E-commerce has taken off and it shows no signs of slowing down. At least, that’s what Internet Retailer’s latest reports show as 2015 was the sixth year in a row that U.S. e-commerce sales have grown near or above 15%. E-commerce sales accounted for over a third of total retail sales growth in 2015 and online sales totaled $341.7 billion. Now, more so than ever, marketers need to invest to optimize their ecommerce websites.
There are endless articles online about best practices and hacks for driving ecommerce sales. Everything from changing the color of the Add-to-Cart button to shifting around PDP layout is somewhere proven to affect sales. Marketers often boil the ocean, A/B testing the minutiae of their website. However, there’s one thing that all ecommerce wonks agree on that works: visuals. Our brain simply responds better to visual information than it does to plain text. Visuals are processed sixty thousand times faster than text, which allow us to absorb more information, more quickly. Visual marketing is a primary source for customer engagement and is one of the best ways to bring your ecommerce store to the next level.
So how can you optimize the visuals on your ecommerce store for driving sales? Choose images that resonate with your audience. Of course this is easier said than done. You may be thinking, how do I know which images resonate best with my customers? Luckily for you, social media is essentially a focus group of millions of people. Take Instagram as an example. If you were to look up your brand hashtag on Instagram, which photo that tags your brand has the most likes and comments? It’s relatively safe to assume that the photo or video with the most engagement will perform equally as well if you placed it on your website.
Displaying real customer photos, ones that are proven to drive engagement, are a great way to optimize your ecommerce store to drive sales. 92% of customers trust their peers over your brand, which is why placing real customer photos on your website is proven to increase conversion by 2x (Pixlee, 2015.)
What’s the best way to collect this user-generated content for your website? Apparel giants like Gaiam, Kenneth Cole, and Charlotte Russe use a visual commerce platform. This allows them to pull the photos and videos posted about their brand from all online channels into one centralized platform where their marketing team can curate and analyze this content. Once their marketing teams discover the user-generated content posted about their brand that has built the most buzz online among every-day people, they take these photos and place them on their homepage, product pages, etc.
A visual marketing platform is essential for uncovering the highest performing photos posted about your brand online and makes your brand’s marketing more authentic and impactful. By taking it a step further and making these customer photos shoppable, marketers are able to see the exact revenue that each customer photo generates for the business. With a visual commerce platform, not only will you find the photos and videos that are sure to engage visitors on your website, but you will be able to know which photos generate the most money for your brand. Let social media do the A/B testing for you; Place the highest performing photos on your ecommerce store and feel confident about the changes you’re making.