Adam Colasanto
Director of Consumer Intelligence, Vizit
Adam leads Vizit’s Client and Professional Services teams, overseeing all analytic work and client relationships. Adam came to Vizit with more than a decade of experience leading consumer intelligence, market research and data insight teams at agencies like ICUC, Edelman Intelligence and Crimson Hexagon. He has built Vizit’s client services programs on what he believes are the core tenets of any successful client partnership: Being customer obsessed and data-savvy.

In this Visual Brand Performance analysis, we compare gum product images from top-selling brands featured across Amazon’s digital shelf to reveal the most and least effective product and supporting carousel images within the category.

Fresh breath: Trivial in 2020, All-important in 2021

Chewing gum, the quintessential impulse purchase at checkout, is one of many product categories that saw a decline in sales due to the COVID-19 pandemic over the past year and a half. Fewer in-person shopping trips means fewer impulse checkout aisle purchases. Plus, as one Hershey’s executive put it, “The functional need for breath freshening continues to be impacted by social distance.”

But with return-to-normalcy across the United States, sales of products like teeth whiteners are spiking, indicating that consumers are preparing for life without masks. However, just because consumers are leaving their homes doesn’t mean the way they shop hasn’t fundamentally changed during the pandemic. According to the Harvard Business Review, the shift to ecommerce isn’t going anywhere: “Sixty percent [of US consumers] are currently visiting brick-and-mortar stores less than before the pandemic, and 43% shop more often online for products they would have previously bought in stores.”

Two things are clear: US consumers are preparing for life post-lockdown and they still want the convenience of online shopping they’ve become used to during the pandemic. But which gum brands are the most visually optimized to capture the attention of consumers and drive traffic and conversions on the digital shelf?

We used Vizit’s Visual Brand Performance Platform to compare product hero and supporting carousel images of Amazon’s top 100 best-selling products within the gum category, to reveal the most and least effective images for Amazon shoppers. The analysis surfaced visual patterns and trends that drive ecommerce consumers to notice, click, and purchase gum on the digital shelf.

The Analysis: Chewing Gum Across Amazon’s Digital Shelf

Using Vizit’s Patented Visual Brand Performance Platform we analyzed the images being used by listings within Amazon’s bestsellers list for the gum category (including 69 product hero images and 300+ supporting carousel & lifestyle images).

Vizit’s AI technology analyzes more than 15,000 visual cues contained within each image, and provides a numerical Visual Effectiveness Score (0-100%) to determine the effectiveness of each image for distinct consumer audiences. The highest scoring images are most aligned with their core consumer audience’s visual preferences, and are more effective at generating views, clicks, and conversions with their intended audience.

The Results: The most and least effective gum images on Amazon’s digital shelf 

The Amazon bestselling gum category encompasses 69 unique product listings across 25 brands. What makes a gum product listing holistically visually effective for Amazon shoppers? An analysis of average Visual Effectiveness Score for all images within product listings on Amazon’s bestselling gum list revealed the most and least visually effective listings. 

The top 5 gum listings based on average Visual Effectiveness Score across all product imagery in the bestseller category:

With an average score of 64.2%, the most visually effective listing among Amazon Shoppers is Trident Cinnamon Gum – 24 Count. The listing contains 4 images in total—1 product hero image and 3 supporting carousel images. 

Highest Scoring Gum Listing: Amazon Shoppers

The high score for this listing is driven by product images that fill the frame, leaving minimal white space surrounding the product. Callouts about the quantity of gum in the pack also contribute to this listing’s high Visual Effectiveness score. 

Runner-up for the most visually effective product listing is Dentyne Ice Arctic Chill. This high score is once again driven by frame-filling imagery and quantity callouts.  

Second Highest Scoring Gum Listing: Amazon Shoppers

On the opposite side of the spectrum, the following listings had the lowest average Visual Effectiveness Score across all product imagery: 

Lowest Scoring Gum Listing: Amazon Shoppers

The low Visual Effectiveness Scores across these images are driven by the ample white space around the product. 

Runner-up for lowest scoring listing is for PUR Gum Variety Pack. This listing contains 7 images – 1 product hero and 6 carousel images. These low Visual Effectiveness Scores reflect a greater trend across images: products with significant white space on the packaging are not visually effective on the Amazon digital shelf. 

Second Lowest Scoring Gum Listing: Amazon Shoppers

Visual Trend Analysis: Most and Least Effective Product Hero Images

An analysis of product hero imagery across 69 bestselling gum products on Amazon’s digital shelf revealed that “Trident Cinnamon Sugar Free Gum, 24 Packs of 14 Pieces” has the most effective product hero image among Amazon Shoppers. 

The image earned a Visual Effectiveness Score of 97.1% — meaning that the image is more effective than 97.1% of other product hero images in this category. 

Trident products accounted for 5 of the 8 most effective product hero images for Amazon Shoppers. The attention maps below for the top 8 most effective product hero images show that the customer’s eye is drawn to the large, clear, high-contrast brand names on each image. 

Highest Scoring Gum Product Hero Images: Amazon Shoppers

The lowest scoring product hero images on the digital shelf are driven by visuals of gum in bags. Compared to images of gum in boxes, they are noticeably less visually effective for the Amazon shopper audience. The red overlay indicates areas that are likely to attract negative attention from an Amazon shopper audience. 

Lowest Scoring Gum Product Hero Images: Amazon Shoppers

Visual Trend Analysis: Most and Least Effective Supporting Carousel Images

When it comes to the most effective supporting carousel imagery, Icebreakers takes the prize for most visually effective carousel image. The Spearmint Icebreakers product image earned a Visual Effectiveness Score of 94.4%.

Isolated product imagery without wrappers or other lifestyle elements are highly effective visuals for consumers shopping for gum on Amazon. Amongst the top 8 most effective carousel images, 5 were images of the gum itself without wrappers or packaging.

Highest Scoring Gum Supporting Carousel Images: Amazon Shoppers

The lowest scoring supporting carousel images on the digital shelf are driven by visuals of the back of gum packs and bags. In some listings these are the only other images provided for consumers to view while shopping.

Lowest Scoring Gum Supporting Carousel Images: Amazon Shoppers

Visual Trends

The analysis of over 350 chewing gum product and carousel images using Vizit’s Visual Brand Performance platform surfaced key visual trends including:

1. Keep the focus on the product. Supporting carousel imagery without people in it performs better with Amazon Shoppers than imagery that includes people. Flat lay images and overhead shots of product imagery are particularly effective for the Amazon shopper audience.

2.  Fill the white space. Top scoring gum product hero images on Amazon are cropped to fill more of the frame. Product images with lower visual effectiveness scores tend to include more white space, and feature a smaller product visual.

3. Call out quantities. Product hero and carousel images that include details about the quantity of gum in a given pack or box have higher visual effectiveness scores than images that do specifically call out quantity.

Amazon digital shelf visual dominance: powered by AI 

Gum sales fell 8% in 2020, but it’s still a $2.88 billion category. As the US begins to return to normalcy this summer, there’s potential for gum sales to rise to pre-pandemic numbers. The opportunity to grab market share as consumers begin shopping again is too big for brands to ignore. 

The guessing game brands are currently playing while selecting product hero and carousel imagery on the digital shelf could be costing them millions of dollars in missed sales. To win on the digital shelf, brands will need to elevate their visual brand performance and take a data-driven approach to creating highly engaging visual experiences for their consumer audiences. Vizit’s AI technology helps brands across industries see their products on the digital shelf through the eyes of target consumers, uncovering trends and visual cues that can’t be detected by the naked eye.  

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