In today’s increasingly visual world, it goes without saying that product imagery matters in e-merchandising. But just how much? We set out to find out the answer — and more — from consumers. Enter “2022 State of Online Shopper Sentiment”, a report based on a survey of 1,000 consumers in the United States. Let’s dive into our key findings.

Product visuals matter — and the stakes are rising

When it comes to making a decision about an online purchase, 88% of people say high-quality product imagery is important. But simple, quality product images have quickly become table stakes. In fact, 77% said product image capabilities actually increase their confidence in purchase decisions on websites they’ve never purchased from before. Beyond images displayed on a white background, these capabilities include the ability to see products from all angles, the ability to swap products in a scene, and high-quality lifestyle images.

A lifestyle image is a product displayed in a scene, like a couch shown in a fully decorated living room. Placing a product in a real scenario can give the consumer a sense of how they might experience the product if they choose to buy it. Consumers prefer these context-rich images, with 60% saying a lifestyle image was more likely to capture their attention than a regular packshot.

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The risk of the status quo

What’s at stake for retailers not on board with these rapidly evolving consumer expectations? They’re at risk of sacrificing conversions and dealing with higher-than-average return rates. 31% of people say the top thing that deters them from purchasing a product online is low-quality product visuals and lack of compelling visuals. If a consumer can find a comparable product from another retailer that has the lifestyle images and product angles they’re looking for, they’ll likely turn toward that option. 

Perhaps even more alarming, 75% of consumers will return a product if the image displayed doesn’t match the product received. Without quality visuals that give the consumer an accurate depiction of a product, retailers can expect to see return rates that cause a significant hit to their income statements.

Pie Chart (10)What’s next?

Consumer demands are high now, and all signs point to them continuing to rise. 25% of consumers said their expectations for product imagery have increased compared to last year, and younger generations have higher expectations than their older counterparts when it comes to product visuals. Adapting now will prevent retailers from falling behind.

Pie Chart (11)

Want to learn more about how you can keep up with increasing visual expectations? We are here to help retailers create unlimited stunning visuals without using traditional photography.

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