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The role of images in driving e-commerce success

This article was based on the interview with Paul Thompson of Cloudinary by Greg Kihlström for The Agile Brand with Greg Kihlström podcast. Listen to the original episode here:

Images drive e-commerce success. In today’s digital age, where consumers have access to a plethora of options at their fingertips, it is crucial for brands to stand out and capture their attention. Images play a vital role in achieving this goal by creating a personalized and engaging customer experience throughout the buyer’s journey.

Research has shown that visuals have an outsized impact on the success of product listings. For instance, a study conducted by eBay Research Labs found that having one photo in a product listing doubles the conversion rate, and having two or more photos doubles it again. This emphasizes the importance of including relevant and high-quality images in e-commerce platforms.

The role of images goes beyond just increasing conversion rates. Cloudinary’s research revealed that 27% of customers have abandoned an item in their cart due to poor image or video quality. This highlights the significance of providing customers with a clear and accurate representation of the products they are considering purchasing. Customers want to be assured that what they see is what they get, and the quality of images and videos plays a crucial role in building that trust.

To ensure the success of e-commerce platforms, brands need to prioritize the quality and relevance of their visual assets. This starts with using high-resolution images that showcase the products in the best possible light. However, it is not enough to simply have great media on the website. Brands must also consider the performance and loading speed of these images to avoid any potential frustration for users. Compression techniques can be employed to reduce file sizes without compromising image quality.

Furthermore, personalization is key in today’s customer-centric world. Brands can leverage AI-based tools to offer relevant images and videos tailored to each customer’s preferences and needs. By analyzing customer data and behavior, AI algorithms can generate personalized recommendations and visuals that resonate with individual customers. This level of personalization enhances the customer experience, manages their expectations, and ultimately drives higher conversion rates while reducing return rates.

Cloudinary, as an example of an image and video platform for the web, understands the importance of visual assets in e-commerce. Their programmable media allows developers to transform and deliver images and videos at scale, often utilizing AI tools. They also offer digital asset management capabilities to streamline the image and video lifecycle for enterprises and small and medium-sized businesses.

Images are a powerful tool in driving e-commerce success. They have a significant impact on conversion rates, customer trust, and overall customer experience. Brands must prioritize the quality, relevance, and personalization of their visual assets to capture and retain customer attention in a highly competitive online marketplace. By leveraging AI-based tools and platforms like Cloudinary, brands can enhance the e-commerce experience and achieve sustainable growth.