Content Strategy for the Visual Consumer

The rise of online social shopping and what it means to your brand

Social media’s role in the way that consumers interact with each other, as well as the brands they love, is more important than ever before. Nothing demonstrates the increased importance of social media in our everyday lives more than the pure volume of photo and video content consumers are posting on it. In fact, the average consumer devotes roughly two hours per day to social media, and that time is increasingly spent viewing visual media (photos and videos). With over 250 billion photos on Facebook alone and 95 million new photos and videos posted to Instagram every day, user-generated visuals flood our digital devices. But how do they impact our purchase decisions?

Online shopping – and buying – are social experiences

The big takeaway: Putting visual social content at the center of the shopping experience drives consumer confidence.

Online shopping trends

  • Most shoppers are in the market to buy something online. Two out of three US adults are currently in the market for a product they intend to buy online. Among millennials – those aged 18-34 – it jumps to three out of four.
  • Nearly half of consumers shop online at least weekly. Consumers aren’t just buying one thing and setting down their credit cards. Forty-five percent of consumers shop online at least a weekly frequency, with about 20% shopping multiple times per week
  • 37% of infrequent shoppers say more reviews or photos from real people would make them more likely to buy online.

Photos trigger interest in products and spark spontaneous shopping.

Visual CGC closes the trust gap

Although photos and videos posted by brands drive brand recognition or awareness, they suffer at the hands of consumer skepticism. Almost half (45%) of online shoppers believe images posted by brands or retailers are more likely than consumer pictures to make them think product claims are exaggerated.

Consumers trust other consumers more. 56% of online shoppers say pictures and videos from other shoppers give them the most accurate depiction of the experience they can expect from a brand.

Visual CGC is becoming the new word of mouth

Brands and retailers are beginning to engage socially savvy shoppers to capitalize on their social and shopping behaviors. Consumers expect visual CGC, and the brands and retailers who embrace this social, visual consumer content as the new word of mouth will come out on top.

Visual CGC is just as important as offline word of mouth in driving consumer confidence. As social media and visual shopping explodes – and as the social shopper continues to spend more – visual content will surpass word of mouth.

Put visual social content at the center of shopping to drive consumer confidence

There is a great deal of online shopping activity, and a lot of wallet to be shared. Brands are interested in what factors are most likely to help consumers find their products and services in a crowded online marketplace and click that “buy” button. Our study findings revealed that user generated content is powerful in persuading consumers to make purchases and visual CGC like photos and videos from “real people” are the most powerful persuaders of all.

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