Time to put a new urgency on prioritizing the high-quality mindset and what it means for your bottom line. The need for visuals to be able to sell online and the need for visuals that sell are two different things. If you’re in it to keep winning it, it’s time to bench Good Enough and play High Quality.
Consistent, cohesive, relevant, and true to life representation of a product, that’s how we’re defining high quality here. Whether that’s one product shown in many multiple ways or multiple products presented together. All these components could easily expand into extensive photo technical and branding conversations, but for the sake of just understanding the importance of high quality in your strategy, we’ll hold there.
With the consumer-first mindset driving visual expectations, the quality of your product’s representation now translates to your consumers as both what you think of your own product and what you think of them. High quality reads- I care about what i’m doing here and about what you’re doing here and I can be trusted to hold both in high esteem.
“90% of online buyers say that photo quality is the most important factor in an online sale.” Source
Like any relationship, how you present (your perceived value) creates a showcase your prospects either want to dive into or have nothing to do with (return on investment).
“93% of consumers consider visual appearance to be a key factor in a purchasing decision.” Source
To your consumer, the quality of your visuals correlates to the quality of your brand. High quality visuals establish the entry point for you to be seen with authority in your market, necessary for long term play.
Words don’t make up for low quality visuals.
You can’t explain your way out of poor visual representation. Not in the age of visual-first shopping. If you are positioning your product as a quality or luxury item, this needs to be relayed through the product visuals, not in extensive copy. Descriptions are supplemental to the trust established by your visuals.
67% of online shoppers rated high-quality images as being “very important” to their purchase decision over “product specific information,” “long descriptions,” and “reviews.” Source
Think of it like online dating. If your prospect’s bio talks extensively about their love for health and nutrition but their profile image shows them eating a box of donuts, you’ll likely swipe left…quickly. This doesn’t mean that they couldn’t have been a well-bred prospect, it just means their first sign to prove it fell short. Your photos are the first opportunity you get to prove it.
People remember 80% of what they see and 20% of what they read. Source
Even if you do make it past the awareness phase of the buyer’s journey, you’ll lose during the consideration if your competitor’s visual experience renders as higher quality.
“As a brand online, you are not simply competing with your category of products. You are competing with every other experience your shoppers have,” Marketing Land.
Players in the ecommerce game maintaining the attitude of good enough, will lose to the visual athletes who have already put high quality at the top of their sales & marketing strategy.
Alright, here’s one more for you! Are your customers receiving in hand exactly what they saw online? “What you see is what you’ll get” is the driving trust statement for online shopping. If your photo quality is low, there will be a difference between the product online and the product in hand.
According to InvestPro out of the 30% of all products returned online, 22% is due to discrepancy between the image online and the product received in reality.
This is most notably an issue among color and size oriented products like apparel, fashion accessories and home goods, but the true to life accuracy between a product photo and reality weights heavily on your trust score and ultimately your success in ecomm.
So, can you survive on just good enough? Possibly. Depends on how long you want to stick around. Your lifecycle ends when your target finds the brand that says “only the best.”