How images are changing the online shopping experience

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How images are changing the online shopping experience

With the rise of image-based social networks like Snapchat and Instagram, the online shopping experience is adapting and evolving itself.

Google puts a lot of weight on structure data optimized pages which in turn improve the shopping experience of users, making it easier for them to order products.

The artificial intelligence developed today is sophisticated enough that it can identify a certain product in an image and then make suggestions of similar images with similar products in them and structured data markups play the most important role in all of these expansions.

I believe the classic product page is fading away and marketers need to adapt as fast as possible to the new developments and the new way of thinking younger generations have. People don't really want to see a boring product page with a few product only images and a boring description. They want to see the products in action, on models, used by celebrities or capturing them in action with gifs and videos.

We already have seen this technology with Instagram-type lead pages. Meaning influencers would make product pages with images from Instagram including certain bullet point inside the image linking to the product they wanted to sell, I've also seen plenty of affiliate type products using the same technology.

How images are changing the online shopping experience

Back to the search engines, the trend is pretty clear: the image search will evolve into visual shopping experience directly from Google Image Search.
So how will all work? Well, people already are curious about certain items celebrities wear and use, they have questions and usually need to make additional and multiple searches until they find the answer, or they need to fo on Q&A websites like Quora and ask the community there about specific products. Google notice all of this and it came only natural to offer people the answer right from the image results.

Bing already put this into practice, showing you the number of stores where a particular item is sold:
How images are changing the online shopping experience

More information will be displayed once you click the image and other similar products will be proposed:
How images are changing the online shopping experience

If you click on a store from these listing you will be redirected to an online shop where you can make the actual purchase. This is a pure and organic form of lead that will bring you only highly interested potential customers with a high purchase rate.

Even though the examples above are strictly fashion related I believe that proper structure data will help any niche get more sales from organic image result pages! Just think at an ideal bedroom picture, you don't really want to have the exact same bedroom, but I bet you will do want certain items in that pictures and this is where the new technology comes in and helps you quickly identify certain products and leading you to a retail product page.

So what do you need to do as a seller to make sure your products will end up like the results above in any search engine image searches?

1. Implement structured data markups on all the segments that are applicable.
2. Target specific keywords in your image name.
3. Make sure you have alt tags for all of your images, same as the image name it must have proper keyword implementations.
4. Quality - don't go for pictures that are 8MB in size but don't go for pixelated images either. Make sure you provide quality images, search engines can see all of this and won't list low-quality improper images in their top search results.
5. Make sure all of your products have proper titles, descriptions, and meta tags.

What do you think about this new trend of making images over different platforms a lead to certain products in the picture itself? Do you think this trend will continue and evolve to videos or do you think it will die off in a couple of years and simplicity and old school ways will eventually win the day?
Lets discuss in the comments bellow!


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Excellent article! We live in a world where our first response with actions are based on the visual images we see. Along with the rise of social media, this has created a whole new realm for shopping online and promoting certain products. Like you said, artificial intelligence via search engines has evolved at an amazingly rapid rate. But social media has such a major influence in my generation. Truly, we have only just tapped into the powers of product affiliation through promotion on social media networks. No to copy you, but no one wants to see a basic photo and description, no one wants to see clothes on a mannequin with a price tag. They want to see products like clothing in the works and live responses of what other people think. Personally, in my opinion, this trend is far from dying out and has already taken off in videos. Famous content creators on YouTube are already paid to advertise specific products to their audience. Once again, the power and potential behind this are only just being tapped into. Celebrities wearing designer clothing for events like MetGala is just the beginning of using public figures to promote a product.

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What we see is probably one of the most important things that can determine a person's choice. Whether someone they look up to use the product they aspire to buy, or what the product itself looks like. It's an excellent way to promote a product so there are no doubts in one's purchase.

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This is such a great and informative article, props to you for taking to the time to inform us on this! I never really thought about how picture based social medias are starting to take over like snapchat and instagram, and can definitley see how this can make the online shopping experience change over time.

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the online world and technology in this era changes every thing and yeah when you have better and much nicer pictures on your staff online they will buy it more.
for me personally if I want to buy something online and I found two item with same price definitely I will go with the one with nicer photo so that is obvious much prettier girl take more attention

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Actually that's an excellent observation and you've made some really unique points

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I think images with tags and also the images with the URLs can be interesting. As it can give customers the idea to go to the shops. Also they can make use of it as shopping experience with ads. And it can open monetization option. I think with enough experimentation you can get the best out of this.

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This is such an extraordinary and enlightening article, props to you for setting aside to the opportunity to advise us on this! I never truly contemplated how picture based social medias are beginning to take once again like snapchat and instagram, and can definitley perceive how this can roll out the web based shopping knowledge improvement after some time.

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For my friends who are into drop shipping, I could see their posts in promoting their products. It always comes with a real photo of the product and sometimes with a model as well. I have to admit that it greatly enhances the promotion since the photos and images are attractive to the readers. Even if I don’t have the intention to buy, I sometimes read their promotional posts because of the photos and images.

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