With the countless technologies and mobile devices available today that are smart enough, we can tap their surface and pay for goods; 83% of respondents in a recent study said they go online to research products but buy them in-store.
And that unusual situation refers to a critical point: how pictures and photos can affect and influence consumer behavior.
See, then decide
People want to see and touch what they’re buying. They want to experience the product firsthand, whether that means testing an electronic device or trying on a retail garment.
Whether the consumer is a practical shopper who weighs the pros and cons before spending money or a person who is simply enticed by a product they can touch. It’s all about show versus tell.
That said, images, photography, and multimedia have an immense impact on consumers’ purchasing behavior because they provide a way for consumers to make a visual connection with a product before they buy. And the best part about today’s technology is that it enables you to reach a consumer with rich visual content anytime, anywhere.
So, how can you use images, photography, and other multimedia content to positively influence consumers and build stronger connections with your customer base?
Different Approaches for Different Industries
Each industry has its way in which photography and online video can make an impact. How photography and online video can make an impact varies by industry or vertical.
An image is not just an image. Rather, your online images and videos are a means to an end: What are you trying to accomplish with your photography or online video? What type of product are you showcasing?
For example, if you’re working with consumer electronics, consider photography that shows a 360-degree view of the product. Because electronics are not a low-impulse purchase and are often expensive, consumers will want to do their homework before they buy and check the product’s ports for connectivity and compatibility with other devices.
With that type of photography, you are enabling consumers to see the entire product—even the back panel where the cords go—if they’re serious about making a purchase. By using 360-degree photography, you give potential customers the product experience that might make them comfortable enough to buy.
On the other hand, sometimes an online video is the perfect solution. In the retail clothing industry, for instance, the consumer wants to see how a garment moves and fits in the shape of a person. Online video can showcase that better than a flat, two-dimensional image on a screen. Instead of wondering whether a dress is pinned on a model, the shopper will start to fall in love with the way the dress flows as a model spins around in it.
Though static images might not always be the best solution for the fashion industry, they might as well do the trick for the food and beverage industry, in which you’d want products to appear as hunger-inducing as possible. In this case, the photography is all about the special effects: How do you make that cheese pizza look like it was just pulled out of a brick oven?
How to use photography to influence consumer behavior
Imagine you need to buy a new coat; the weather is awful, and the shopping center is quite far. You did not plan to leave home this weekend, and for what? Because you can find everything you need online.
You go to two different online shops and eventually find the kind of coat you’ve been looking for. The first website has three photos of a piece on a white background, a long description, and a couple of reviews from happy clients. The second one has brief and basic information on fabric composition and size. However, it features a dozen of photos and videos of a model wearing the coat.
You’ll probably choose a coat from the second shop, even if it is more expensive since people who shop on their phones find photos to be the key feature. 63% of consumers say images are more important than product descriptions, while 53% believe visuals are more significant than ratings or reviews.
The bottom line is that images tailored to a specific customer experience are the ones that win. So if you want to see and feel the difference in your work or your projects, you need to start caring about your photos, their colors, shadows, or shapes, and make sure next time you post something online to stop for a second and ask yourself: is that post/ photo can affect my decision as a consumer. I bet it would.
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