High Streets Initiative · 20 December 2017

Majority of online shoppers demand strong images from brands

Using Instagram application
Instagram is expected to account for a third of social media use by 2021

The attention of more than half of consumers is more likely to be grabbed by strong images than a headline when shopping online, research has shown.

Emphasising the growing clout of Instagram and other image-sharing platforms, some 53 per cent of online shoppers admitted they were more likely to respond to strong images of a product than a catchy headline.

The research, conducted by YouGov on behalf of marketing technology firm Pure360, proved that strong images had become the primary motivator for UK consumers.

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The study showed that 61 per cent of shoppers now expected marketing messages from brands to include imagery, whilst 62 per cent wouldn’t buy from a retailer online unless they could view images of what they were buying in its entirety.

Some 54 per cent of online shoppers wanted to see actual products in images as opposed to “generic” lifestyle-type shots, whilst 69 per cent claimed they were no longer able to tolerate the use of stock images for marketing purposes from brands online.

With Instagram expected to account for a third of all social media use in the UK by 2021, the demand for more relevant, strong images from online retailers is only expected to go up.

Commenting on the findings, Pure360’s marketing director, Komal Helyer, said: “With Instagram growing in popularity, brands are paying special attention to the power of a picture in marketing efforts to attract customers.

“Thankfully, today they benefit from a plethora of technologies to deliver more relevant, interactive, responsive and targeted images.”

The “sharing” of strong images of items online has continued to grow in 2017. According to the research, 23 per cent of online shoppers want to share retailers’ product images with others – a big boost to brand advocacy.

Helyer added: “A great image alone may well not suffice in resonating with a potential or existing customer. Consumers are used to a personalised experience and if an image doesn’t fit with the text around it and isn’t relevant to them, it could potentially damage their propensity to make a purchase.

“On the other hand, our research has shown that a decent number of British shoppers will share a picture from a brand they like when the image is right.”

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Fred Heritage is deputy editor at Business Advice. He has a BA in politics and international relations from the University of Kent and an MA in international conflict from Kings College London. He previously worked as a reporter at Global Trade Review magazine.

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