TIP: On your category pages of your e-commerce site, increase the size and the amount of images for a given product.
We are all attracted by aesthetically pleasing images. They get our attention, engage us, and put us at ease by reducing the tension involved with purchasing online. Many of us are so accustomed to purchasing online that we subconsciously battle this tension without knowing it. Internally we battle with ourselves to decide whether it is a justifiable purchase, but also whether the vendor is reputable, and whether our credit card info will be safe and secure. By using product images you quell some of this tension. You provide your potential customer with as much information as possible, show them any available options (color choices, sizes, etc.), and set them at ease.
For example…if you visit a site for the first time and are inundated with bright-colored sale graphics that announce ’10% Off’ and seizure-inducing, flashing ‘Click Here’ buttons, most likely you will not be able to click the back button fast enough. When shopping for a car, do you look at listings without pictures? What do you think when you see ‘Great Condition’ but no picture?
Product images help your potential customer understand exactly what they are getting. If they are wondering about a specific feature or aspect of your product and you can highlight it with a close-up shot, you are much more likely to ease their mind and win that conversion. For many consumer products, it has become the standard to offer 360-degree views of the product. Again, you are showing your potential customer exactly what they are purchasing…No Surprises. If you have an e-commerce site, make sure on your category page that you are showing images that clearly show the product, so people know exactly what they are clicking on and going to see next. If your widget comes in red and blue, show them that those options are available for that product and show them the both the blue widget and the red widget.
Images should be large enough to provide enough detail to set your potential customer’s mind at ease and answer any of their questions. Put yourself in their shoes and try to think of their points of objection. If you are squinting at the screen and not quite sure whether a specific feature has been done justice, then you haven’t. Just like everything in conversion optimization, it should be quick, concise, and clear. If there is any uncertainty you risk losing conversions.
In conclusion, images are your friend. Sorry to be cheesy, but they are ‘worth a thousand words.’ You can tell your potential so much more about your product, and what they are hopefully buying, in a group of images than you ever could with text. Images help you reduce tension for your potential customer, and help them along the path to conversion.