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Alina Virstiuk
Written by
Alina Virstiuk
Content Manager at Gepard
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eCommerce product content product content tools product images

Importance of Visual Content: Ultimate Guide for Retailers

7 min read
November 25, 2021

We are experiencing an era of high-paced content consumption. Visual content is really what grabs the most attention and delivers the best results. Consumers today don’t go window shopping at their local mall. They browse the web instead. A great product presentation online for customers to view is a good picture or video that is properly advertised.

For online retailers, the importance of visual content is tremendous. Such content allows them to not only present their product but also to increase consumer engagement. That ultimately drives more sales. In this article, we are going to dive into the ins and outs of visual content and explain how retailers can use it to their advantage.

What Is Visual Content

Visual content is essentially any type of content that is an image, video, infographic, etc. that is published online. Since most people have a good photographic memory, we often remember the logo of a company but not its name. Another good example is the use of brand ambassadors. Usually, a brand ambassador is a public person that is very recognizable.

Visual content marketing is not something new. It has been around for over a century. The best early visual content examples are the 1890’s vintage Coca-Cola posters promoting both the drink and the brand. Today it’s the same concept when it comes to visual content marketing: technology has changed and so has the market reach. However, the fundamentals remain the same: bring out potential customers’ emotions with the help of imagery.

When it comes to visual content strategy, it’s crucial to have a clear goal you want to achieve. Whether it’s to educate your potential consumers, promote your brand or generate leads, visual content can help you achieve that. Once a goal is set, decide on the distribution channel. The decision should be made based on who your ideal client is and an analysis of the type of social media platforms they use. Once those aspects are determined, plan out and prepare the creative part of the campaign.

Types of Visual Content

Static product images

Static product images are the most basic visual content that any retailer needs. No matter the type of product, an online shop needs to have static product images. They need to demonstrate the product and at the same time project the style of the brand.

It goes without saying, a quality product image has to be in high-resolution, and of course, it should relate to the accurate colors of the product. Additionally, it’s crucial to display your product in use.

Each eCommerce platform has its own image specifications. If you’re a retailer and constantly need to look up the requirements in different places, to save you the headache we made this cheat sheet. It conveniently breaks down all of the sizes, file formats, background colors, and more for online images.

When preparing your images, keep in mind that this is what shoppers will see not only in your online shop. The visual content will be in ads, search engine results, automated product recommendation emails, etc. For this reason, adhering to the given below best practices is extremely important:
1.  Start with a background.
2. Reach 3D effect.
3. Play with colors.
4. Design a catchy layout.
5. Stick to one style in all of your products.
6. Set up automated images export/import.

How To Create Effective Visual Assets

360° Images

A 360-degree image is highly engaging visual content that allows the user to control the image by rotating it 360° from the original point that the picture was taken. Having such visual formats in your online shop adds value to product presentation and raises buyers’ confidence. What is even more important is that it can reduce returns and cut logistical costs.

With that being said, any visual content creation process is complicated. Creating 360-degree images is not the exception, but it’s definitely worth the trouble. It’s important to have higher angles to grab more details from the top. You will need the right equipment to make such images. Once the images are made, their format needs to be mobile-friendly. So far global mobile retail revenue amounted to 3.5 billion USD in 2021. Having a technical error where your product is not visible is a recipe for disaster. To avoid any potential mistakes, it’s best to hire a professional agency that creates such visual content.

Live Retail or Streaming Shopping

Livestream shopping got its momentum during the Covid-19 lockdowns. It still remains one of the top trending visual content marketing strategies. These both shopping and selling methods allow retailers to make a live stream of a product presentation on a digital platform. This can often be done in collaboration with influencers or real customers. Viewers of the stream can interact with the host via live chat, comment section, and sometimes even join the stream. A powerful example of the value that livestream shopping has is the recent news of the Chinese “fashionista” Austin Li Jiaqi generating a whopping $1.7 billion in sales via a 12-hour long livestream on Alibaba-owned app Taobao.

Some of the key streaming commerce players are:

Amazon Live

Launched back in 2016, in the last two years it got substantial investments by the company and its popularity grew. This service by Amazon offers real-time brand interaction.

Instagram and Facebook

Both platforms offer existing platform retailers an option to connect livestream shopping events to their shops.

Spin

Another great live retail platform is Spin. All of its live streams are available to consumers for 48 hours after the livestream ends. The platform has integration features with Shopify, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, and Wix.

NTWRK

NTWRK is a live retail platform that does a great job of blending entertainment with commerce. This is done by featuring live streams of music performances, live interactive panels, and many other creative forms. The company offers interest-free installment payments via a partnership with Klarna.

