Brands have realized that featuring customer photos increases conversions. Companies have sprung up to provide a service aggregating photos that match a specific hashtag. Brands moderate the photos and choose which ones to feature on their sites. Examples of such services include Chute, Curelate, and Olapic. There are many others.
What if you could figure out a way to show a customer gallery on the product detail page? Some brands are doing this, like Sheinside and Rent the Runway. Imagine if this was available on all the sites you shop. Which brands would welcome this feature?
Here are some reasons this wouldn't work for some brands.
1. Photos Should be Aspirational
Brands won't show customer photos because they want to create an aspirational image. Even if most customers don't look anything like these models, they expect these customers to aspire to look like them. This is often true of high-fashion. If you don't believe this to be true, see for yourself. Go into a high-fashion brand and ask them if they would be willing to feature customer photos. They might tell you they're happy for customers to share photos via social media with their brand as a hashtag, but they don't want to feature these photos with their products. It could create a negative image. Even if you manually picked the photos, they probably wouldn't want to feature them anyways.
2. There's No Easy Way to Do This
Say a brand did want to show customer photos for some of their products. If they had a desire to show customers of different shapes and sizes wearing their clothes, it's not that easy and it's not that quick. Someone would need to prove that they can increase sales and that it would be worth the cost. It's easy to scan social media channels for photo posts that contain certain keywords and hashtags, and lot's of companies are already doing this.
3. There's No Proof It Improves Conversions
We have good reason to believe if you show people photos of other customers, then they are four times more likely to buy. Does this mean we need to show them other customers wearing anything from a brand, or does it have to be customers wearing the exact product I'm shopping for? There's no proof if we show customers photos of other customers wearing this item, that they are more likely to buy.
4. The Photos May not be Fashionable
Brands want to choose photos that represent the image they are trying to portray. If you tell them that you can provide them with a bucket of photos for each of their products, that won't matter much. They will still have to go through this list and pick the ones they want to use. Even if the person in the photo is attractive and the product is a match, they may not want to show the image because it's simple not fashionable.
Imagine being able to see photos of other customers, when shopping for clothes online. Rent the Runway does this, and it's worked out really well for them. Abercrombie and Fitch has also tried to reward customers for submitting photos. American Apparel suggests you share your photos taken while trying stuff on, and they print a hashtag in the dressing rooms. There is a pretty good chance that some brands may want users to contribute photos, while wearing their products. If we can convince the brands that this will increase conversions and make this easy for them to do, then we might start to see more of this.