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Images Set to Define E-Commerce in 2019

04 January 2019 - 10:12 by David Aiken

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Analysts expect that this year will see more shopping decisions informed by imagery, particularly as major retailers like eBay are adopting a more visual approach to selling in order to court mobile users.

Internet Retailing reports that this trend is being fuelled by the rise of safe shopping online from smartphones, a medium on which product pictures and videos are far more engaging than any alternatives.

Indeed, it is social media that is playing a key role in changing habits, with users now familiar with the concept of seeing image-based ads for products on platforms like Instagram which can be engaged with in order to complete a transaction using the relevant outlet.

Part of the appeal of visually stimulated selling is that it not only catches the eye of shoppers but also generates that all-important brand recognition, meaning that people are more likely to trust the advertiser in question from the get-go.

Other major proponents of this approach include UK supermarket stalwart Marks & Spencer, which has long appreciated the advantages of a well-constructed, visually engaging ad campaign on traditional media. It has already leveraged Instagram to great success and will continue to do so over the course of 2019.

Social media platforms not only offer the opportunity for retailers and brands to engage with their customers through paid promotions, they also allow companies to gain organic followings and create a buzz which does not involve invasive, timeline-compromising ads.

Well-chosen imagery that slots seamlessly into an Insta feed can help retailers to gain traction in a way that was not achievable in the past. The flip side of this is that mobile users can expect to see a lot more targeted posts and premium promos appearing over the course of the coming year.