Visual marketing is powerful for reaching online audiences who are jaded by content overflow.
And customer reviews allow you to build trust through social proof.
So what happens when you combine the word-of-mouth advertising power of customer reviews with the attention-grabbing aspects of visual marketing?
Visual marketing with user-generated photos gives you the chance to combine social proof and visual commerce – so now you can show and not just tell.
Purchase anxiety is one of the number one obstacles to purchase. Online, shoppers aren’t able to see a product in person, so they’re not always sure if they want to buy it.
While product photos can help, even the best product photos can only go so far.
Shoppers often worry that product photos don’t realistically depict the product and that they’ll end up ordering something that looks much different than what arrives.
In fact, 54 percent of consumers have postponed or decided against a purchase due to unhelpful product photos.
Here’s where your customers can help.
When customers take photos of products, shoppers are more likely to convert.
Customer photos are an example of user-generated content (UGC) that can be extremely powerful for getting customers over their fear of purchasing and through the checkout page.
Testimonials are huge for boosting conversion, and including photos in testimonials not only draws shoppers’ eyes, but it also allows them to really picture the product.
And the results can be huge:
Including visual user-generated content in customer testimonials increased Basecamp’s conversion rate by 102.5%.
Take a look at how Pura Vida uses curated customer testimonials with images to show off their product.
Visual commerce is huge on social: Instagram has 400 million monthly users, and on Facebook, 300,000 million photos are posted per second.
And the majority of social users are accessing from a mobile device.
In the data below, you can see that for social sites like Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook, most users are coming from mobile.
Mobile shoppers want to quickly scan through and absorb product information. Seeing photos allows them to understand products easily, making photos ideal for mobile shoppers.
Additionally, on social customers are also in “scanning” mode. They’re skimming through newsfeeds – often while on the go or multitasking – and photos are easier for them to absorb than text.
User-generated photos perform better on social than branded pictures because they blend in with other pictures. Rather than standing out as a promotional material, visual user generated content on Instagram looks like every other update that customers are scanning through.
These type of photos on Instagram benefit eCommerce stores by naturally inspiring sales.
And, as social channels become more shoppable, stores can use their social channels as an additional type of storefront. Look at how Pura Vida advertises their Instagram as a place to find products:
One of the biggest benefits of displaying photos in reviews is that shoppers connect on a more emotional level than they do to text. A customer photo can say so much more than a product description – if done correctly.
In order to take full advantage of the emotional appeal of photos, here are a few tips:
Ask for photos of customers showing real-life examples of how they use the product.
It’s what makes customer photos so effective for conversion – 32% of US consumers would be more likely to buy a clothing item if it was “modeled” by a fellow customer. So instead of receiving photos of the products spread out on a bed or the floor, ask customers to show it in use.
Research shows that people respond more positively to pictures with people in them – and even more positively when the photos include a face. So start scouring for selfies!
Encourage photos of the product in a wide range of environments, such as social media.
It empowers shoppers to discover new ways to use products from brands they love.
The best time to ask for visual user-generated content is when you’re already asking for a text review.
While writing a review, the customer is already thinking of the product more likely to add on a photo to their review.
To increase conversion rate, give a heads up in the review request that the customer is headed to a landing page where he can submit pictures so the customer isn’t caught by surprise.
Submitting user-generated photos should also be easy for customers accessing from a mobile device.
Clearly, visual marketing isn’t going anywhere, and neither is the power of your customers’ content.
Adding pictures to reviews is one of the most powerful ways to boost conversions across channels.
Want to start using visual user-generated content?
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