Visual Commerce

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Comprehensive Visual Commerce Guide

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Team Storyly
May 22, 2023
0 min read

What is visual commerce?

Visual commerce is a marketing strategy that focuses on utilizing visual content to engage customers, promote products, and drive sales. It goes beyond traditional product images by incorporating rich visual elements such as interactive displays, 360-degree views, shoppable images, user-generated content, augmented reality, and virtual reality experiences.

 The main goal of visual commerce is to provide customers with an immersive and engaging shopping experience that helps them make informed purchasing decisions.

Visual commerce enables businesses to showcase their products more effectively, tell their brand story, and create a connection with their audience. This approach can lead to increased customer trust, higher conversion rates, and improved customer retention. In the era of social media and mobile devices, visual commerce has become increasingly important for businesses to stay competitive and capture consumer attention

Types of visual commerce

There are several types of visual commerce, each offering unique ways to engage customers and enhance their shopping experience. Some common types include:

  • Interactive displays
  • 360-degree views
  • Shoppable Stories (images and videos)
  • User-generated content (UGC)
  • Augmented reality (AR)
  • Virtual reality (VR)
  • Video content
  • Social media integration

Interactive displays

Users may engage with interactive displays' dynamic visual elements by clicking, swiping, or scrolling. These displays may incorporate virtual try-on experiments, interactive lookbooks, and product configurators. They are intended to give customers additional details and a more personalized shopping experience, which will ultimately result in higher conversion rates.

360-degree views

360-degree views provide a thorough, panoramic view of a product from many perspectives. Customers may explore products in greater detail and have a better grasp of the features, components, and overall design thanks to this kind of visual content. 360-degree views provide a more comprehensive experience, which can lower product returns and boost consumer satisfaction.

A woman holding a mobile phone where the screen shows the picture of a bedroom.
360 degree views

Shoppable Stories (images and videos)

Shoppable Stories, in the form of images or videos, offer a great way to display products and encourage viewers to buy the products featured. By clicking or tapping on the product in the Story, customers can access additional information, including pricing and product details, or even add the item to their shopping cart. While watching the Story, a bottom sheet opens up that allows customers to view, select and purchase products on the same screen without friction. This seamless combination of content and commerce helps increase engagement and conversion rates.

User-generated content (UGC)

Customer-produced content, including images, videos, and reviews that showcase a company's goods or services, is referred to as user-generated content. UGC may be an excellent marketing tool since it offers authentic, relatable experiences and helps to build trust with prospective customers. By posting UGC on their website, apps, social media platforms, and other marketing channels, brands can benefit from it.

A mobile phone displaying the user reviews about their customer experience.
User-generated content (UGC)

Augmented reality (AR)

The use of a smartphone or tablet to overlay digital elements in the real world is known as augmented reality. Through the use of virtual try-on experiences, augmented reality (AR) in visual commerce can enable customers to see how a product would look and fit before making a purchase. For instance, QR codes attached on products initiates an AR experience to educate, entertain or inform consumers about the product. Additionally, AR can be used to add additional product information and improve the shopping experience as a whole.

A woman holding a tablet, which displays an augmented reality technology. It allows the woman to try out boots digitally.
Augmented reality (AR)

Virtual reality (VR)

A technology called virtual reality transports users into a simulated environment. With the creation of virtual showrooms through VR, customers can explore a store or product line in a realistic and entertaining way. Customers can make better informed decisions and be more satisfied overall with this kind of experience.

An excited woman experiencing virtual reality while wearing a VR headset.
Virtual reality (VR)

Video content

Video content is an essential component of visual commerce, as it can successfully present products in use, highlight features, and convey important information. How-to-videos, product demonstrations, and testimonials from consumers can all enhance the buying experience and foster trust among potential buyers.

A woman shooting herself on camera while happily displaying her makeup products.
Video content

Social media integration

Social media integration into visual commerce tactics may help businesses reach a larger audience, interact with clients, and more successfully showcase their products. Brands may raise their visibility and improve traffic to their online stores by publishing visual content such as photographs, videos, and user-generated content on sites like Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. Customers can share their experiences and comments on social media, which significantly extends the impact of visual commerce efforts.

Benefits of visual commerce

Better customer experience

By offering customers engaging and interactive content, visual commerce enhances the digital shopping experience. High-quality visuals help customers better understand products, leading to more informed purchasing decisions and customer satisfaction. The customer experience can be further personalized and improved with the help of interactive displays, augmented reality, and virtual reality experiences. 

