Impact of Visual Web on Ecommerce and How You Can Drive More Sales From It

Like every other form of growth the web has undergone due to demand and technological advancement, the dawn of the visual web is undoubtedly here to stay. With 55% of American cell phone users using their phones to go online, we can consider the new online world no longer tied to their desktops or laptops alone. That’s likely one of the vital reasons because of which visual imagery has taken over text heavy pages.“A picture is worth a 1000 words” — It’s a quote that truly describes how efficient visual content is as compared to text clutter on the web. To take this massive change in the consumer outlook lightly might not be profitable being an online storeowner. Proper use of visual content can bring about a big deal of change in your sales graph as consumers are now preferring better visual imagery than text rich pages.

A recent study came up with astonishing results which says that the human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text. That being the drastic number gap, it’s understood as to why visually enriched websites and online stores are doing better than text heavy websites these days. This has resulted in a different form of communication ecommerce merchants are now taking up in order to develop a more positive bond with their consumers. The smartphones and tablets can be considered as a catalyst towards this shift from text to visual imagery as it’s far more easier to check images on your phone than read long paragraphs.

The new age visual social networks also play a very important role for ecommerce today. These are Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr etc. which are exponentially rising towards becoming the more prominent social networks for online sellers as well as shoppers. Even Facebook and Twitter which are considered to be on the more popular side of social media are concentrating on image based sharing as well. This can actually make online shopping interesting and more fun as compared to what it had been before. As told on the ReadWrite, “Since image-based networks like Polyvore and Pinterest focus on things, not social connections, potential gifts pop up on user feeds all year long.” That definitely gives online store owners a chance to showcase their products in the best way possible throughout the year.

So, how do you take advantage of this new web presence and make the most out of these social networks or visual imagery? We had a previous post on smartphone product photography earlier but this time our focus is a bit different and highlights how visual sharing which can be the next sales booster for your shop. Before diving into how you can make the most from the visual social networks, here are some general tips you can incorporate for your store to make it look more visually acceptable among the masses.

Discover a Mobile Enriched Shopping Experience For Your Buyers

When 79% of smartphone owners use their device to shop, it’s important to make your store more mobile friendly. You can do this by enhancing the visual layout of the website and by reducing unwanted texts, as much as you can. Focus more on product images and make them look prominent and crystal clear. Reduce all unwanted descriptions and highlight only and only your product images. Remember: Mobile shoppers prefer images more than text anytime.

Did You Know: 40% of consumers have turned to a competitor’s website after a bad mobile shopping experience!

Take Advantage Of Platforms Like Kiosked

Once you gain the attention of your consumers by focusing your online shopping website more on images, the next stop is to convert those users into buyers. Image alone won’t help you in getting that done. What you need is the help of visual advertising platforms such as Kiosked which can make your images and videos shoppable. That way, you can take your customers directly towards purchase decision whenever they’re watching your product video or simply checking the bold and vibrant images you load.

Consumer Sourced Images Can Do Wonders to Your Shop

Social media does have a strong impact on purchase decisions. Infact, 4 in 10 social media users have purchased an item after sharing it on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest. If you consider it closely, you’ll see most of these social purchasers post images of the product after buying them which you can make good use of in order to enhance your customer relationship. Consumer sourced images on your shop will definitely show your inclination towards the visual side of the web as well as keep up the social quotient high.

Make Your Presence on Visual Social Networks More Prominent

Though the visual social network initially started with Flickr, today’s most popular visual social networks ecommerce merchants can take good advantage of are Pinterest, Instagram and Tumblr. Out of these, the first two is a must. Facebook and Twitter have also become inclined towards sourcing good image content these days.


According to an infographic by Ripen Ecommerce, “38% of users made a purchase because they saw it on Pinterest. That was 21% in 2010.” It’s the third most popular social network in the world. Here’s how you can drive more sales from this visually inclined social network:

  • Use the Pinterest “Pin-It” Button on your product images using the widget builder so that your users easily get to share them among their friends and family.
  • Make your shop’s Pinterest presence more bright and properly segregated into different boards.
  • You can try having a separate board for all the Customer Sourced Images of your Product. That way, you can build a strong bond with your buyers socially.
  • Make sure to verify your website on Pinterest to show your shoppers that your profile comes from a trustworthy source.
  • Finally, ensure that you use Pinterest consistently and not only to showcase your products. The more your socialize by pinning from others or liking what others post, the more viewers you drive towards your Pinterest profile which ultimately goes towards your website.


100 million active users snapping over 40 million photos per day and posting 1000 comments per second — that’s the amount of traffic Instagram gets everyday. Take advantage of all those users and highlight your shop’s presence on this visual social hub.

  • Make sure your Instagram profile has the best shots of your product, some of which can be consumer sourced if wanted.
  • You could launch giveaways or campaigns using hashtags on Instagram and make your shop popular that way.
  • Since it comes with natural filters for your product images, you can simply experiment with the locations and how you want to present your product apart from the listing images you have on your site or on the marketplace where you sell.
  • Had a stall on a craft fair or a customer trying your products at the physical shop? Engage with your online buyers by making them visualize how you interact with your customers in the physical world.
  • It’s a great platform using which you can actually show your online customers glimpses of your studio or the last vacation you had with your pet. The more you personalize with your customers, the more strong connections you make which is a direct gateway towards better sales.


Though not totally a visual social sharing platform, Tumblr does have a lot of visual blogging as compared to other blogging networks. So, if you’re really looking for using a blogging platform to market your products, Tumblr could be worth checking.

  • Firstly, this blogging platform is more inclined towards younger users within the age group of 18–24. So, if your products are targeted for such an age group, Tumblr is a must use for you.
  • It has an easy-to-use blogging interface as compared to WordPress or others and does not take much time in putting up short and crisp product promotions through short blog writeups. You want to share what your customer wrote about the latest product from your store: Just pop up a few lines with crisp images and you’ll be good to go on Tumblr.
  • Another important factor is that Tumblr encourages reblogging which will have your product shared easily among other users.

Better Imagery for SEO

According to Bing, nearly 10 percent of all organic searches are for images and 40 percent of all search results contain “some kind of visual component”. Nearly all site search results for e-commerce sites return images. This is because the click-through rates for the image content of the page is higher than the non-image content. So, you must make sure your website images are SEO friendly too.

  • Your image names need to be keyword rich and more elaborate. So instead of image01.png, it’s better to name it as Christmas-bunting.png
  • Always use a description for Alt-Tag as this helps gaining better attention in search results.
  • Save images in a web-optimized format to avoid facing any image related problems from Google anytime.

The visual economy for ecommerce merchants has just started. With time, online shops and product portfolios are only going to go visual instead of being text heavy. Make sure you and your shop are geared up to take this new transformation before others do.

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Originally published at on October 29, 2014.

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