Why 2015 is the year of visual commerce

  • 7.5 billion photos are posted to Facebook each month
  • 70 million photos are shared per day on Instagram
  • 300 million monthly active users on Instagram


Social networking has become one of the most powerful phenomenas the world has ever seen. There are now 1.35 billion monthly active users on Facebook.  Simply put, Facebook has a larger following than the Catholic Church. Instagram now has 300 million people sharing 70 million photos daily with their friends. Apps like WhatsApp and Snapchat have amassed 700 million and >100 million users monthly in short order. Human’s innate desire to be social and share knowledge, content, and communicate has gone beyond formerly existent physical restraints and has now reached scale never seen before. In an instant, companies’ reputations can be made or destroyed by a single tweet. With such unprecedented scale and access to information, brands are quickly realizing the importance of these platforms and the power of digital word-of-mouth.


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Brands are catching on


With its massive audience, Facebook has convinced advertisers the importance of their community. In Q3 2014, Facebook racked up $3.203 billion in revenue. In a short decade, it has transcended from a Harvard dorm room to one of the biggest online communities in the world, with a market cap of $218.4 billion as of this writing. And this is not just a community of friends. Brands, politicians, celebrities and every other member of society have adopted social, and Facebook in particular, with the utmost zeal. Consumers now expect real time feedback. They expect to be able to follow their friends’ every adventure and meal, and to know what is trending. Companies like Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, and LinkedIn have amassed multi-billion dollar valuations tapping into this inherently human phenomenon.


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And brands are catching on. Judging by the staggering revenue growth of these leading social networks, ad dollars are flying in to catch consumers’ attention and convince these folks to buy their products. But how is this measured? How does a marketer know that X dollars invested into a Facebook ad leads to 3X ROI? The sheer size and attention these social networks are driving is undeniable, but the truth is these platforms continue to be a black box.  Your brand may have 800k Instagram followers, and you are reaching these followers everyday, but how many of these folks turn into loyal customers? How can you measure the impact an Instagram photo has on sales, average order value, conversion or any of the other key revenue metrics digital marketers are so focused on? The truth is, it is exceedingly difficult. Marketers know there’s tremendous value here, but still have a very difficult time justifying these massive spends to their CMO with little data to support their decision beyond eyeballs reached and “likes” amassed.


The next step


As such, digital marketers are deeply interested in unearthing these elusive metrics. They want to know how to capitalize on the power of social networking, and the centuries-old power of word-of-mouth marketing and use that to their benefit.


Luckily there is a new frontier. With the advent of technologies like StoryBox, brands now have the ability to bridge the gap between social and commerce by taking customer-generated photos and videos and integrating this dynamic content into product pages on eCommerce sites. This strategy is driving more trust, engagement, referrals and sales for the most forward-thinking brands.


By harnessing photos and videos shared on platforms like Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, Vine, Facebook, YouTube etc. and bringing that user-generated content to an eCommerce experience, brands are able to leverage authentic content from their community and use it to convert fans into customers AND show a quantifiable ROI.


The first wave


Innovative companies like Mountain Hardwear, LifeProof, and butterLONDON are realizing the potential with consumer-generated content. They have invested in technology that allows them to capitalize on their communities present on the Instagrams and Facebooks of the world, and bring this community to a cohesive experience on a brand-owned channel where they have total control of the experience.


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And the early adopters are seeing real results. Customer photos and videos onsite are driving:

  • 5 – 8% sales lift
  • 10% conversion after interacting with photos and videos
  • 11% AOV increase
  • 3X increase in intent to purchase




While these early adopters are generating more content, gaining more trust, and making closer connections with their communities than ever before, the wave has just begun. We fully anticipate every eCommerce brand to take advantage of the untapped potential of customer-generated photos and videos and bring this content onsite where it drives real business value. Written reviews have become table-stakes online. Customer photos and videos are next.

So why wait? Learn how to integrate customer photos and videos into your digital strategy by requesting a demo now.


Topics: Visual Content, UGC, Trends, Industry News, Best Practices, Blogs, Marketing,eCommerce