88% of consumers seek photos, videos before purchase

There is no question that visual content plays a critical role in the purchasing decision, as reflected in PowerReviews' latest whitepaper based on survey responses from 1,000 consumers. Findings show that as many as 88 percent of shoppers seek out visual content prior to making a purchase.

According to PowerReviews, reviews submitted with images have increased 70 percent year-over-year and the ratio of images to reviews has increased 90 percent year-over-year.

Entitled "Snapshot for e-commerce: The role of visual content in earning consumer trust and influencing purchase behavior," the paper include a survey of more than 1,000 U.S. consumers and found that 72 percent say they regularly or always seek out visual content prior to making a purchase. Millennials were even higher, seeking out visual content more than 81 percent of the time.

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“Visual content, including photos and videos, has become an expected part of the path to purchase and plays a big role in building trust and influencing customer behavior. There is no question that visual content is changing the way consumers research, browse and make purchases,” said Matt Moog, PowerReviews CEO. “By better understanding how consumers want to interact with visual content while shopping, retailers and brands can develop strategies and tactics to better attract and convert shoppers by leveraging photos and videos.”

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Nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of shoppers are more likely to trust products that have user-generated photos or videos in their reviews, and 72 percent are more likely to buy a product that has reviews that feature visual content in addition to text, with that number jumping to 84 percent for millennials.