PowerReviews, a provider of ratings, reviews and question-and-answer technology to more than 1,000 global brands and retailers, released on Monday (Sept. 26) a new whitepaper that showcases the rise and influence of user-generated photos and videos. Within the PowerReviews network, reviews submitted with images have increased 70 percent year over year, and the ratio of images to reviews has increased 90 percent year over year.
“Visual content, including photos and videos, has become an expected part of the path to purchase and plays a big role in building trust and influencing customer behavior. There is no question that visual content is changing the way consumers research, browse and make purchases,” said Matt Moog, chief executive officer of PowerReviews, in a press release highlighting the research. “By better understanding how consumers want to interact with visual content while shopping, retailers and brands can develop strategies and tactics to better attract and convert shoppers by leveraging photos and videos.”
PowerReviews conducted a survey of more than 1,000 American consumers and found that shoppers want all available information prior to making a purchase. PowerReviews found that 72 percent of consumers said they regularly or always seek out visual content prior to purchase. Among millennials, more than 81 percent of consumers age 18–29 seek out visual content.
What’s more, the company found consumers are seeking visual content submitted by other consumers. Sixty-five percent of shoppers are more likely to trust products that have user-generated photos or videos in their reviews. Nearly three quarters (72 percent) of shoppers say they are more likely to buy a product that has reviews that feature photos and video in addition to text. Again, with millennials, 84 percent of consumers age 18–29 reported that they’re more likely to buy a product that has reviews that feature photos and videos. Finally, the research found most consumers start looking for visual content on Google (50 percent), followed by Amazon (26 percent) and finally a brand or retailer’s website (13 percent). However, 40 percent of consumers prefer to see visual content on the retailer or brand site, compared with 29 percent on Amazon and 26 percent on a third-party review site.
“So, while it is clear that consumers are starting their search on Google or Amazon, they prefer to find photos and video directly on a brand or retailer’s site,” PowerReviews said.