Home Survey: More Online Shoppers Say Seeing Is Believing
May 23, 2023

Survey: More Online Shoppers Say Seeing Is Believing

Posted In: Retail Articles

Cloudinary, an image and video platform, released the results of its first global e-commerce survey. demonstrating that effectively deploying images and videos to target consumers can slash product returns by up to a third, potentially saving retailers billions of dollars each year, and engaging the interest of consumers, especially younger consumers.

For every $1 billion in sales, the average retailer incurs $165 million in merchandise returns, Cloudinary noted. Its survey indicated that detailed and realistic product images could play a role in reducing returns and abandoned carts. As to appearances, 30% of respondents reported that they returned goods because the products did not look as expected on the website. Among the features that made consumers more likely to purchase were 360-degree images, 3D models and user-generated videos.

In addition, the survey suggested that every generation relies on reviews to make buying decisions but that younger consumers, who are more likely to shop online frequently, rely on visual and social media testimonials as their final purchase test.

The criteria for what makes great shopping experiences online – which generate higher conversation rates – varies by age group. The top three Gen Z criteria were user reviews with images, at 63%, text-only reviews, at 62%, and detailed product galleries, at 52%. In contrast, Silent Generation consumers’ most valued a detailed product gallery, at 67%, text-only reviews, at 60%, and branded product videos, at 28%.

Overall, according to the survey, the top five factors consumers consider when researching potential purchases are product reviews, at 81%, product pages on retailer websites, at 56%, conversations with friends, at 50%, videos from real customers showing products in use, at 37%, and brand videos, at 27%. Both Generation Z, at 73%, and Millennials, at 74%, primarily shop online using their smartphones. Gen Z is the most likely demographic to shop a brand’s app, at 26%. In contrast, Baby Boomers, at 64%, and the Silent Generation, at 71%, shop online mainly from desktop PCs. Only 52% of shoppers said that they bought a product from a brand they didn’t know, but 47% said they did so because the product page had user images to review.

“Highly visual and informative online shopping experiences are table stakes for retailers today,” said Genevieve Haldeman, vp of corporate marketing, Cloudinary, in introducing the survey. “In order to engage their buyers, brands need to offer innovative and immersive experiences while also delivering exceptional performance, regardless of the channel shoppers choose. Effective use of user-generated image and video content along with innovations like 3D, 360 images and augmented reality applications will help those brands better capture the next generation of shoppers while also improving conversion and reducing returns.”

The survey tapped 2,693 consumers across Australia, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States. 

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