Double conversion with a test strategy for digital retailers

Five steps you can take to improve online conversion with a test strategy for digital retailers.

Two questions: How hard could it be to double online conversion? And what can you possibly change on your site that has the potential to do that?

If you’re selling a product range online, your product images could hold the key to improving conversion rates by 100%. That’s what happened to one client who had switched from an expensive format to a really cheap one – and this had doubled conversion rates.

Of course, not everyone can hope to improve online conversion by this much, but the reality is that that conversion will improve by between 9% and 45% with improved images. It all depends on how effective your images are now, and how you can test the sales impact of different images types via a low-risk testing strategy.

5 Steps to improve conversion with images

1. Make the product the hero

In online retail the product is everything; the design, the materials, the pricing. A buyer will go to enormous effort to source a product, and will make sure they are clear about every aspect of the detail and the quality. How well is this care reflected in your business in the approach to online photography?

Effective product photography demands excellent lighting (or the product will look cheaply made and texture, detail and colour won’t come across), and the right composition to make it look appealing and communicate the key shape and design details clearly.

2. Get clear briefs in place

An effective product photograph needs a good brief and this will also improve consistency and the ability to control image quality and costs. A site needs consistent photography throughout because the customer spots the inconsistencies and interprets them negatively in their perception of that brand or retailer.

3. Go large

The bigger the image, the better the response rate – and customers prefer to see images that aren’t obscured by text, flashes and price.

4. Understand the customer

No retail business is successful if it doesn’t know its customer and what they want. This is true of the approach to the customer experience of the product in an online retail experience. What information does your customer want to see about the product they are buying? How well do they rate your existing images? Do they give them what they want? And do they compare favorably to the competition?

To maximize conversion by improving the customer’s experience of your product online, you need to be sure that the customers visual and content needs are being met, and that images are sending out the right messages about accuracy and quality, so that they have the confidence to buy.

5. Test and roll out

The only way you can truly find out your potential to improve conversion with images is to test, and the beauty of this is that it can be done very cost effectively. You can then forecast the ROI of any investment that you may need to factor in to improve the photography process.

Image testing can be carried out in a way that means you build a detailed understanding of how an image is working to sell your products. E.g. has the test shown up that a simple change in lighting is enough to improve sales, or has a different camera angle made the difference, because it makes the products look more imposing and contemporary?

These are two types of simple tests that can be done on images. These tweaks often don’t impact the actual cost of the images, but you do need to understand the technical aspects of product photography to be able to improve image performance on this level and ensure that these learnings are implemented properly across all future photography and quality controlled.

We’ve worked with many of the UK’s leading retailers, brands, manufactures and creative agencies; and we’d love to help you too. Simply drop us a line at or tweet us on @Vedo_Tim and we’ll be in touch.

Share this post: Connect with us on Google+