The Importance of Visual Content

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A Growing Reliance on User-Generated Visual Content

Visual content has become a key part of the purchase journey for a large (and growing) number of consumers. And increasingly, shoppers are specifically seeking out visual content — including photos and videos — from others like them. PowerReviews research found that 88% of consumers specifically look for visuals submitted by other consumers prior to making a purchase.

Consumers seek user-generated photos and videos when shopping for products in a variety of categories. This content is especially important for those industries where you are trying to relate to apparel and health and beauty shoppers. Why? These products are visual in nature, and shoppers want to make sure the items they’re considering have worked well for others like them. For example, a particular pair of pants might work better on some body types than others. Or one type of makeup works especially well for a specific skin tone or type.

Read on to learn how collecting and displaying user-generated visual content helps shoppers make confident, informed purchase decisions — and helps brands and retailers improve their bottom lines.

Visual Content Builds Trust

You work hard to foster trust with your shoppers. And for good reason, consumers are more likely to purchase from brands they trust. Research shows that 65% of shoppers are more likely to trust products that have user-submitted photos or videos in their reviews.

The good news is that collecting and displaying visual content from your shoppers can help you build trust. By displaying photos and videos taken by your customers, you’re adding a layer of authenticity to your site, showing future shoppers that they can trust your products and your brand.

Visual Content Fills in Gaps

When shopping online, consumers actively seek out visual content to gather as much information about a product as possible before making a purchase decision. For example, if you’re a health and beauty retailer like our friends at Ulta that sells a particular bottle of face lotion, your consumer wants to understand qualities such as the scale of the bottle and the texture of the lotion. Or if you’re an apparel brand, your shopper wants to understand what a dress looks like from several different angles.

Baymard research finds that the typical consumer wants to find between three and five images of a product to better understand the product’s features and scale. But most ecommerce websites only provide two images.

User-generated content helps you fill that gap — and provides shoppers with additional product information they need to make decisions. For example, if you’re the beauty retailer I mentioned earlier, your customer might submit a photo of herself holding the lotion bottle — which provides future shoppers with a better idea of how large the tube is. Or if you’re the apparel brand, you can display images from several of your shoppers wearing the same dress — all taken at different angles.

Visual Content Boosts Consumer Confidence

Consumers trust others like them. So seeing photos of other people using your products in “real life” is a great way to boost customer confidence. This is especially true when consumers are buying products that are visual in nature — including apparel and health and beauty items.

For example, let’s say a shopper is searching for a dress for an upcoming wedding she is attending. She finds a style she likes from Rent the Runway. But the model appears to be quite tall, and the shopper is much shorter. She’s not sure that the length of the dress will work well on someone of her height. Luckily, the product detail page has a gallery of images of other consumers wearing the dress. She clicks around and finds a photo of someone with a similar body type to hers — and the dress length looks great, especially paired with a cardigan from your website. Confidently, the shopper adds both the dress and the cardigan to her online shopping cart.

Visual Content Boosts Conversion

Collecting and displaying user-generated visual content is a win-win for consumers and businesses alike. User-submitted photos and videos provide shoppers with the information they need to make confident purchase decisions. And this content also improves your bottom line — by boosting traffic, conversion and sales on your product pages.

In the PowerReviews network, we’ve found that when a product adds at least one user-generated image, that product experiences an 18% average lift in traffic and a 69% average lift in conversion, compared to a product without this content.

Start Collecting More Visual Content

User-generated photos and videos play a large — and growing — role in the path to purchase.  Now is the time to start collecting more of the visual content your shoppers are actively seeking out — or risk losing them to a competitor that does.

Current PowerReviews customer? Contact your Client Success Director to learn ways you can start collecting and displaying more visual content.

Not yet a PowerReviews customer? Contact us to schedule a demo today!