Software company Nfinite and Coresight Research have released a study on product images in the retail industry.

The survey, encompassing 190 brands and retailers in the US and Europe with annual revenues ranging from $50m to more than $5bn, revealed that 69% of respondents identify product returns as a significant business challenge.

Aggregated return rates suggest that 20% of items bought online are returned to retailers, which results in an estimated $600bn loss.

According to Coresight Research, consumer dissatisfaction with delivered products not aligning with online images contributes to 11% of all returns among the surveyed companies.

Inaccurate imagery can include misrepresenting the size, colour, material or functions of a product.

CGI investment is planned

63% of respondents specified improving the quality of product images as the top measure retail companies plan to adopt in the next year to mitigate returns.

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By GlobalData

Investments in CGI (computer-generated imagery) are planned by 68% of respondents. Brands and retailers already investing in CGI reported its benefits, with 60% citing increased sales conversion alongside lower overall costs and reduced product returns.

Nfinite founder and CEO Alexandre de Vigan commented: “As consumers increasingly rely on online visuals for purchase decisions, the disconnect between product images and reality contributes significantly to the pervasive challenge of product returns.

“Brands and retailers stand to gain substantial benefits, including improved sales conversion and cost reduction, by prioritising enhanced product imagery in their strategies.”