As the old saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. The old proverbial expression indeed remains one of few truths in the new world order of e-commerce.
Visual content is the language that allows brands to engage in meaningful interactions with customers. Strategically incorporating visual content into e-commerce sites can showcase the value of a product, increase online conversion, and solidify brand loyalty.
Brands are looking for ways to leverage visual imagery to enhance content value and grab a more significant share of audience attention. Here are seven current trends in visual content that will enhance any e-commerce strategy.
User-generated content (UGC) is a crucial component for building a successful e-commerce brand. UGC includes any form of content posted by customers on online social media platforms, including customer reviews, testimonials, homemade product pictures and videos, and lifestyle photography.
It is so important because it serves as social proof, lending credibility to a brand and product. Consumers seek out UGC to ensure that the product they are interested in buying works well for someone else.
In general, consumers trust the authentic opinions of other people who have experience with a product more than they trust the claims made by a brand. So when a brand embraces UGC and shares it on their site, it helps build trust with the customer and gives them the confidence needed to make a purchase.
Shoppable Images & Video
Visually compelling images and videos go a long way to attract and inspire consumers and but alone do little to convert viewers into customers.
Making images and videos shoppable offers an opportunity to capture more customers by bringing the point of sale closer to the point of inspiration. Shoppable content allows viewers to click on an image or video clip of a product they like while browsing social media, directing them directly to the product page.
Automatically redirecting the consumer shortens the sales cycle and removes any frustrating barriers to manually searching for the product. Making the process this easy captures the customer while they still have a product in mind, leading to quick and easy decision making and increased conversions.
The faster brands can get viewers to checkout, the better chance they can make a sale and reinforce a positive customer experience that pays off with repeat customers in the future.
The goal of immersive content is to replicate the experience of seeing a product and examining it in stores. E-commerce may be the new standard for shopping but not being able to see a product and physically assess if it is the right fit is still a hurdle for consumers.
Visual content that brings the feeling of an in-store experience online with responsive designs, such as 3D images and 360-degree product views, increases consumer confidence by supporting informed purchasing decisions. Immersive visual content makes shopping easier, boosting customer experience and brand loyalty.
Infographics are a hot trend right now for their ability to communicate complex information with unlimited use cases. Infographics are effective because the human brain can process visual pictures much quicker than written text.
Shoppers can comprehend almost any complex product, service, or process when the concept is addressed diagrammatically instead of long text descriptions. Beautifully designed infographics not only increase understanding but helps customers remember products and ideas, providing brands with a competitive advantage and increasing their overall relevance and value.
Shoppers get quickly turned off when they can’t understand a product; therefore, supporting their understanding generates a better customer experience and improves their trust in a brand, ultimately prompting them to return for future business.
Engaging video content
According to eMarketer, 52% of marketing professionals consider video the best format with the highest ROI. Engaging video content is effective because it grabs viewers’ attention and is more memorable than images.
When done correctly, videos can also create an emotional impact on customers, building a positive emotional affiliation with a brand. Short, engaging video content catches shoppers’ attention as they scroll through social media and presents an opportunity for them to get to know a brand and its style better.
With most e-commerce happening on mobile devices, video is a format that maximizes marketing potential, as it is the most manageable format to consume on a small screen, especially over text.
Consumers expect personalized content, and brands that deliver have a significant advantage in today’s crowded market. With AI technology making personalization possible, presenting the right visual content at the right time captures customers’ attention and improves online conversions.
Hyper localized content that considers customer information such as region, currency, season, even current weather conditions allows brands to present relevant products to customers.
Consumers naturally will feel more engaged with a brand that offers snow gear as a winter storm is forecasted in their area over a brand presenting sneakers and outdoor apparel.
Leverage technology to deliver visual content that appeals to customers with products that make sense increases product visibility. Consider pairing compelling, personalized content with eye-catching promotions to maximize the potential for online conversion.
Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are ramping up to be game-changing technology for e-commerce. AR/VR technology can bring in-store experiences to life in an online format by allowing consumers to better visual products.
This technology has incredible potential, especially for brands selling large products, such as furniture or home décor. Consumers can visualize the product they are interested in at scale in their homes and feel more comfortable making a major purchase online.
AR/VR technology can help customers make more informed decisions giving brands that deploy it effectively an edge over their competitors. While this technology is still in its infancy, there is limitless potential for its application in retail, and it’s sure to become a more significant factor in the future of e-commerce.