Product Videos

Product videos are means of engagement that bring tremendous value to a brand. This type of visual content production can be a barrier due to its high cost, but the numbers show that consumers place great faith in this type of promotion. While photos and graphics sell a product, the narratives and metaphors of a video leave a lasting impression on the consumer.

Demonstrations and explainer videos are two of the most recognizable product videos. Each provides insight and unpacks a product’s features or particular concepts. Testimonials or company culture videos go further and create brand loyalty and establish trust.

Statistics show that engagement with product videos drives conversions. Some 73% of top online retailers leverage product videos as part of their marketing strategies. The type of product video a company needs is dependent on the product itself. Additionally, factors like the target audience and the company’s available resources play a role.

User Generated Content

User Generated Content or UGC/UCC is the modern-day word-of-mouth campaign. UGC is content created and shared online—it can range from images and videos to texts and reviews. Brands leverage this type of content as grassroots engagement with their brand.

User Generated Content For eCommerce

Social media provides the vehicle for this type of engagement. A better-known example of a brand successfully incorporating UGC with social media is none other than Doritos. Doritos ultimate usage of UGC occurred when they began to crowdsource their Super Bowl ads.

UGC brings authenticity to a brand. 90% of consumers state that authenticity is a priority in their decision-making. Consumers are more than twice as likely to say that user-generated content is authentic. And, a staggering 79% of people said that UGC impacts their purchasing decision. With power like that, a retailer leveraging UGC should make sure they are using it right.

Examples from A-players: Amazon A+ Content

In today’s marketplace landscape, Amazon is an undeniable player. A+ content is synonymous with Enhanced Brand Content, which is the optimization of product listings. By engaging with this tool, you can decrease marketing costs and get higher conversions. Amazon’s A+ Content is the tool to give brands and manufacturers an opportunity to stand out.

A+ and A++ (or premium A+) content represent the various levels of EBC available to the vendors who utilize the Amazon offerings. The main distinction lies in the fact that the premium offering tends to be for luxury goods.

Getting approved or registered on the Amazon Brand Registry is the first step in being able to use these tools. Once approved, a catalog can be built exclusively with the A+ content tool. This tool allows you not only to enhance images and text placements but also to build a strong and unique brand story. Additionally, the EBC channel allows retailers to educate customers on the brand value and product lines.

The ultimate claim of the A+ Content feature is a 10% boost in sales. While this could be the boost a vendor needs, there is also a less obvious benefit to using the platform. Branding on Amazon’s platform or standing out can be tough. The content tool allows vendors to work on building the brand loyalty they crave.

Visual Assets FAQ

How important is visual content?

Visual content and its place in modern commerce are important. Visual content is often easier to consume as well as more engaging. Those who embrace visual assets often see better returns on important metrics like followers, likes, shares, visits, clients, and revenue.

What is visual content marketing?

Visual content marketing involves leveraging mediums such as images, videos, or even gifs to share information and build connections with customers, all while growing your business.

What are the most important types of visual assets for retailers?

Videos, 360 degree images, shoppable social media content, and any form of interactive content are the secret ingredients for retailers to bring their product presentation to the next level.

Types Of Visual Assets For Retailers

How Gepard PIM Help Retailers to Enrich Visual Assets

By optimizing visual assets and helping retailers manage content on various platforms in one place, Gepard is moving visual content marketing forward. Leveraging content collection, automation, data enrichment, synchronization—all these help to reduce manual work and speed up a product launch. Gepard features, especially content collection and data enrichment capabilities, allow retailers to automatically receive rich high-quality product content from brands and manufacturers and to stand out in the market with state-of-the-art content.

What’s Next?

Visual assets drive sales by creating better customer experiences. In return, this builds brand loyalty. It is important to understand that visual content drives engagement and conversion. Today’s market demands that retailers have a robust plan that meets not only the creative side but also the administrative side, which is often a time-consuming part of the business.

Now that you understand the importance of visual content, you may need a reliable eCommerce solution to automate the routine work with visual product content management and its collection from various sources. Gepard can help you enhance the shopping experience of your customers by enriching your visual content and setting up automated workflows for visuals delivery from content providers or other sources directly to your webshop.

Get in touch with our team of professionals and request your personalized demo of Gepard PIM.

How To Deliver Visual Assets Automatically?

Alina Virstiuk
Written by Alina Virstiuk
Content Manager at Gepard
Passionate about travelling, books & photography. Enjoy working with new things and meeting people from all over the world.

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