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Visual Commerce: 5 Business Opportunities to Improve Product Discovery and Conversions (+ Why It’s Important)

Imagine being stuck in traffic with nowhere to go.

Everything is at a standstill.

As you scroll through social media, you see the page to your favorite pizza place.

You stop scrolling. The pictures on the page are so compelling.

You can almost smell the melted cheese.

It gets better. The pizza place is up ahead.

So, what are you likely to do?

You guessed right. Take a detour to have a taste of the pizza.

That’s the power of visual commerce.

Visual commerce is essential, especially for eCommerce businesses.

Where buyers may not have a chance to visit brick-and-mortar stores, product visuals are key.

Curious?

Let’s explore more.

Visual Commerce—A Quick Definition

Visual commerce involves using visual content at the forefront of a brand’s marketing and e-commerce strategy—to help consumers learn about its products and connect with the brand.

Examples of visual content include high-resolution photos, videos, and augmented reality.

Visual commerce’s idea is to enhance the “normal” visuals people would expect when they visit an online store.

Why Visual Commerce?— 3 Distinct Purposes

Consumer Engagement

Compelling visual content attracts customers and encourages them to engage with your brand.

For example, augmented reality can help customers “try” your products. Think about a furniture store. Customers can see the feel of a room using augmented reality.

Customer Education

Visual content is helpful for education.

Content such as video tutorials can help customers know how to use a product.

This process provides context for the customer while demonstrating how the product fits into their lifestyle.

Buyer empowerment

Strong product visuals help customers make confident and informed purchase decisions.

For example, great visual configurators give consumers a 360° view of the product they want to buy.

Consumers can change up different elements to get a product they love.

The result?

Buyers will make purchases faster and are less likely to return them.

How visual commerce improves search and product discovery.

Types of Visual Commerce

Visual content helps improve product discoverability. This has a positive impact on conversions and sales revenues.

This is exciting news for any eCommerce business.

Let’s explore types of visual commerce:

Visual Configurators

These online tools allow buyers to customize and visualize products to their specifications.

They typically use 2D or 3D images.

These tools include AR product configurators, 3D product visualizations, and web configurators.

And that’s not all.

These tools are changing the virtual commerce landscape so quickly.

Example of 2D Visual Configurator.
Example: Bugaboo, an international manufacturer of high-end parental products, uses a simple 2D configurator to customize colors and accessories for their strollers.

Visual Search

Visual search involves using images rather than text as the input for a search engine.

AI-powered image recognition technology interprets the content of the image and returns related search results.

Lookbooks and Digital Catalogs

These tools are mainly used for lifestyle items.

The focus isn’t on products but the results—like a final look after wearing a dress or applying makeup.

This type of imagery inspires consumers to achieve similar results. This need convinces consumers to buy the product.

Mixed media digital catalogs drive product discovery and conversion.
Neiman Marcus leverages digital catalogs to inspire shoppers to lean into new trends. The Magazine uses a mix of video and static imagery for an upgraded experience.

Benefits of  Visual Commerce—The Opportunity for Ecommerce Businesses

There’s no denying it.

Humans are visual beings. With the development of eCommerce, there’s a need to replicate in-store experiences.

Businesses must bring the visual connection from in-store shopping to online shopping.

How can businesses benefit from Visual Commerce?

Higher Engagement

Visual content is more vibrant and engaging compared to traditional lengthy product descriptions.

Organizing visual content from multiple channels helps create attractive galleries. This allows brands to engage their platform users as well as attract more customers.

A positive user experience enhances the brand user relationship.

By providing users with different visual content, including product videos and high-resolution images, you enhance the user experience.

The use of consumer-generated content allows customers to interact with your brand and stay engaged.

Social Proof

Visual commerce has enhanced the use of user-generated content (UGC). User-generated content is social proof of a brand’s authenticity.

The use of  UGC helps customers understand how the product will fit into their life.

Social proof is the equivalent of word of mouth.

This is proof that people are using that brand’s products and enjoying them enough to go ahead and post about them.

This proof can work wonders to motivate website visitors to turn into customers.

According to research, 88% of consumers look for visuals submitted by other consumers before buying a product.

How social proof helps build trust as part of visual commerce.
Social proof shouldn’t be limited to lifestyle brands: Shark allows customers to submit reviews with images and a pre-determined set of benefits to rate.

Builds Trust

When more consumers talk positively about your brand, this builds trust.

User-generated content creates social proof, which in turn builds trust with other potential consumers.

Building trust accelerates the consumer’s purchase journey as less doubt is involved.

For example, visual content from other users helps the buyer know that they have made the right decision.

When done the right way, this is likely to keep consumers coming back.

Higher Conversion Rates

Visual commerce influences users with compelling and vibrant visual content.

Visual content elicits desires that consumers are eager to fulfill.

The result?

Consumers are compelled to spend their money to meet their desires.

Visuals have a lasting impact on the users that encourages them to satisfy their desires, usually with a shopping experience.

Shoppable posts are a great way to provide comfortable shopping posts to potential customers.

Visual content can also grow AOV (average order value).

High-quality thumbnails made with high-resolution photos can encourage users to assess cross-sell and upsell recommendations visually. This may encourage them to buy more.

Cost-effective

With higher AOV, bulk orders may lower business costs such as shipping.

This is not only cost-effective but more efficient for any eCommerce business.

Ecommerce businesses can also leverage user-generated content, which isn’t costly at all.

User-generated content may be considered free advertising.

This can replace high advertising costs such as model, photographer, and designer costs.

Lower costs positively impact your business’s bottom line.

Visual Commerce—Your Hidden Gem

Visual commerce essential to your eCommerce business. There are plenty of opportunities for growth and customer acquisition.

So how do you implement winning visual commerce as a strategy?

Read this thought-provoking content.

How visual commerce improves search and product discovery.

Even better?

Partner with Zoovu today.

Learn more about  Zoovu’s visual commerce initiatives.

You’ll not be disappointed.

 

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Enda Ndungu is a certified content marketer and Direct Response Copywriter. She is passionate about creating content that moves minds and grows businesses. She is also a personal development enthusiast. Off-the-clock, Enda enjoys fiddling in the creative arts, exploring nature and on-screen dramas.