You’ve probably heard the age-old saying: “A picture is worth a thousand words”.
But did you know this? Visual information makes up 90% of the data sent to your brain (MIT) and we process visuals 60,000 times faster than we do text (University of Minnesota).
With that in mind, take a look at your ecommerce site, consider its visual strength, review your product detail page (PDP) conversion, and keep reading for 3 types of product images you should be including in your product carousels and galleries to ensure you’re maximizing conversions – especially during a high-traffic shopping season.
Product Detail Images
➡️ Visitors spend an average of 5.59 seconds looking at written content on a web page (Forbes)
You know your products, so you know better than anyone that less than 6 seconds isn’t enough time to communicate every feature, function, spec, and detail. Fortunately, there is an alternative way to convey some of your sales-driving product details that suits the human tendency to be visual learners.
For example, marketing agency, Bharat Mavens, was working with a skincare brand’s ecommerce site to increase the conversion on their product detail pages (PDPs). With the lack of attention usually given to written content, his team decided to add three types of images to PDP image galleries to convey product details: ones that highlighted key ingredients, ones that pointed out the skin type best-suited for the product, and ones that featured product certifications.
The result? A 14% increase in conversion rate (CXL).
The takeaway: Having written product details on your PDPs doesn’t mean they’re seen. Consider taking important details from often-overlooked copy, transforming them into visually-pleasing images that also depict your brand aesthetic, and moving them to a place they’re not likely to be missed: your PDP image galleries.
➡️78% of online shoppers said they want to see images that bring products to life(Big Commerce)
People nowadays, especially millennials and Gen Z, place more value on experiences than possessions. So if you’re focused only on displaying the product, you won’t be maximizing conversions.
Lifestyle photos give you the narrative edge to show shoppers your product in real-world settings, evoke an emotional response, and sell a full experience.
Think of it this way...
What do consumers want more: a pair of candles or a pair of candles that act as a beautiful centrepiece that adds dimly lit ambience for a gathering of their loved ones? A velvet couch to replace their tired old sofa, or a velvet couch that looks like a cozy place to read a book and would be the foundation of a major living room style upgrade?
The takeaway: Leverage the power of storytelling and experiential context. Show your customers when and where your product is used, who uses it, and how they might feel or benefit from clicking that “buy” button.
Bonus: These types of images allow you to show off your brand’s personality which is what sparks an emotional connection between you and your customers (knows as “brand intimacy") and can increase KPIs including referral rates and customer lifetime value (CLV). They also give you the opportunity to show more of your products to support your upsell efforts.
➡️37% of ecommerce returns occur because the product looked different than it did on the website(Charebacks911)
Even with a variety of product images, there is the risk that the item does not look the same in the flesh as it does online in a professional photo. So, it turns out that your customers’ written reviews aren’t the only user-generated content (UGC) that can enhance conversions on your PDPs.
Customer images – photos of your customers using your products – are not highly unlike lifestyle images, but give even more real-world context. They go beyond a lifestyle photo displaying, for example, your professionally-modelled leather boots and show shoppers your footwear modelled by a variety of people, paired with a variety of different outfits, in a variety of different settings.
An article from Bazaarvoice reports 71% of online shoppers in the US say that user-submitted photos on a PDP increase their likelihood of purchasing a product.
Online flower retailer, UrbanStems, knows that. They learned just how much their shoppers love UGC showing how their products look upon arrival after a split test resulted in a 25% higher conversion rate on PDPs with image reviews versus PDPs without them.
The takeaway: Shoppers want an online shopping experience that's as lifelike as possible and want to feel confident they know what they're getting when they make a purchase. 77% of global consumers report they would submit UGC for a reward (Bazaarvoice), so consider collecting customer images through a gamified, reward-driven UGC program.
Bonus: Not only do customer images have the power to increase your PDP conversions, but reward programs can also turn one-time customers into loyal ones that enhance your customer lifetime value (CLV) metric.