Visual content is increasingly critical to driving purchases—and new research affirms that brand PR and marketing needs to better leverage visuals to help consumers make purchase decisions. Ratings, reviews and question-and-answer tech provider PowerReviews recently released a new whitepaper, Snapshot for Ecommerce: The Role of Visual Content in Earning Consumer Trust and Influencing Purchase Behavior, detailing the rise and influence of user-generated photos and videos. Within PowerReviews’ network, reviews submitted with images have increased 70 percent year over year, and the ratio of images to reviews has increased 90 percent year over year.
“Visual content, including photos and videos, has become an expected part of the path to purchase and plays a big role in building trust and influencing customer behavior. There is no question that visual content is changing the way consumers research, browse and make purchases,” said Matt Moog, CEO of PowerReviews, in a news release. “By better understanding how consumers want to interact with visual content while shopping, retailers and brands can develop strategies and tactics to better attract and convert shoppers by leveraging photos and videos.”
Key findings from the survey of more than 1,000 American consumers include:
- There is Growing Demand for Visual Content—Shoppers want all available information prior to making a purchase. The study found that 72 percent of consumers say they regularly or always seek out visual content prior to purchase. This trend is even more apparent with Millennials, with more than 81 percent of consumers age 18-29 seeking out visual content.
- The Influence of User-Generated Visual Content—Consumers are seeking visual content submitted by other consumers. Sixty-five percent of shoppers are more likely to trust products that have user-generated photos or videos in their reviews. Nearly three quarters (72 percent) of shoppers say they are more likely to buy a product that has reviews that feature photos and video in addition to text. This trend is more prominent in millennials, with 84 percent of consumers age 18-29 reporting that they’re more likely to buy a product that has reviews that feature photos and videos.
- Searching for Visual Content—Most consumers start looking for visual content on Google (50 percent) followed by Amazon (26 percent), and finally a brand or retailer’s website (13 percent). However, 40 percent of consumers prefer to see visual content on the retailer or brand site, compared with 29 percent on Amazon and 26 percent on a third-party review site. So while it is clear that consumers are starting their search on Google or Amazon, they prefer to find photos and video directly on a brand or retailer’s site.
As consumers share more photos and videos than ever before, visual content is becoming an expected part of the path to purchase. Retailers and brands must seek innovative ways to collect and display more user-generated images and videos in order to capture shopper interest and increase purchase likelihood.
Source: Business Wire; edited by Richard Carufel