Imagine you’re looking for a coffee maker and find one on Amazon. The price seems reasonable and it sounds pretty decent but there’s a problem: there’s no picture and you have no idea what it looks like. Would you buy it?
For many, and certainly around our office at LinkGreen, the answer is a resounding “NO” because they want visual proof of what they are purchasing. That’s why images are ESSENTIAL for any online purchasing or ordering, no matter the product is.
“A few years back, creating an e-commerce site was more or less an afterthought for wholesalers and distributors. Well, not anymore. As per the recent statistics and trends in the world of B2B e-commerce, B2B is now rapidly gaining importance in the retail sector for the massive benefits it offers such as e-commerce can streamline and automate the sales process, reduce cost and error margin, and free up the personnel to work on more strategic issues." -Forrester Research
As we shift from traditional pen-and-paper and in-person ordering toward online ordering, high-quality product images will become increasingly important to all wholesale business. Whether your products are trees, decor, or even mulch, people expect product images when purchasing online.
“Expectations for work-related purchases have been driven for several years by the simplicity and efficiency of online consumer sites that compete along the lines of price, various fulfillment capabilities, and transparency of content and information, So, in essence, business-to-consumer (B2C) customer experiences are driving B2B buyers to expect the same level of omnichannel service from their suppliers for work-related purchases.”- Forrester Research
Seeing is believing
Without a visual representation of a product, the customer is left to imagine what the product looks like based on the description and general understanding of what they think it is. There’s a great deal of hesitation that comes along with this uncertainty, which ultimately discourages the customers from ordering the product. For products that are displayed, decor, plants, seeds, and accessories, the importance of images is obvious. For other products, weed control, and other consumables, images of the package help reassure customers that they are buying the brands they are looking for.
Product images build trust during the purchasing process when someone can see what they are buying it eliminates any confusion and reinforces their purchasing decisions.
Taking the work out of the ordering experiences.
Fortunately, our brains are much smarter than we give them credit for. In fact, it’s often overlooked that reading requires your brain to recognize a strings of symbols, recall the sounds they make, interpret the meaning of the words and then putting those words together. When you think about it that way, there’s a lot of mental energy going into reading and that gets even more complicated when you’re trying to find information.
Fortunately, visual images are far easier to recognize than text, so including images in your catalog and online ordering is a great way to help customers scan through and find the product they would like to purchase. This ultimately provides your customers a better experience by saving them time during the ordering process (and giving their brain a little break).
Re-Marketing, Brand Awareness and increased sales
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but in the case of product images, they can be worth a lot more than words. In the world of wholesale, a good product image offers seemingly endless possibilities for remarketing. When your wholesale customers have access to good product images, they can utilize them to further promote your products in their own marketing efforts on their website, in their flyers, and through email. Retail marketing using your products can increase brand awareness among consumers and gradually increase demand for the products you sell.
Investing in high-quality product images should be considered a part of your marketing budget as the return on investment is definitely worth the effort involved. Product images deliver a better ordering experience, offer marketing opportunities, increase brand awareness, and there are few things that offer higher business value for the effort it requires. To learn how to take great product images to check out our Suppliers guide to product images.