customer photos increase checkout rates
January 07, 2018 | Shares:

How Adding Instagram Photos Increased Checkouts by 24% [Case Study]

Vanity Planet A/B tested the effects of adding Instagram photos to its most popular product pages.

The Company

Vanity Planet sells beauty and health products for shoppers in the know.

They’ve sold well over 500,000 Spin for Perfect Skin brushes, their signature skincare product. But they were curious to see if customer photos could increase checkout rates even for such a popular product.

The original product page for Spin for Perfect Skin was strong. It had a minimalist design, elegant color contrast, and a lot of reviews. With 6% of product page visitors reaching checkout, it was performing well above eCommerce standards.

Here’s what the original page looked like:

customer photos increase checkout rates

The Test

Vanity Planet was an early adopter of Yotpo’s Social Curation feature, which allows you to collect and display customer photos to increase checkouts, conversion rate, and more.

In order to see the effects of adding customer photos to their product pages, Vanity Planet ran an A/B test with Visual Website Optimizer, the authoritative A/B testing software.

They tested the original product page against the same page with customer photos added just above the reviews. These included photos curated from Instagram, as well as photos uploaded by customers alongside their reviews.

Here’s the variation:

customer photos increase checkout rates

The test ran for 10 days, with almost 6,000 visitors tracked.

The Results

The page that included customer photos outperformed the original. Visitors reaching the checkout page from the product page increased by 24%.

Initially 6.56%, it soared to 8.11% — which adds up to an additional $8,900 in sales for the $100 product over a 10-day period!

Why the Variation Won

Authentic customer photos establish social proof and trust for hesitant online shoppers. Today, default product photos aren’t enough. Shoppers don’t trust professional branded photos, and standard product photos don’t capture how customers actually use a particular item.

When shoppers see authentic customer photos from Instagram, they relate to their peers in the images, see the full range of uses for the product, and know that others actually use and love it.

Doug Baltman
Doug Baltman, Product Marketing @ Yotpo
When Doug's out of the office, he's riding around Tel Aviv on his bike, looking for anything out of the ordinary.
  • Those are great results! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    • Aimee from Yotpo

      Glad you enjoyed Kristi!

  • I can see how customer photos would increase sales. In this case, they aren’t even all that compelling, so it appears that just their existence did the trick. Where I think this will really shine is for things like clothing where photos of people wearing a dress, for example, can give shoppers a much better idea of how that dress might look on them in particular instead of on the tall, elegant models brands provide.

    One dress seller I’ve seen has customer provided photos wearing those clothes and I find that very valuable to decide how a dress might look on a shorter person or someone built more like me than the beautiful model. (Everything looks better on her!)

    • Aimee from Yotpo

      Fashion companies definitely benefit from visuals – we researched 1.3 million reviews written for fashion stores and learned fit & comfort are the biggest pain points for customers shopping in this industry – which means that photos can really make a difference for customers who want to “see” how an item will look in real life. You can check out the research here:

      • A brand that does a great job displaying additional photos of what their clothing look like on women of many shapes is Kiyonna. In this post on How to Drive Engagement with user-generated content at, the writer said:

        “Real brides are featured on the Real Bride Style™ page in KIYONNA
        wedding dresses. Additionally, fashionista bloggers join the KIYONNA
        Blogger Brigade™ to showcase some of their favorite pieces.”

      • I found the store that was doing that very well. In the right sidebar they put either bloggers photographed in their dresses or maybe photos their buyers shared on Facebook or sent to them. It is the plus size dress store Kiyonna that does that.

  • I like to read about A/B testing and case studies, there’s always something to learn.
    With its semplicity, Instagram has immense potential of helping businesses improving their sales and increasing their brand popularity.

    Awesome results, thanks for the share!

    • Aimee from Yotpo

      Glad you enjoyed it Erik! We’re going to be publishing many more posts like this in the near future.

    • Doug Baltman

      Thanks Erik!

  • This is a great post, we’ve been pushing a very similar concept to a client and we can use this as further leverage – we know it’ll work really well for them!

