Real customer reviews are changing. While professional photography once ruled supreme, a new report from Bazaarvoice suggests that this is going to change.
The report has shown that a whopping 62 percent of shoppers would be more likely to purchase an item online if there are images of the product taken by customers. Furthermore, almost three quarters (74 percent) of shoppers would prefer to see real customer images in the place of professional retail photos.
This is not just an Australian sentiment – the consensus worldwide shows that online shoppers are becoming increasingly interested in seeing ‘real-life’ images of products, and wish to hear ‘relatable voices’ in modern e-commerce.
“Relatable voices commenting on and reviewing a product instil trust in a brand and product amongst other consumers online, shared Joe Rohrlich, the CRO of Bazaarvoice.
“The more realistic and authentic audiences feel the review content is, the more confident they become when deciding to make a purchase.”
The report found that fresh and exciting content is just as important for customers shopping online, with 19 percent of shoppers saying they’d like to see shippable images and videos on their social media feeds.
While Facebook remaining the most popular social media platform amongst older Aussie shoppers, the next generation has increasingly turned to Instagram to find their new purchases. As such, 31 percent of shoppers use it as their main source of inspiration, and 27 percent saying it’s the most likely place for them to make a purchase.
It’s not just about flashy pictures, however. The report suggests that retailers should share real customer images, to reflect the authenticity that shoppers crave when shopping online.
“Visual content shared by previous customers can give shoppers confidence to click the ‘buy’ button and reduce basket abandonment,” Rohrlich explained.
“It’s the best way to demonstrate online how the product fits or works, and can help potential customers imagine how they would use the product in their own lives.”
Almost half of all online shoppers said they wish to see new User Generated Content (UGC) on social media at least two to three times per week, with ten percent wishing to see multiple updates a day.
Which products do customers wish to see the most? According to the report, higher-value products are the most popularly requested UGC. This comes as they wish to seek evidence about the authenticity and certainty of its quality before committing to purchase.
Categories in this umbrella include tech and electronics, with 36 percent of shoppers wishing to see UGC from previous customers.
While a picture is worth a thousand words, well-written reviews are just as important for shoppers looking to purchase online. One in five consumers (21 percent) say that a ‘quality’ review should include an image or video, alongside text. This is a more popular option than those with just good grammar and spelling (16 percent) or a review that indicates that an item was purchased (11 percent).
“The honesty and credibility of seeing other people’s real-life photos and videos makes visual user-generated content infinitely more valuable than a product description or professional photos,” said Rohrlich.
“By enabling visual content from previous customers – as well as text-based reviews – on their platforms and social media, brands and retailers can turn a one-dimensional customer experience into a dynamic one, that will simultaneously drive consumers to purchase. The trends across age groups suggest that those most engaged with online shopping – young shoppers – are the ones that find visual UGC most important. There is a huge opportunity for brands and retailers to stand out to these consumers with visual and social content.”
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