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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.