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Why Imagery Is Imperative at Digital Point of Sale

1WorldSync VP Randy Mercer talks exclusively to Progressive Grocer about make-or-break photography
Lynn Petrak, Progressive Grocer
1WorldSync data
(Image source: 1WorldSync "Consumer Survey Report, November 2022")

If pictures tell a thousand stories, as the saying goes, they certainly tell important ones in the digital space. According to a recent consumer survey from omnichannel solutions provider 1WorldSync, high-quality product imagery and content drives 58% of consumers to purchase products.  

Randy Mercer, VP of global product at 1WorldSync, underscored the fact that the quality and availability of photos on e-commerce sites can make or break sales. “The research shows that if the image isn’t comprehensive or really depicts the product, the consumer will move on. If there isn’t a picture, they won’t drill down and if they are not informed or moved by it, they probably won’t buy it,” he told Progressive Grocer in a recent interview.

[Read more: "The Grocer’s Guide to Tech"]

In addition to attracting – or impeding, for that matter – interest and purchases, photography is important in other parts of e-commerce, as first- and third-party shoppers fill orders for digital shoppers. “When you think about imagery in relation to distribution channels and planograms, there are apps that retailers are using as part of fulfillment and picking applications. They are becoming critical to operations,” Mercer noted, adding “You have humans that are picking items and depending on the application they are looking at, if it doesn’t look like the photo, are they grabbing the right thing? Then you can have a return issue.”

Most of the onus is on brands to invest in high-quality imagery and content used to sell products online, while retailers work to get imagery placed right to further attract the shopper’s eye. Given the regular rollout of new products, keeping up with photography can be a challenge. “In the CPG space, there is constant change relevant to packaging, such as holiday packaging or different sizes,” he pointed out.

While larger CPGs have resources to invest in premium photography, smaller and startup brands can also strive to capture better imagery and information for digital platforms. For example, 1WorldSync recently worked with all-natural and organic food company Purely Elizabeth to improve its product content and digital assets. By replacing poor imagery and enhancing content, the company was able to reduce its time to market by 75% and save 56 project hours, 1WorldSync reported.

As the digital marketplace expands thanks to growing demand and the advent of grocery technology solutions, imagery is getting better at a pivotal point in time. “Imagery is evolving in a few ways, with things like 360-degree spin images and AR and VR,” said Mercer of assets that give shoppers a fuller picture of what they are buying. Improved digital capabilities are also allowing for the integration of text copy into photos, which can likewise entice shoppers with more detail, he noted.

Having more to look at on the page or screen ultimately leads to all-important lingering. “How long are consumers staying on the product image page? The longer you keep them there, the more it correlates to the interest they have,” Mercer remarked.

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