So, the first questions to ask yourself are: In what ways are customers searching for a look or a particular brand? What do they expect from my site/app? What devices are they using to browse the store?
In recent years Google has dominated the online search market and, even though most of the searches are still made by using text based queries, Google has registered an important increase in the amount of searches made by using Google images. This means that people are getting used to and maybe even prefer browsing through images. Within the fashion and apparel sphere this is especially true.
The visual aspect of products is obviously fundamental in industries such as fashion and apparel, where colors, textures, shape and the whole look of outfits are the key points that will captivate a potential buyer. Thus, using the wrong images equals fewer click opportunities, which translates to fewer sales.
But it’s not only about the images themselves. You also need to ensure the metadata of said images is correct: using a coherent title and filling out all the complementary information of each image. This may seem like a lot of work (and it is!), but this will make your images, and your store, more appealing to search engines, which means more visibility!
Once you’ve managed to be relevant for search engines such as Google and Bing, you need to start working on another important source of new buyers: social networks.
Currently, there are two must-have social networks for fashion and apparel buyers: Instagram and Pinterest. Both of these social networks feature a 100% visual navigation, where the key elements are the pictures and images uploaded by the users themselves. If used correctly, these two channels behave like the perfect showcase for your products by allowing you to captivate potential buyers to then take them to your online store to materialize sales.
To summarize, to give the images in your store the importance they deserve, you should:
- Upload high quality images to your site, and organize them by adding coherent titles and complete metadata to each and every one of them. (e.g of title: item + variants + brand or collection + other info)
- You products (or looks featuring them) must be present on Instagram and Pinterest. Also, all uploaded images should be of a good quality and attractive to potential buyers.
Not only will these platforms will make you visible to their own user, they will also strengthen your brand’s reach in search engines!
Now, how can you interact with buyers that use offline channels (such as magazines or bricks-and-mortar store) to look for items they’d like to buy? This is where mobile devices and visual search comes into its own. By combining these two technologies you allow users to follow a pretty natural flow: they take a picture of something they like and then look for that product online. Which means they would no longer have to go to one of your stores to ask if you feature a similar item. Sounds like you’d be making life a little bit easier for your customers, right?
And not only that, we should also be asking ourselves: as we have “visual” buyers, shouldn’t we also provide a visual experience in our online stores?
Well, people around the world have been asking themselves the same question and the answer is yes. The results of a survey conducted by Adobe in 2018 states that one third of consumers will first look for the product they want to buy in the website or app of the brand, expecting to find more visual content that will convince them to purchase.
With visual search technologies you can allow your online visitors to browse your catalog of products via image, whether that’s by taking a picture of a look they find appealing or even by uploading a screenshot they took from a Pinterest board. And not only will your visitors have a better experience, you’ll also gain valuable insight on what products they expect to find, which are the most popular and so on.
So, what are you waiting for? Make your online store as visual as your customers are, and you’ll find that there’s no better way to get to know your customer than by looking at your products the way they do.