8 Strategies for Using Visual Content to Improve Ecommerce User Experience

2 months ago   •   7 min read

By Grace Lau

Image is everything. At least, it is when it comes to selling products through your ecommerce website.  

There’s nothing like quality product and lifestyle visuals to boost customer engagement and drive sales. To keep up with the competition, your ecommerce website must feature beautiful imagery that serves to guide your customers through a pleasurable shopping experience.

The right visuals encourage conversions by creating a sense of confidence in your customers’ purchasing decisions. For example, a successful online retail store selling apparel would include images of items from different angles to reinforce positive buying behavior actions.

Because online consumers don’t have the advantage of touching products, your visuals have to be more effective in converting browsers to shoppers. Uninspiring stock product categories aren’t going to encourage users to move straight to cart and through to checkout.

Ecommerce sites with great visual content improve the user experience in many ways. A few of these benefits include:

  • Products appearing more attractive
  • Demonstrating vital social proof
  • Better visibility of popular products
  • Driving more business revenue
  • Bringing the in-store experience online
  • Encouraging customers to share images on social media
  • Increasing website conversions

The following eight strategies will work to address the visuals on your ecommerce website. And then make them better.

1. High-quality imagery is key.

Replace all your product images, and source or take high-quality photos that make your products shine. You don’t have to necessarily go down the professional photographer route. You can take attractive images with a smartphone, which are preferable to insipid pictures found in a quick online search.

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Accessibility is a consideration with website visuals, too. Ensuring your website is available to everyone means that you aren’t narrowing your audience. To accommodate your visually impaired audience, use high-contrast color combinations to make features pop. Readable fonts and alt text, as well as video subtitles, are great ways to improve your website’s accessibility.

Don’t forget to include useful and detailed product descriptions for customers to make informed decisions. The aim of the game is to produce product listings that incite confidence and reassure customers that their purchasing decision is the right one.

Why this one is important: clear and crisp premium imagery works to convey trust in your business’s brand. Once you implement stylish images of your items, you’ll achieve high-converting product pages that will do the hard selling for you.

2. Bigger is better.

The second point sticks with the quality images theme. While replacing your product images with higher quality photos, consider the image size, too. Larger images allow customers to zoom in for extra detail and clarity. When consumers can see every last detail of a product, they’re much more likely to pop it in their cart.

How big are we talking? Ecommerce images should be as large as needed to fill the frames. Learn image dimensions to identify how extended the content area is on your website. This strategy not only reinforces customer trust in your products but also adheres to best practices for optimal website performance. Well-optimized product images that load quickly don’t slow your site down or cause customer frustration.

Successful online product sales materialize when items are demonstrated in context.

3. Lifestyle goals.

Successful online product sales materialize when items are demonstrated in context. Because your customers are visual beings, lifestyle images help them imagine how products are best used and how they work. Featuring lifestyle pictures on your ecommerce website answers customers’ questions about products and delivers reassurance.    

How to do it: create cloud-based product catalog images like the one below from activewear brand Fabletics. This example successfully displays how the outfit looks during sport and assists users with visualizing the outfit on themselves.

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4. Videos verify products.

Taking the time to ascertain what your customers want to see requires a certain level of emotional intelligence. Regardless of your target customer demographic, the majority of consumers are so familiar with video content that there’s an expectation of seeing product videos while shopping online.

By including product videos on your ecommerce site, you’ll encourage your users to stick around for longer, thus enhancing their experience and opportunities for upping your average sales order value.

Pro tip: always video products in context so that they appear natural and capture the imagination of your customers. Experiment with 3D videos to offer different angles of your products.

5. Unboxing videos.

Along with email personalization trends, in the content world, unboxing videos are the latest movement in the ecommerce space. The premise is that customers unbox orders for the first time on video. Done correctly, this retail tactic generates plenty of customer engagement and excitement about your product offerings. This specific type of video content creates a sense of eagerness and inspires watchers to purchase so that they can feel similar experiences.

Reach out to customers and encourage them to post their own unboxing videos on social media that you can share. You could even ask for a cheeky testimonial at the same time!  

Level up: partner up with an influencer to create unboxing videos for your business. If you need any further incentive, studies show that 42.4% of US social media users make purchasing decisions based on content from social media influencers.  

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6. Implement infographics.

Complex product specifications and detail are best served in a visually appealing infographic. If your business’s products are feature-heavy, consider adding infographics to make the necessary information easy to digest for your customers. Infographics add on-brand visual content to your website and can increase organic search engine traffic.

How to use infographics: highlight the primary features of products and item instructions that would otherwise be displayed in reams of unreadable text. The example below shows zoomed-in features of the product with explanations of the materials used, which works well to highlight the corkscrew’s benefits.

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7. Augmented reality (AR).

Advancements in AR technology uncover huge benefits for ecommerce stores. In online shopping, tactile observation is lacking and must be replaced by another sense. With this regard, AR helps customers visualize your products in real-world scenarios and offers unique interactive experiences with your brand’s offerings.  

Similar to a telepresence vs video conferencing scenario, AR offers a much more immersive experience with products than standard product catalog pages. Use 3D models for your products to increase confidence in your products’ quality and enable a better understanding of each item.  

Bring your products to life: add product media directly to your product pages, or use metafields. You may need to ask your web developer for instructions for this content strategy.

8. Shoppable images.

As part of a great ecommerce user experience, shoppable images must come as standard. Consumers expect the omnichannel approach to online shopping, and if they have to flick between one site and another to buy a product, chances are, they won’t bother.

Connect your website to all your relevant social media platforms to make all your digital product visuals shoppable. Then your business won’t be in any danger of missing potential sales opportunities.  

Make it happen: Instagram shoppable posts are on fire right now as they offer another channel to sell products. Shoppable images ensure that your sales funnel is shortened, leading to happier and more satisfied customers.

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A note about mobile.

In 2021, 72.9% of consumers used mobile devices to purchase online. That whopping statistic demonstrates how vital it is that your ecommerce website is optimized for mobile. A mobile responsive web design loads quickly on mobile devices and delivers a positive consumer experience.

We’ve already mentioned that making customer experiences enjoyable and simple is the key to maximizing sales. Don’t make the mistake of thinking your website’s visuals don't need to look as good or be as responsive on mobiles. It’s highly likely that your customers are browsing your site on their mobile rather than on a desktop device.

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