    • Aimee from Yotpo

      Amazing!! Would love to hear your results. It’s awesome how this tiny change can make such a huge difference in sales.

    • Moran Khoubian

      Hey Ed, can you share how it went with the client? Did the end up adding Instagram photos to their site?

  • Awesome results here! Thanks for sharing, it has our gears turning 😉

    • Aimee from Yotpo

      Good! Glad to hear it!

  • Eren Mckay

    I always love a good case study. Learning from what others have already implemented and seen make a difference to the bottom line is essential for businesses to grow. Thanks for sharing the results with us. I’m definitely going to be using this for ecommerce websites.

    • Aimee from Yotpo

      Thanks Eren! Will be more of these coming soon. Share your results if you do similar tests with the eComm sites you work with =)

  • Doesn’t surprise me one bit. Any form of testimonial is gold. And the more vivid and real it is, the more believable it is. So pics by real users is the best. Well, also video.

    • Aimee from Yotpo

      Yes for sure – visual user-generated content is quickly outpacing customer reviews. I believe customer reviews will always have a unique value, especially when customers are looking for information about specific aspects of the product (how well it works, battery life, sizing, etc.) but visuals have immediate impact (pictures say a thousand words etc.)

    • vladmalik

      We A/B tested something similar and did not win If anyone has similar losing or winning examples, please share.

  • Aaron Orendorff

    I’m ALWAYS looking for ecommerce improvement hacks that go beyond “best practice” lists and actually rely on data. I never would have thought that images could make sure a difference at the very end of a funnel.

    But the application of social proof in the form of images is brilliant. Love what you folks do on the wide end of the funnel is social media. This just amps those same principles up! Thx for the insights and write up.

    • Doug Baltman

      thanks Aaron!

  • Social curation is GOLD in so many ways and social media testimonials are so powerful! It’s not surprising Instagram provides the most powerful form of customer testimonial: They are visual! Thanks for the case study!

    • Aimee from Yotpo

      Glad you enjoyed it Ann =)

  • I must tell you I am impressed. Very seldom do I encounter a blog that both educative and entertaining.

    • Doug Baltman

      Thanks a lot Joe!

  • Dave

    Looks like they deleted them 🙂 ?

    • Doug Baltman

      Hey Dave, they didn’t delete them! We’re working with them on some customizations and they’ll be back up soon!

      • Dave

        glad to hear :)!

  • vladmalik

    Thanks for sharing! Can we share screens/outcome from this case study for our readers on We’ll link back to this page and mention both you and the company. Thanks in advance!

    • Yes, please feel free to share the experiment — thanks!

      • vladmalik

        Just one thing is not clear… If you had 6000 visitors (3000 per variation), then a lift from 6.56% to 8.11% should translate into 46 more purchases. If revenue was up $8900, then that would be about 8900/46=$190 per purchase. In contrast, the product cost in the screenshot is only $30 (discounted from $100)… Do you know why the discrepancy?

        • Doug Baltman

          Good question. We used 6000 visitors instead of 3000 because that’s the traffic Vanity Planet would get once testing is done. Also, we used the list price of $100. Hope that helps!

          • vladmalik

            Thanks, Doug. The revenue doesn’t match. Here’s your data:

            As you can see, this means you had 46 more purchases, and 46 x $100 = $4600 (not $8900). Would love to explain this discrepancy. Thanks!

          • Doug Baltman

            Hey again. We calculated it as if the winning variation gets all of the traffic, which it has been in any 10 day period since the experiment

            That means we’re counting all 6000 visitors. (It was actually 5,723 visitors to be exact.)

            So, if you multiply the incremental conversion uplift of 1.55% times 100$ times 5,723 people you get an incremental revenue increase of $8,870 which I rounded to $8,900.

            Make sense?

          • vladmalik

            Got it. It did seem like double. Now I see why. Thanks!

  • Hey Doug, enjoyed your article – so many social media places to run your ads now, its getting so crazy!

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