How High-Quality Visual Experiences Drive Growth in the Ecommerce Industry
If you run an ecommerce business, you know it’s not just the product you’re selling that gets customers to buy from you. Yes, they are an essential part of ecommerce, but a good product alone will not help a business be successful.
And the reason is that people don’t just buy a product; they buy into an experience. They become repeat customers for the overall business experience – in or out of store.
Through the experience you offer, whether it’s through social media or customer support, or the payment experience on your website, you have to constantly appeal to a customer’s emotions and senses.
As with any online business, because your customer can’t touch or smell the product you’re selling, the sensory appeal needs to be visual. And that’s why we’re now seeing businesses focusing on creating amazing, cohesive visual experiences to drive growth.
Let’s look at some examples of what brands have implemented.
1. Visual experiences on site
Much of a customer’s shopping experience happens when they’re on your website or app. If you can’t focus on other channels, at least having well-designed and consistent experiences on your online store is essential to help users complete the purchase. You must make sure:
a. The experience on the web or mobile apps is good or even better than that on desktops or laptops. More users now access the internet through mobile phones than other devices, so the experience cannot be ignored.
b. You use beautiful product photos and accompanying visuals. These photos are the only time the customer can “see” a product before making a purchase. So be sure to show them the best possible images (or videos) of the products possible.
vs. You use visual cues to get the customer to complete the purchase or give them more confidence. For example, delivery services have started showing the measures they have taken to counter COVID during the payment experience to ensure the user has a safe experience after completing the transaction.
D. The page loads quickly. A visually appealing page and great product photos are worthless if they can’t load quickly on your customer’s device.
2. Off-site experiences
When the customer is not on your website, they can still interact with your brand through other platforms such as social media, email, display ads on third party websites, push notifications that you send to their phones etc.
Every such experience that the customer has when not in your store should be visually and tonally consistent with your store experience.
Through these offsite experiences, you want your customer to register a particular emotion, message, color in their mind for your brand. The goal should be for the customer to find similarities between onsite and offsite experiences.
A great example of this is how Zomato has a consistent viewing experience across all platforms. A quick glance at their social media posts, mobile app, emails and notifications is enough to highlight the consistency of the visuals.
3. Experiment with new forms of visual experiences
E-commerce stores are now experimenting with different mediums and experiences to make the online shopping experience as close as possible to that of a physical store. The use of product videos by Myntra and the use of “3D Try On” by Lenskart are notable examples of this trend in India.
Several stores have also started using larger product photos, 360-degree product views, and automatic image sliders on product listing pages to help make up for the lack of physical contact and feel online.
Although often done on an experimental basis, these visual changes would start to become the norm, if they haven’t already.
More tools to democratize the creation of such experiences, coupled with better internet connectivity, more features and computing power on consumer devices, will help embrace these trends.
4. Enable high-quality visual experiences as an engine of growth
The examples above show that creating a great experience isn’t all about page load time and selling a great product. As a business, you need to carefully strategize on how you want your brand to be perceived online and what role the visual experience would play in it. The customer needs to identify with your brand and the experience they get should help set you apart from the competition.
Only the right strategy can not help achieve this goal; the right tools also need to be in place. Using a digital asset management tool will help your creative teams manage and collaborate on digital assets and deliver a consistent, high-quality visual experience across all platforms, which would drive your business growth.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)