Higher conversion rates

Visual commerce can help boost conversion rates by providing a more engaging and educational buying journey. Customers can easily explore products and make purchases thanks to shoppable images, videos, and 360-degree views, which eventually results in more sales. Additionally, lifestyle images and user-generated content can forge a deeper emotional bond with consumers, influencing them to complete their purchases.

Reduced returns

Giving buyers a more realistic picture of products is one of the main advantages of visual commerce. Customers can better grasp a product's features, size, and functioning through detailed images, 360-degree views, and virtual try-on experiences, which can decrease the likelihood of returns deriving from unmet expectations. 

Greater trust and credibility

By presenting things in an honest and transparent way, visual commerce establishes credibility and trust with customers. Particularly user-generated content can provide real-world use cases and offer social proof, giving customers additional assurance in their purchasing decisions. High-quality visual content can also improve the overall perception of a brand, leading to a more professional and credible image.

Improved brand storytelling

Businesses can more effectively express their brand story through visual commerce. ​​Brands may demonstrate their values, personalities, and differentiating features through lifestyle images, video content, and social media integration. Visual commerce can promote brand loyalty and encourage repeat purchases by engaging customers on an emotional level. 

Higher customer engagement

Customers are more likely to be attracted by visual content and be triggered to engage with a brand. The more time customers spend on a website or platform, the more likely they are to make a purchase. Interactive displays, rich video content, and social media integrations can all leverage this. Increased customer engagement may also result in more shared content on social media, more likes, and comments, which will eventually amplify a brand's reach,visibility and virality.

Competitive advantage

Visual commerce can help a company stand out from its rivals in an increasingly crowded online market. An enhanced shopping experience would mean a competitive edge for businesses. Additionally, keeping up with the most recent trends like augmented reality and virtual reality would demonstrate that a brand is innovative and forward-thinking, further differentiating it from its rivals. 

Best practices for implementing visual commerce

Here are some best practices for implementing visual commerce:

Prioritize high-quality visuals

High-quality visuals should be the must-have starting point of visual commerce. Poor-quality images or videos may create a negative impression that may result with customers leaving without any purchase. Make sure the product is depicted in a clear, well-lit, and accurate fashion in all of your product images. Likewise, spare a budget for professional video content creation that effectively showcases your items and offers useful information.

Be mobile-friendly 

With the increasing number of customers shopping on mobile devices, it's important to optimize your visual content to be mobile-friendly.. On a range of screen sizes, make sure your images, videos, and interactive displays are responsive and load quickly. Additionally, to give mobile users a seamless and engaging experience, consider integrating mobile-specific features like touch gestures and/or AR capabilities. 

Encourage user-generated content

Building credibility, connection and trust with prospective customers through user-generated content is definitely a strong strategy for visual commerce. You may encourage your consumers to produce and share content by providing minor incentives, such as discounts or complementary products, ensuring that it is also simple for them to post their pictures, videos, and reviews. To maximize the impact of UGC, be sure to highlight it on your website, social media platforms, and other marketing  channels.

Integrate social media

Your visual commerce efforts can be greatly enhanced by leveraging them at your social media platforms. Post your visual content on social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest, and invite users to interact with your business by sharing, like, and leaving comments on your posts. You can expand your audience, get more traffic, and boost conversions by integrating social media to your strategy.

Personalize the customer experience

Developing an effective visual commerce strategy would prosper further by personalization. Utilize customer data, including browsing history and previous purchases, to tailor your visual content to each viewer's preferences. Provide personalized product suggestions, highlight relevant user-generated content, and create targeted marketing campaigns that would resonate with your customers.

Test and optimize

To get the best outcomes, you must continuously test and improve your visual commerce strategy. Track key performance measures, such as engagement, conversion rates, and revenue, using analytics tools to find room for improvement. Experiment vigorously with various visual content types, layouts, and user experience to find out what appeals to your audience and produces the best results. 

Create a cohesive brand story

Building trust and customer loyalty requires a unified and cohesive brand story. The look and feel of your visual content should be consistent across all of your channels and should reflect your brand's identity, values, and messaging. You may encourage long-lasting relationships with your customers and help them connect with your brand on a deeper level by developing a compelling brand narrative.

Utilize emerging technologies

Keep up with the most recent trends in visual commerce, including augmented reality, virtual reality, and artificial intelligence. By integrating these technologies into your strategy, you can help your consumers to have more immersive and compelling experiences, which will eventually enhance customer satisfaction and conversion rates. Always be open to innovation and look for ways to improve your efforts in visual commerce.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Team Storyly

Group of experts from Storyly's team who writes about their proficiency.