Consumers Prefer Visual to Text Information When Shopping Online

February 26, 2019

This article is included in these additional categories:

Automotive | CPG & FMCG | Digital | Industries | Retail & E-Commerce | Search Engine Optimization | Technology | Travel & Hospitality

More than one-third (36%) of US consumers have performed or used visual search when shopping online, a figure that matches the percentage who have used voice search. So finds research from Intent Lab, which also notes that 3 in 5 (59%) of consumers believe that visual information is more important than textual information when shopping online.

Reliable search is important to e-commerce. Four in 5 consumers report either often or always using search boxes when shopping online. Furthermore, a report by Namagoo revealed that 7 in 10 believe that a great shopping experience includes easy search capabilities.

That same data also reported that more important than easy search in making consumers’ online shopping experience satisfying was clear product images (87.6%), The amount of importance consumers put on visual information versus textual information is dependent upon the products they are shopping for. The Intent Lab study shows that the vast majority of respondents placed a higher degree of importance on visual information than text when shopping for clothing (86%) and furniture (85%).

When shopping for vehicles (58%), groceries (56%) and vacations (55%), the data shows that visual information remains more important than text. It’s only when products whose visual representation is less distinctive, that this visual information becomes less important than text. These products include household products (46%), electronics (41%) and wine and spirits (41%).

Consumers are using visual information most toward the later stages of their buying cycle. Two in 5 (41%) say that they are using visual information to compare products, and a similar percentage of consumers do so when making a decision to buy a product or service.

As far as visual search is concerned, slightly more than one-third (37%) of respondents said that they lacked trust in visual search, with nearly one-quarter (24%) of them saying that promoted brands showing up before more relevant results is the reason for this lack of trust. A total of 31% cited bias as a reason for mistrust due to the belief that search results are created by either social influencers (16%) or brands (15%).

To read more, find the report here.

About the Data: Findings are based on a validated survey of 1,000 US consumers with a nationally representative, probabilistic and non-probabilistic sample. The Intent Lab is a marketing research team composed by Northwestern University and Performics.

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