Ecommerce: Using images to create a product experience

One of the important things to remember when running an ecommerce store is that customers are unable to touch your product. Normally, shoppers are able to look at these from all angles, they can feel the materials and study it up close. If you don’t keep this in mind when creating your ecommerce sight, it can have a serious impact on sales. This post will explore the use of images and descriptions to create a similar shopping experience.

ECommerce World

When you set up your ecommerce store there’s a good chance you’ve physically handled some of your merchandise. Unfortunately, your customer doesn’t get the same opportunity until after they’ve handed over money. The challenge then is to use images and descriptions to give them an experience of the product.


When they browse your store, the first thing many customers will look at will be thumbnail images of the items for sale. Think of this as the customer scanning the shelves before deciding whether to take a closer look. Clear thumbnails, then, are an important part of your ecommerce store.

Make sure thumbnails show the product clearly even at a small size and combine these with clear descriptions and names to create initial interest.

Product images

Once a customer has elected to look at an item in more detail you need to do more than just show a single image. Your  images should show the item from multiple angles and should include a facility for zooming in on the image. The images should be of a high quality.

One valuable approach can be to use images showing the product in context. In other words, if you’re selling clothing, you could show someone wearing the piece. This gives the customer a chance to imagine the product a little more concretely.

Modelling Dresses

Product descriptions

The description is your opportunity to include all those details that can’t be determined visually. For example, with clothing you can describe the material and sizing to give people a sense of those features that don’t come across in the images.

Not only does the description need to fill in for the fact that the customer can’t hold the item but it also needs to answer some of those questions a customer would normally ask a service representative. So with computer parts you could describe the technical features of the part.

Do you use images and descriptions in your ecommerce store to give customers an experience of your merchandise?

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One comment

  • Recreating the product experience is certainly critical for e-commerce success; and as you say, Daniel, images are a big part of that. I think a lot of e-commerce vendors still don’t take into account, though, that a virtual experience can sometimes be *more* compelling than that of a brick-and-mortar. Using preset zoom levels to focus attention where you want it, or presenting the option for instant custom product visualization–these are tremendous value-adds.

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