Improve the Visual Experience of Shopping Online

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013
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“The visual process of shopping is most crucial for merchants selling online” – Practical eCommerce.

If you are looking to refine a visual component of your online business this spring, start with Product Images. Product Images are one of, if not the most important components of any product page. With no way to touch, feel, or smell products online, images act as the key connection and interaction shoppers experience when buying online. It is vital for merchants to display quality Products Images throughout their online store.

Here are four ways to improve your Product Images:

Make sure your product images are unique:
Every Product Image is indexed by search engines so it is critical for merchants to have use of their own Product Images with image names(a.ka. Image Alt Tags) that are similar to the product they displayed with. Quality Images also provide merchants with ways to stand out in search engines and draw traffic from additional channels. Do not use images that can be found elsewhere on web.

Edit each Product Image:
The colors, clarity, border of each image are some of the most important aspects of quality visual presentation. For an image to “pop” off the page and draw a shoppers attention it must be clear, crisp, and have some means of standing out. Adding an effect or border to your images can be a great way of accomplishing this.

Make sure image sizes are consistent throughout your online store:
Consistency is key when it comes to branding. Product Thumbnail Images (found on product list pages) are the first thing shoppers see when clicking on a product category. Make sure each of your Thumbnail Images are the same size. Most merchants have success with Thumbnail Images that are around 225 pixels wide. Mobile Images are usually around 80 pixels wide by 80 pixels high. Main Images (product detail page) can be larger, they are usually less than 350 pixels wide.

Display Multiple Views of Each Product:
People don’t judge a book by it’s cover so why should online shoppers have to? Displaying only one visual of a product is like judging a book by it’s cover. Shoppers need more before they are ready to make their purchase so they pick up a book, read the back cover, the table of contents, etc. Give your online shoppers a similar experience by displaying multiple views / images of your product. Show an image from a different angle, show an image of your product in use, or show an image of one of the product key components. The point is, show more than just the cover (1 image). Give the customer a visual experience with your images.

Remember, customers are much more likely to share, pin, or tell a friend about an item that is visually appealing. The better your product images are, the visual experience is, the more likely shoppers and customers are to tell their friends about it.

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Bobby Cintolo is a Senior Account Executive at Nexternal. Bobby is passionate about wine and he specializes in helping merchants increase their brand awareness using social media and mobile marketing tools.