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How Photography and Online Video Influence Customer Purchasing Behavior

by Brad Tuckman  |  
June 6, 2012

In this article, you'll learn...

  • The power of photography and video in driving sales
  • Why compelling multimedia content should be a part of your marketing mix

Although the countless technologies and mobile devices available today are smart enough that we can simply tap their surface and pay for goods, 83% of respondents in a recent PricewaterhouseCoopers study said they go online to research products, but then buy them in-store.

They're doing so for a reason. People want to see and touch what they're buying. They want to experience the product firsthand, whether that means testing an electronic device or trying on a retail garment.

Whether the consumer is a practical shopper who weighs the pros and cons before spending money, or a person who is simply enticed by a product she can actually touch... it's all about show versus tell.

That said, images, photography, and multimedia have an immense impact on consumers' purchasing behavior because they provide a way for consumers to make a visual connection with a product before they buy. And the best part about today's technology is that it enables you to reach a consumer with rich visual content anytime, anywhere.

So, how can you use images, photography, and other multimedia content to positively influence consumers and build stronger connections with your customer base?

Different Approaches for Different Industries

Each industry has its own way in which photography and online video can make an impact. How photography and online video can make an impact varies by industry or vertical. Why? Because an image is not just an image. Rather, your online images and videos are a means to an end: What are you trying to accomplish with your photography or online video? What type of product are you showcasing?

For example, if you're working with consumer electronics, consider photography that shows a 360-degree view of the product. Because electronics are not a low-impulse purchase and are often expensive, consumers will want to do their homework before they buy and check the product's ports for connectivity and compatibility with other devices.

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Brad Tuckman is president of KSC Kreate, a full-service digital commerce agency.

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  • by Ryan Wed Jun 6, 2012 via web

    I'm not so sure about the info in the first paragraph. Customers will research products online then go buy in the store? I read an article recently claiming it was the other way around. It seems more likely that customers would go to a store to see, feel and touch a product. Pick it up, hold it, test it out, get all the info they can from the customers service reps at the store. After doing all this, then they can go online and buy that same product at a cheaper price. The article I read claims that this is the new trend in shopping and I don't doubt it at all. Heck, I'm guilty of this myself. It's funny that two different articles are claiming two different things. I'd like to know which one is the actual trend in shopping.

  • by Larry Wed Jun 6, 2012 via web

    360-degree photography for the product -- it's possible for anyone on the iPhone by going to

  • by Jacob Hartung Thu Jun 7, 2012 via web

    Great article Brad!

    Ryan, I partly agree with you.
    In Denmark it is often the other way around where you first go into the store and then buy online - as you mentioned. But that being said, it will largely depend on how much "share-of-wallet" the acquisition represents and whether the acquisition is primarily determined by rational or emotional behavior (and a few other factors).

    But it is in any case an interesting topic and I agree that photography and online video influences customer purchasing behavior in a positive direction in most cases!

    Best regards
    Jacob Hartung

  • by Nathan Lynch Mon Aug 13, 2012 via web

    Okay Ryan alluded to in his post. Which one is it and does anyone have any corroborating evidence? Do customers first look at the product online or at the store?

    I know that everyone comparisons shops. In fact one reason Best Buy is tanking is because consumers go to check out the product and then go online to comparison shop to actually purchase. This was validated on a NPR newscast a few weeks ago. So my money, at least for right now and for electronics only, are shop offline first then purchase online via comparison shopping. Is there any other data? Please show me.

  • by Zev Thu Jan 12, 2017 via web

    Hi Brad! You make some great points about how images can influence consumer behavior, but I think it goes well beyond that. Images can influence user behavior on websites in a number of ways from lower bounce rates to higher engagement. This piece goes into more detail about that and would be interesting for website owners and those that work in e-commerce:

  • by Monalisa Matache Tue Aug 1, 2017 via web

    Thanks for sharing such aspect !!

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