It’s no secret that visual content is becoming an integral part of the lives of today’s consumers. Photography — once limited to those with an expensive camera and extensive training — is now available to anyone with a mobile device. In fact, Deloitte predicted that in 2016, 2.5 trillion photos would be shared or stored online, a 15% increase from 2015. And it’s estimated that over 90% of those photos will be taken on a mobile device.
Visual content is also becoming a key part of the path to purchase. A recent PowerReviews study found that 72% of shoppers say they’re more likely to buy a product that has reviews that feature photos and videos in addition to written text. And increasingly, consumers are using photos and videos to express their opinions about products.
[bctt tweet=”72% of shoppers are more likely to buy a product that has reviews that feature photos & videos.” username=”powerofreviews”]
Visual content is changing the way consumers browse for and purchase products. With that in mind, PowerReviews released new capabilities to help brands and retailers leverage visual content in order to increase consumer engagement and conversion. Read on to learn more about two of our new visual content capabilities.
PowerReviews research found that 40% of consumers prefer to find visual content directly on a brand or retailer website. In comparison, 29% prefer to see photos or videos of products on Amazon, and 26% want to see this visual content on a third party review site.
Our new Image Gallery allows retailers and brands to showcase user-submitted photos in an engaging gallery where consumers prefer to find it — directly on product pages. With the new Image Gallery, brands and retailers will increase the visibility of the visual content they collect, leading to higher engagement on product pages and greater purchase likelihood. In addition, this new feature eliminates the extra step of having to curate images from other sources, freeing up your internal teams to dedicate time to other projects.
Consumers are seeking out video content from other consumers. So it’s key for brands and retailers to make it as easy as possible for shoppers to view this rich media.
To answer consumers’ demand for video content, PowerReviews is the first in the industry to introduce Native Video capabilities, which allows consumers to easily upload videos directly from their mobile devices. By allowing consumers to submit and view video directly on brand and retailer sites, rather than redirecting them to YouTube or other third party sites, brands and retailers are able to generate a higher volume of video content which will then drive more traffic and sales.
If consumers can find all of the product information they’re looking for directly on your site, they’ll stay engaged and be more likely to convert. And since the video is submitted as part of a review, the brand or retailer owns this content.
Already a client? If you’re an existing PowerReviews client interested in how photos and videos can help you increase traffic and conversion, contact your Client Success Director or Community Manager.
Not yet a client? If you’re not currently a PowerReviews customer but interested in learning more, contact us to schedule a demo.
How Brands and Retailers Should Approach the Increasing Use of Mobile in the Shopping Experience
Mobile shopping continues to be on the rise. So it comes as no surprise that brands and retailers continue to invest more and more into this shopping channel. Recently, Shop.org surveyed brands and retailers to better understand their plans for 2017, and found that nearly 40% plan to focus a majority of tech investments on mobile.
Read on for four tips to ensure you’re ready to meet your shoppers’ expectations via mobile.
1. Ensure Your Site Provides a Great Mobile Experience
These days, your beautiful, functional website must also be mobile compatible. Up to 40% of shoppers abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load, so have your site primed for mobile users. Don’t forget to test it from several mobile platforms to prevent customer frustration.
And remember: it’s important to have a good mobile site AND a good mobile app. Shoppers like options, and while they may want your store to have an app to make mobile purchasing much smoother, 54% prefer to access reviews on a store’s mobile site versus a mobile app while shopping in-store.
2. Pay Attention To Your Millennial and Centennial Shoppers
These younger shoppers are more likely to research and purchase products on their mobile devices than their older counterparts. PowerReviews found that 37% of Centennials prefer to browse and research products from a mobile phone. Technology is the norm for these young shoppers, so the mobile shopping experience must be seamless.
3. Keep Those Ratings and Reviews on Your Site Coming!
This applies both for and from mobile shoppers. When it comes to shopping by mobile, 70% of mobile shoppers say they are more likely to purchase a product if the website or mobile app has product reviews.
Meanwhile, ensuring the review collection process is mobile optimized can help brands and retailers collect more reviews from shoppers. evo, a leading online retailer of outdoor gear and fashion apparel, increased the number of reviews written on mobile by 204% when they switched to a mobile-friendly post purchase email.
4. Consider Offering Extras to Your Mobile Users
In the battle with Amazon over free perks (see our latest whitepaper), it’s become clear that brands and retailers need to continue to offer more to their customers. This includes anything special for your mobile users, as discounts are a top motivating factor.
Increased use of mobile in the shopping journey can be a real opportunity for brands and retailers. Learn some other tips for making the most of mobile in your reviews and ratings.
In an ideal world, shoppers would navigate directly to your site anytime they were in the market for a product you sell. But the reality is, today’s consumers have nearly limitless options when it comes to researching and purchasing products. And in a vast majority of cases, they’re not starting their search directly on a brand or retailer site.
In fact, a recent PowerReviews study found that more than a third (35%) of shoppers choose to start the purchase journey on a search engine, compared to 21% that start directly on a brand or retailer site.
Why Your SEO Strategy Matters
This data sends a clear message to brands and retailers — if you want shoppers to find your product pages, it’s key to develop a strong search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. Many factors come into play when it comes to determining where your pages rank in search engine results.
Your company probably has someone on the team who focuses on many of these things, including freshness, keyword density, and inbound links, just to name a few. But one of the best ways to improve your SEO is to leverage the content that your users are already creating — including ratings and reviews and Q&A.
Read on to learn how brands and retailers can use reviews for SEO and how this content improves search engine presence, which will lead to more traffic and increased conversion.
Reviews Improve Ranking
Search engines prize fresh and relevant content. And a steady stream of ratings and reviews and Q&A can help keep your site’s content relevant and fresh with keyword-rich, permanent assets on your product pages. Then, search engines can crawl it which enables shoppers to find it.
Reviews Improve Click-Through
In 2011, major search engines including Google, Yahoo and Bing came together to create Schema.org, a single standard for structuring content on websites. Brands and retailers that adhere to Schema.org standards can benefit from an improved presence on search engines.
If a brand or retailer uses Schema.org standards, search engines can pull information from product pages and use it to enhance search results with what are called “rich snippets.”
The most common type of rich snippets are star ratings and review counts. If your site is structured according to Schema.org standards and you have ratings and reviews, star ratings can appear when your product pages appear in search results. These rich snippets catch the attention of shoppers and significantly improve click-through rates.
For example, let’s say you’re looking for a gift for your nephew, whose favorite movie is Toy Story. You navigate to Google and search for “realistic toy story dinosaur.” One of the top results is from Toys ‘R’ Us and includes a star rating and the number of reviews for the product. If you take a closer look, you can even see the pros, cons, and best uses listed below the star rating. You see that the toy has a great star rating, encouraging you to click through to the product page.
Are Your Reviews Structured Correctly?
We’ve found that more than 80% of brands and retailers are optimizing their content for crawlers. But around 30% are structuring it incorrectly.
But ensuring your site (including your reviews) is structured according to Schema.org standards doesn’t have to be overwhelming. In fact, if you’re an existing PowerReviews client and have our in-line SEO feature enabled, we do the heavy lifting for you.
Our in-line SEO feature essentially gives web crawlers the values they need to understand what your ratings and reviews content says.
If you’re a current PowerReviews customer, contact your Client Success Director or Community Manager to request in-line SEO be added to your account. And if you’re not currently a PowerReviews customer, contact us to learn more about how ratings and reviews can help improve your SEO.