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What is visual commerce?

Mar 3, 2022 | Ecommerce

Let’s not beat around the bush, visual commerce is about getting content to sell. But let’s clear the air and discuss how ecommerce teams & marketers can use visual commerce to make their content work harder and smarter to ultimately create confident buying decisions & increase ecommerce sales.

When consumers don’t have confidence in a brand or product, they look for validation elsewhere which could force them into the arms of your competitors. As 87% of online buying decisions begin with research before the purchase is made, why aren’t brands delivering this research in the form of influencer, UGC & brand content directly to the shopper during the buying journey? Well, you guest it, visual commerce does just that.

87% of online buying decisions begin with research before the purchase is made. Optinmonster: Social Proof Statistics 2021

Instead of greeting people with the same old static content, visual commerce uses intelligence and personalization to engage each shopper with your most relevant, inspirational, and educational resources they need to make buying decisions.

Visual commerce unlocks the sales potential of all your videos,
articles, images, social posts, influencer collaborations, and user-generated content.

By showing every shopper the content they need when they need it, you create positive experiences that not only influence purchases but also increase trust and loyalty.

Which means heartier sales, happier customers, and a healthier brand.

How to (actually) do visual commerce

Implementing visual commerce doesn’t mean that you have to blow everything up and start from scratch. Rather, it’s the easiest way to make your content work harder across more buying journeys and marketing channels.

It’s a bit like turning on a new content channel that complements and strengthens your existing marketing efforts. So, we’ve boiled it down into a simple framework for you.

The Visual Commerce Framework involves four steps:

  1. Understand
  2. Personalize
  3. Monetize
  4. Optimize
  5. Scale

Let’s break down each one.

Step 1: Understand all content that can be used across buying journeys

Trying to find the right content to use in personalized campaigns is hard. For most brands, it sits in silos across many different marketing channels, social media profiles, content platforms, and other digital asset systems.

But that’s barely scratching the surface. It takes even longer to sift through, organize, and tag content so that it’s fit for personalized marketing purposes. Not to mention that the moment you select and group content together, it’s no longer up-to-date. 

Now, imagine that you have one complete view of every piece of content that can be used to support buying journeys, automatically updated with your latest creations. And that each piece is indexed, tagged and categorized without disrupting your current approach.

That’s the first step in the visual commerce framework.

Using content intelligence, visual commerce unlocks all your content from channel silos, giving you a dynamic view of every piece that can be used across buying journeys.

So, if you were to upload a video to YouTube today, it would also appear in the live view without any extra work. This approach eliminates the need to change how you create and store content, which means no disruptions to your existing processes.

To understand your content further, visual commerce categorizes each piece with relevant tags and additional intelligence – so that the most relevant and influential content likely to sway a buying decision is always selected. 

Content intelligence isn’t only present at the start though. It continues throughout, enriching your assets with additional intelligence to improve its performance over time – but we’ll circle back to this a bit later.

Step 2: Personalize content for every shopper and customer

What happens when you give each shoppers personalized buying experiences, instead of serving the same content to everyone?  For most brands, it means higher conversion rates, better engagement, and improved customer retention.

When a visitor lands on your site and is delivered the influencer, UGC or brand content which best resonates with them in real-time, they are immediately engaged, feel inspired and can move confidently through their buying journey. 

By combining a dynamic understanding of each shopper with a dynamic understanding of every relevant content asset, visual commerce ensures that your latest and most relevant content is always presented to the right shopper, at the right time, and in the right context.

Personalize content for every shopper and customer

Step 3: Monetize your content by making it shoppable

Your content is powerful. Every piece has the potential to be used as a discovery tool for your products, engaging more people in buying journeys. Pairing relevant content with the right products isn’t rocket science, but it is manual, static, and labor intensive. 

Think about it. For every product you sell, you need to find the most effective content assets to pair it with. But how on earth do you go about that? And how do you test and optimize its placement? What works for one person won’t work for everyone. 

Visual commerce monetizes your content by dynamically pairing it with the right products based on relevancy and direct sales impact. This ensures that each visitor is presented with personalized content and product recommendations which will best influence their purchase decisions. 

