Customers shopping online are paying close attention to product images shown on the product page. Just check out the recent controversy between retailer H&M and popular singer, The Weeknd. This incident demonstrates the impact that digital assets, including product images, have on customers browsing a retail site. Since digital assets, like product images, can sway a customers’ decision about whether or not to purchase an item, it’s essential that your retail site’s product data management includes robust, plentiful, high-performance images.
We recently discussed how cleansed, normalized product attributes can deliver an enhanced customer experience that aims to replicate the in-depth product interaction attained through in-store shopping. Displaying a wealth of high-quality, varied product images that showcase every aspect of the item offered for sale serves the same purpose. Visuals can be especially important since a main product image might be the first thing to catch a browsing customer’s eye, going beyond the basic product title.
But does one single image really go far enough to give customers an enhanced online shopping experience that will lead to brand loyalty, conversion and repeat sales? One image on the product page is definitely better than no images at all, but most customers will be looking for multiple images that highlight product details from several angles. Let’s dig deeper into why multiple product images are important aspects of effective product pages.
Multiple Product Images Make it Easy to Reference Product Information
One of the easiest ways to learn basic information about the product on the page is to glance at the product image section. In the Internet age, people often don’t read every word on the page, so skimming the written text and quickly referencing product images go hand-in-hand for fast answers. As this blog post from Moz explains it, one main purpose of product images is to tell the customer what the product is and what it does.
So how do multiple images play a role in this regard? The main image, which typically shows just the front-facing angle of the item, doesn’t always provide enough information. Think of a television, for example. Using multiple images of different product angles allows the customer to view the screen depth, various inputs and outputs, possible compatibility with a wall-mount and how the stand holds the TV up (i.e. 4 separate feet or 1 central support stand), rather than simply showing the front of the screen, which doesn’t offer much information at all.
Multiple Product Images Highlight Product Features
Although customers are likely to skim text on the product page at first, this by no means suggests that the product copy is any less important. That's why images should complement and amplify aspects of the neighboring content. Utilizing multiple product images that show close-ups of various product details can be instrumental in highlighting the product features outlined in the product page, ultimately demonstrating what sets the product apart from similar items. What’s more, close-ups that show specific product details can help lead to more online sales and increased conversion.
Let’s look at refrigerators as an example. At minimum, the main product image for a refrigerator is probably the straight-on front view of the doors. But this angle alone doesn’t show enough information about specific features the refrigerator might have, many of which are only visible with the doors open. The number, material and arrangement of interior shelves and drawers, adjustable temperature controls, extra water filters and dispensers and light bulb placement are all features best displayed by close-ups and multiple angle views. In addition, many consumers are interested in the side panel color of refrigerators, since these appliances might be placed at the end of a line of countertops, so side-angle views can also be instrumental in a browsing customer’s purchase decision.
Multiple Product Images Provide Lifestyle Context
Product images that include models, accessories, settings, graphics and references to help demonstrate the item’s size and use can help customers visualize how the item might fit into their specific lifestyle. For example, a customer could easily visualize how a certain pair of shoes could work with their existing wardrobe by seeing a photograph of a model wearing the shoes with a complementary outfit. A graphic that demonstrates how fast and easy it is to install a particular car seat would appeal to a busy parent who is always on the go. It is certainly important to include these types of product aspects in the product descriptions and features, but showing the same components through a variety of images makes it easier for customers to imagine using the product in their lives.
Don’t Forget About Image Quality
With all digital assets, it’s important not to sacrifice quality for quantity. It’s clear that multiple product images enhance the customer’s experience on a product page, but that positive experience can quickly turn into a negative one if the images are blurry and small. Poor-quality images can diminish a customer’s trust in your retail brand, causing them to leave your site and never look back. Product images make a lasting impression on browsing customers, so it’s imperative that the impression your retail site’s images have on customers only contributes to a great shopping experience that will keep them coming back for more.
Want to make sure you can consistently offer a wide variety of outstanding product images to your retail site customers? Virtucom Group’s item onboarding team has years of experience acquiring the best selection of product images across many different product types. Contact us today to learn more about ProdX by Virtucom Group, and ask how our managed product data service can keep your retail site stocked with the product images your customers are looking for.