Customers today demand an engaging shopping experience that is entertaining, so much so that customers are willing to pay up to 16 percent more for premium shopping experiences. When customers are moving towards online shopping in exchange for physically selecting the product, online stores that provide a visually explosive shopping experience will have a better conversion rate and increased sales.
Vibrant, high-quality product imagery plays a crucial role in not only creating a compelling shopping experience but is also one of the key differentiators for customers to choose one retailer over another. Humans are visual beings, our brains process visuals way faster than text. Colorful images drive customer confidence and boost stickiness. Consumer studies show that people shop more on sites with better imagery than ones with just product descriptions and reviews.
As more customers are leaning towards online shopping, it is imperative to create unique shopping store fronts not just in physical stores but online as well. So much so that engaging experience is now a critical capability – Visual Commerce.
Visual Commerce enables customers to have a near-life, immersive experience throughout their shopping journey. It is a revolution in how the retailers present their products to the customers. Visual Commerce refers to providing enriching product content, including 360 degree images, informational videos, 2D/ 3D configurations, and shoppable content. As part of the experience, retailers leverage pictures not just in their kitty but also user generated content ( UGC) from their social media sites. Research shows that 64 percent of customers seek reviews before purchasing a product. Leveraging UGC content on the site increases the authenticity and reliability of content as these have been uploaded by fellow shoppers.
Visual Commerce is not just about having beautiful pictures but having them in their right contextual setting that customers realize the need to purchase it. For example, having a picture of a couch in a living room setting is more powerful than a standalone picture of the couch by itself. Visual Commerce aims to take the customer on an emotional journey that allows them to visualize the couch in their own living space making the buying decision easier and faster.
Visual Search and Personalisation make Visual Commerce more effective.
Visual Search and Personalization
According to a consumer study, over 62 percent of Gen-Z and Millennial shoppers want visual search capabilities, more than any other new technology.
Shop anywhere and everywhere is becoming mainstream. With the rise of channel-less buying, customers seek innovative ways to shop as they are browsing, watching TV, or even walking on the streets. Instead of a traditional search where customers find their products using keywords, AI powered visual search aims to remove the friction between seeing and buying by allowing customers to search for products using pictures they click on their mobile phones. It offers a superior form of discovery for customers looking for specific items. Rather than struggling to find the right words to describe and search for the items they need, they take or save a picture of it, and then they use that picture to search.
‘Get closer than ever to your customers. So close that you tell them what they need well before they realize it ‘themselves’ – Steve Jobs
For shoppers today, providing a personalized experience is not a luxury rather a necessity.
Personalization offers individualized content, offers, and recommendations to customers based on their preferences, previous actions, demographics, and behavior.
Visual Commerce involves not only having eye-catching imagery but also personalized curated content that is hyper-personalized to suit the customer. Using AI and ML, the UGC content can be personalized for the customer’s tastes and preferences.
Visual search combined with smart recommendation engine allows customers to shop for an experience instead of a single product. Even when a customer searches for a product not in stock, visual search can return similar products personalized for that customer.
Visual search and personalized recommendations and content are capabilities that retailers need to invest in on their website and mobile apps to boost sales.
Ultimately, creating a frictionless experience is key for creating loyal customers. Having a rich and personalized visual experience combined with smart discovery will be the keystone for all buy decisions.