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Photos are important to successful eCommerce

August 24, 2006

Overall, about 90 percent of online vehicle buyers prefer to actually view photos of new vehicles currently on the dealer's lot, rather than look at various stock photography of a specific vehicle they are interested in buying, according to a new survey performed by Kelly Blue Book.

In essence, customers want to see exactly what they are actually buying.

To many people, it may not be much of a surprise that when it comes to acquiring a used car, viewing photos of the exact vehicle, its options, overall condition and actual mileage help a potential buyer make a sound purchase decision, the report also found that when it comes to buying a new vehicle, shoppers want exactly the same advantage.

New or used, car shoppers want to see photos of the exact vehicle on a dealer's lot prior to driving to the dealership.

Numbers show that 74 percent of vehicle buyers say they are more likely to visit a dealership if they are able to view a picture of an actual vehicle currently available on the lot, rather than stock photography. What's more, about 53.1 percent would be more likely to buy that particular vehicle.

All of this could be a problem, because today, most dealerships use stock photography of new vehicles to showcase current model-year vehicles.

"The online automotive shopping and buying process must continue to evolve," said Mike Romano of Kelley Blue Book.

A company statement cited recent research showing that approximately 69.7 percent of new car shoppers are turning to the Internet for research. Nearly half of these shoppers visit at least one dealership Web site during the research process, making the information found there crucial to new customer acquisition.

In conclusion, if viewing pictures are important to many online vehicle buyers, the same would hold true to just about any kind of "physical goods" that can be purchased online, either through a standard eCommerce Web site or a B2B portal.

Food for thought. Does your eCommerce site feature an actual photo of the same product you are trying to sell, and not a 'generic' or stock photo?

Source: eMarketer

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