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.