Shoppers Expecting More From Online Product Imagery, Study Shows

A new report by e-merchandising platform Nfinite shows expectations may be rising for product imagery.

The report, which surveyed 1,000 U.S. consumers, highlights the growing impact that augmented reality and customized product imagery have on consumer engagement, trust, and e-commerce success. 

The survey indicated that retailers are not keeping pace in producing product images that consumers demand, with only 9% of consumers reporting that they are “very satisfied” with the product images on retailers’ websites.

Retailers need to think about whether or not they are displaying the right type of images to capture consumers’ attention on a specific platform, as 60% of consumers said that a product placed in a lifestyle context was more likely to capture their attention when shopping online than a product on a plain white background.

Eighty-seven percent of U.S. consumers stated that high-quality product imagery was essential when making an online purchase, and most consumers (77%) said that product image capabilities improved their confidence in purchasing on a website they have never bought from before, with 75% saying they would return a product if the product received did not match the image displayed.

The survey also found that Gen Z consumers (aged 18-25) are more likely to want augmented reality and personalized experiences when shopping online compared to Baby Boomers (aged 68-76), with 42% of Gen Z stating that they are more likely to make a purchase when there is an AR option, versus 30% of Baby Boomers.

According to the report, in visual e-merchandising, lifestyle images can help retailers better engage with consumers and more strongly influence consumers’ purchasing decisions.

Photorealistic CGI and 3D imagery enables retailers to create hyper-realistic images that enhance consumers’ online browsing experiences by depicting products in their desired use-case context.>

“Nfinite's research suggests that when consumers purchase a product online that does not match the visual, there is a higher likelihood of them returning it hence the critical importance of product visuals,” said Deborah Weinswig, CEO and founder of Coresight Research. “Beyond the loss of sale, it could also mean the loss of that customer, who may decide not come back next time. In a world where consumers have so many choices, true imagery can be a critical differentiator. With consumers back in force at physical stores, where they can see the product for themselves, next-generation imagery can prove to be a game changer for online retailers looking to grow customer loyalty and stickiness.”

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