Google has been rapidly making changes to its algorithms to enhance the user experience and improve the relevancy of the search results. In its endeavor to achieve this feat, Google recently announced that user-generated images would feature in the product reviews on Google Shopping.
The search engine giant revealed that a recent study found Google is the first choice for consumers when researching a particular product before making a purchase, offline or online.
The product reviews on Google have been helpful for shoppers for years now. However, the new survey suggests that more than 50% of online shopping enthusiasts are inspired by user-generated images to make an informed decision about their purchase. The user-generated pictures act as a confidence-boosting tool for shoppers to make a purchase.
With so many sites adding product reviews, encouraging customers to add images would help the retail/shopping sites to convince the target audience better. Currently, Google is partnering with some of the well-known review partners like Yotpo, Bazaarvoice, PowerReviews, and Influenster to integrate this update. Advertisers and retailers need to work with the review partners that are participating in the program, and more partners are expected to join the program in the future.
The retailers can integrate the user-generated images to Product Reviews by referring to the latest Updated Schema documentation. In addition, the retailers can enroll for the Google Product Ratings Program and refer to the policies associated with the correct usage of user-generated images.
As of now, the new update is only applicable to mobile search queries in the United States. However, Google is planning to roll out the update globally in the coming months.
How are Retailers Going to Benefit From This?
The new update would help the retailers to boost confidence in their products through the user-generated images. It plays a deciding role when the shopper is looking to make a purchase. Retailers can encourage the customers to add photos of the product in use through various customer-engagement programs and initiatives as well.
Here are a few benefits of having user-generated images in product reviews for retail sites –
- Drives more sales by building confidence through the user-generated images.
- Gains the trust of the target audience for the product as well as the brand.
- Adds a level of transparency in the buyer-seller relationship online.
- Increases the conversion rate considerably using the user-generated images as the trigger factor.
- The CTR rate is expected to improve with reviews that are more descriptive and relevant due to user-generated pictures.
- Builds a positive brand image and market reputation.
How do Users Benefit from User-Generated Images in Product Reviews?
The world of online shopping has become highly competent yet saturated in recent times. The consumers now have more options than ever before in terms of which retailer to buy from and which product to choose. While it offers diversity in options, it also adds a layer of confusion.
Google seeks to reduce the element of confusion for consumers by increasing the importance of user-generated images in the product reviews that it features. Encouraging user-generated pictures from previous buyers in the product reviews would help future consumers make an informed purchase decision that meets their expectations.
It would drastically enhance the online shopping experience as well as induce increased customer engagement with online retailers.
Here are a few benefits of the latest Google update for users–
- Ability to get a first-hand view of the product.
- It would help users make an informed decision regarding their purchase with more confidence.
- Eliminate doubts regarding the product(s).
- As the user-generated images are not professionally edited or enhanced, it helps shoppers have a clear view of how the products are. It plays a vital role in deciding if the product is worth it or not.
The latest update by Google is one more step towards bridging the gap between shoppers and e-retailers. It aims to encourage transparency as well as promote customer engagement in the eCommerce world. The customers who are perplexed with the number of choices available online would find it easier to determine which product is best suited for them by scrolling through the user-generated photos. Aligning the user-generated images with personal preferences and expectations would help in making the right choice when shopping online.
The e-commerce industry is one of the largest in the world, and Google plays a vital role in bridging the gap between consumers and retailers. Whether the retailers are selling their products online or offline, product reviews online can make or break their market reputation, brand image, and revenue. The user-generated pictures in the product reviews would not only enhance the effectiveness of the product reviews for the end-users but would also boost sales for the retailers.