced the elimination of access fees. The open network approach and benefits of competition is evident, and recognized by many of the largest retailers.
What’s happening to cross-network syndication as of July 3, 2018?
As of July 3, 2018, the cross-network syndication agreement ended and PowerReviews and Bazaarvoice entered a “wind-down period” where either party could choose to accept syndicated reviews for up to a year. PowerReviews will continue to accept new content from brands using Bazaarvoice to prevent any disruption.
Bazaarvoice notified PowerReviews on July 3rd they would no longer accept cross-network syndicated content from new PowerReviews clients. On July 16th, some PowerReviews clients heard from the Bazaarvoice sales team that Bazaarvoice plans to stop syndicating all new content from PowerReviews brands to Bazaarvoice retailers starting on September 30th, 2018. PowerReviews has not been directly notified of this change.
To be clear, due to market pressures, Bazaarvoice will accept content from brands not using their platform for a “premium access fee” which will amount to millions dollars being charged to brands to appear on retailer sites. Despite claiming $7,000 entry-level syndication pricing for a brand, Bazaarvoice is already quoting fees at $50,000 or more for a single brand looking to purchase syndication alone. As explained in January 2018, Bazaarvoice continues to believe they have the right to control and profit from content syndicated to retailers using their platform. This is where PowerReviews has a fundamentally different approach, and as it turns out, so do many of the largest retailers in the world.
What is PowerReviews doing to make sure there is minimal disruption for clients?
Eighteen months ago PowerReviews signed agreements with 25 of the largest retailers in the world, accounting for $60 billion in online sales. Direct syndication enables better match and coverage rates, faster set-up times, access to a bigger network, more content types, more transparency and more control. PowerReviews will continue to operationalize direct syndication to retailers providing our clients with additional reach.
PowerReviews is committed to working with our brand clients to make their content available to any retailer using the Bazaarvoice platform. We will match content from brands that use our platform at no cost and provide retailers with an easy-to-ingest file. These direct relationships make signing new agreements and paying extra fees unnecessary. We can add new retailers quickly and easily upon request.
How is direct syndication different than cross-network syndication for retailers?
With direct syndication agreements, PowerReviews uses the retailers’ product catalog to match content supplied by brands that use the PowerReviews platform. Previously, Bazaarvoice would perform this function for PowerReviews brands and PowerReviews would perform the same function for Bazaarvoice brands.
Operationally there is no difference to the retailer or the brand. The major change is that PowerReviews is taking on the cost and effort of matching reviews to products. The process for a retailer to receive directly syndicated content from PowerReviews is simple:
- Sign a simple no cost one-page agreement.
- Provide an up-to-date product catalog.
- PowerReview will match the content and send the already-matched file to the retailer, and Bazaarvoice need only ingest and display the content.
What’s the average timeline to enable direct syndication to a retailer?
Previously with Bazaarvoice, implementing review syndication relationships from PowerReviews could take up to 4 to 6 weeks. However, working directly with PowerReviews, we can implement a direct syndication brand or retailer in as little as 1 to 2 weeks for initial results and 2 to 3 weeks for a full implementation.
Will there be an interruption to my reviews after September 30th?
Our goal is to minimize any disruption of content syndication by Bazaarvoice, particularly before the critical holiday shopping season. All retailers using PowerReviews will remain open and accessible for all brands without premium access fees.
There will be other retailers that are not yet accepting directly-syndicated content. Upon signing a no-cost single page agreement, they can be up and running in a few weeks. PowerReviews will work with any retailer on behalf of our brands, and we will be fully transparent through this process as we establish direct syndication relationships with retailers our clients wish to syndicate reviews to.
Can you summarize the benefits of direct syndication through the PowerReviews Open Network?
- No access fees: We have eliminated cost-prohibitive access fees, which has made review syndication affordable for thousands of brands.
- $90 billion retailer network: Over a year ago, the largest retailers in the world not using our platform pledged to continue accepting our content. This is in addition to the hundreds of retailers using PowerReviews such as Jet, Ulta, Dillard’s, Ace Hardware, Thrive Market, Zappos, Overstock, Wayfair and more.
- 800+ syndicating brands (and counting): In the last year alone, PowerReviews has signed more than one new syndicating brand each day to the benefit of retailers participating in the PowerReviews Open Network. Our CPG brand clients alone represent $350 billion in annual revenue, and 25% of the 2017’s Top Consumer Goods Companies.
- Better matching services: PowerReviews’ combines a fully dedicated team and AI-powered matching technology to help clients drive 80% increases in products matched and 13% lift in total number of reviews syndicated.
- More content types for syndication: PowerReviews is enhancing review syndication by now syndicating questions, answers, social content such as images, video and more not previously available to brands and retailers. This includes our direct syndication partners.