Making content shoppable shortens the path to purchase, transforming your shoppers into customers with a seamless transition to customized products. And through machine learning, visual commerce quickly uncovers the content and product pairings that win the most sales which allows for better content investments. 

Shoppable Content

Step 4: Optimize your content’s performance across buying journeys

Delivering personalized content to support each and every shopper is one thing, but how do you ensure that the assets selected are the most effective at increasing sales?

With visual commerce, you get a dynamic and intelligent view of your content and customers. Which means that both your existing content and latest creations can be used to support individual buying journeys in real time.

Built on machine learning from the ground up, visual commerce automatically strengthens its intelligence around your content, products, and customers. Which means it optimizes the selection and placement of your latest content after every visit.

Not only does this ensure that you show the most relevant and influential content at the right time within each buying journey, but it creates a continuous loop of testing and optimization of what works best for each visitor and where.

As a result, you can pinpoint the precise content driving the most sales for each product and cut back on what’s not working. Having direct insight into how your content impacts your sales means you can make smarter content investments in the future.

Providing contextually relevant, one-to-one content experiences helps each shopper move independently through their buying journey. And it connects content to sales for good. This is one of the key differences of visual commerce vs traditional content.

The 5 key benefits of visual commerce

You’ve already read about some of the positive results many brands have been able to achieve through visual commerce. But they aren’t the only benefits you can expect.

Here are the five biggest benefits of visual commerce:

1) Optimize the experience for every shopper

With visual commerce, your website no longer feels like a static brochure with a one-size-fits-all approach to your content and audience.

Now, you can personalize the buying experience to each shopper’s needs, delivering contextually relevant content – alongside your products – that not only engages but influences buyer behavior too.

And with a dynamic view of all your latest creations, you can greet each returning shopper with fresh, relevant content to keep them engaged and coming back for more.

2) Achieve higher conversions

By integrating fully personalized content across each and every buying journey, you support and influence the decision-making process of your customers – achieving more sales and conversions in the process.

Visual commerce ensures that you deliver the right content, at the right time, to the right person. Each asset is selected in real time for every individual  visitor based on relevancy and sales impact, not just clicks and likes. 

Since implementing visual commerce, Johnson’s Baby has seen a sales uplift of 237%, while engagement is better than ever. And it’s still driving results for the brand today.

3) Improve content ROI

Visual commerce enriches your content with intelligence so that only the most effective assets for each customer and buying journey are selected. 

It also monetizes your content by pairing it with your most relevant and best-selling products, turning content into a discovery tool for your audience. 

And it enables you to make more informed content investments based on direct sales insight. Which means you can strengthen the content you create, impact even more buying journeys, and cut out any types of content that don’t resonate. 

4) Make personalized experiences scalable 

Turn content into sales for one customer or one million.

As every step within the process is automated – from content discovery through to delivery and optimization – an advanced platform such as Knexus ensures that you can scale your approach to content personalization for every customer.

5) Achieve greater cost savings

As machine learning does all the heavy lifting, you can eliminate repetitive and time-consuming tasks related to delivering personalized experiences for good.

That not only includes selecting and categorizing content with relevant tags, but also the delivery of the most effective content to each shopper.

In fact, visual commerce platforms like Knexus continually test and optimize the selection and placement of each content asset across different buying journeys, making decisions and evolving its intelligence at a capacity no human can compete with.

About Knexus

Classifying your influencer, UGC and brand content to make it structured, indexed and – ultimately useful – is a mammoth manual task for anyone. Not Knexus. Knexus automates this entire process to ensure your content from influencers, UGC and brand content is relevantly categorized and seen by the right shopper.

Knexus uses custom dynamic widgets which dynamically integrates the relevant influencer, UGC & brand content directly into your website, digital advertising campaigns, CRM and mobile apps. These widgets dynamically update to show the most relevant content for every shopper in rea-time. At the same time as a shopper is consuming content, Knexus automatically displays the related product alongside, making your influencer, UGC and brand content shoppable and creating an easy transition to customized products.