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Ecommerce is increasingly conducted using images, videos and augmented reality. This trend partly results from changing consumer behavior on mobile—where users prefer visual communication and visual media platforms—and improvements in computer vision driven by artificial intelligence.
"Around three-quarters of US internet users regularly or always search for visual content prior to making a purchase; only 3% never do."
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Frequency with Which US Internet Users Search for Visual Content Prior to a Making a Purchase, Sep 2016 (% of respondents)
Average Time Spent per Day with Major Media by US Adults, 2017 (hrs:mins)
Images Drive Communication on Mobile
Importance of the Camera Function on a Mobile Device According to Millennial Smartphone Users in North America and the UK, by Age, Aug 2016 (% of respondents)
Social Media Users in Spain, the UK and the US Who Would Share Photos Featuring Their Favorite Brands on Social Media, by Gender, April 2016 (% of respondents in each group)
Average Time Spent per Day with Video by US Adults, by Device, 2014-2019 (hrs:mins)
Growth of Visual Platforms Outpaces Others
US Social Network User Growth, by Platform, 2016-2021 (% change)
US Social Media Users Who Have Bought Products/Services After Seeing Ads on Select Social Media Platforms, Nov 2014-Nov 2016 (% of respondents)
Number of Photos that US Digital Buyers Prefer to See When Shopping on a Retail Site/App, Sep 2016 (% of respondents)
US Digital Buyers Who Are More Likely to Make a Purchase After Viewing a Product Video, Sep 2016 (% of respondents)
Which Images Are Effective?
Digital Shopping Behavior of US Millennial Digital Buyers, Feb 2016 (% of respondents)
Most Important Factor When Shopping for Gifts on a Retail Site According to US Internet Users, Sep 2016 (% of respondents)
Attitudes Toward Select Digital Retail Services Among US Internet Users, May 2016 (% of respondents)
Google Shopping Adapts with Image Recognition
Google Ad Benchmarks in North America: Product Listing Ad (PLA) and Text Ad Spending Growth, Q1 2015-Q1 2017 (% change vs. same period of prior year among campaigns analyzed by Merkle)
Frequency with Which US Snapchat Users Engage with Snapchat Ads, by Format, March 2017 (% of respondents)
Product Categories for Which US Internet Users Would Like to Shop via Augmented Reality, Aug 2016 (% of respondents)
Ways in Which US Internet Users Would Prefer Brands/Advertisers to Use Virtual Reality (VR), Aug 2016 (% of respondents)
Home Depot Lets Customers Steer Its Visual Commerce Strategy
For Neiman Marcus, In-Store Technology Must Solve a Problem for the Customer
Use of Augmented Reality, Image Search Boost Likelihood of Online Home Product Purchases
Augmented Reality Boosts the In-Store Experience When It’s Approachable and Fun
How Home Brands Like PBteen Increase Time Spent on Product Pages