Visual displays are paramount prerequisites when it comes to efficiently selling one’s e-commerce products. They add value to product descriptions, provide the consumer with valuable information, are reassuring and generate willingness to buy. Given the important stakes at hand, it is vital that you pay attention to product displays. In practice, we know this isn’t always the case, so here’s an overview of the most common mistakes.
1 – Not adding visual displays to your product descriptions
Sounds pretty obvious, right? Well, not to everyone. The absence of visual displays is a common error these days, especially on marketplaces such as Amazon. Searches on these websites often lead to results without any visual displays. This is a terrible mistake as it can hamper the consumer’s enthusiasm to purchase a product. It makes it unlikely for a consumer to actually click on the “product” and open its description. The product’s chances of success are thus reduced tenfold… Product content has to be highlighted through visual displays, aiming for the best level of visibility to attract any consumer.
2 – Only offering one visual display
Granted, one visual display is better than none at all, but it’s not enough. Aside from bulk, fresh products - and even then one could argue it wouldn’t be enough - having only one visual display will decrease e-commerce performance. The job of marketing teams is to brainstorm up ideas for all sides of a product’s packaging during design, so it’s a shame to not leverage this phase. Also, let’s not forget that consumers are behind a screen and cannot handle the product as they would do in a physical store. Even so, they deserve and need to have access to the same quantity of information. The side of the product that contains all consumer information (InCo) should be part of the visual displays on the product description, just like the product’s main front.
3 – Adding the wrong visual displays
We’ve all witnessed more or less important mistakes while visiting ecommerce websites. However, one that really does stand out is when the wrong visual display is linked to a product description. Consumers get confused and can’t know whether to trust the visual display or the product description’s content… Leading to uncertainty when it comes to the sale outcome. Another issue is that the visual displays on product packaging should be updated regularly and quickly. One should also keep an eye out for promotions and discounts (Buy 1 get 1 fee, half price on the 2nd) that don’t actually match the product’s description and price. Trust is a key element of visual merchandising!
4 – Neglecting quality
A visual display in very low definition, with bad proportions, containing a poorly lit product and with an approximate cut-out constitutes… all these run the risk of putting off the consumer. The product needs value to be presented in its best light, without constituting an over-promise either. A high quality product represented by visuals that are not up to par will devalue it and negatively impact the conversion rate. The size of the visual displays must be large enough to allow the consumer to enlarge them in order to see the details.
5 – Not taking ‘consumer experience’ into account
The product visuals are intended for consumers to support them in their shopping journey, and to deliver a pleasant e-commerce experience. Putting yourself in their shoes is an important step. In addition to more traditional visuals (packshots), one could consider offering product scenarios. Contextualising the product via staging can help the consumer picture its use, thus triggering the act of purchase.
6 – Forgetting to synch online and offline channels
Omnichannel marketing requires perfect consistency at all levels in terms of product content, and visuals are no exception. Has the packaging of one of your product ranges undergone a makeover? In this case, it is essential that the product marketed at the physical point of sale be the same as the one featured online. Not only for reasons of brand consistency, but also because it could lead to confusion in the mind of the consumer who does not recognise the product he or she usually buys, and who may therefore begin to question it.
7 – Failure to properly assess the scope of the project
Carrying out all the work related to the creation of product visuals in-house is an approach that can be interesting for brands. Performing these tasks in-house can save money, but it depends on the companies and their organisation. Before starting, it is important to evaluate the capacity to handle such a project internally: expertise, resources, availability, volume of products to be processed, deadlines, etc. Depending on the scope of the project, producing in-house may be an interesting solution, or it may be preferable to use a specialised agency. Please note that in the context of mass product marketing, it is mandatory to respect precise standards, otherwise the referencing of the products will be questioned.
8 – Postponing the time to address the issue
Although e-commerce is now a reality and the role of visual displays is well established, this subject is not on the priority list of all brands. The work that needs to be done in order to have qualitative visuals for all products is too often postponed, because it is not considered a priority, or less so than other subjects. It is however a genuine project to be conducted, which has a strong impact on e-commerce sales. The longer it is postponed, the more work will be required. Putting the creation or updating of visuals for a product database off until the next day (or even the next year!) is not a winning bet.
As you can see, the visuals are your asset to optimise your product descriptions and improve e-commerce performance. For maximum efficiency, choose to entrust the creation or updating of your visuals to a specialised agency. This is particularly important for FMCG products, which are subject to very specific requirements and standards.