Gift Focus inc Attire Accessories - November/December 2022

76 Online art Merchandising is the art and science of displaying products online to increase sales – learn more about it from ‘Nfinite The next revolution in online commerce is e-merchandising. What is it? It’s the art and science of displaying products online to influence shoppers and increase sales. Obviously, a hugely important aspect of e-merchandising is the visual component. Indeed, when consumers shop online, most of the information they can gather about a particular product is its appearance. In other words, the best way to drive sales is great visuals. A survey by Field Agent found that an eye-popping 83% of shoppers consider the product image to be the most crucial trigger in their buying decision—more important than product descriptions, user reviews, or star ratings. Visuals are so influential that U.S. shoppers now expect to see eight different visuals before deciding to make a purchase. Why visuals are vital What does this all mean for retailers? Alexandre de Vigan, CEO, Nfinite, explains, “It means that to compete online, they need to match the voracious appetite of shoppers for product content, especially visual content. Savvy retailers understand that the more they can grab shoppers’ attention with the right content, the more likely they will convert into customers.” Top-flight product visuals create a greater desire in consumers by presenting products in a more dramatic and eye-pleasing way. On the practical side, they provide greater product clarity for consumers, which means buyers are less likely to return items they have purchased. “These days, product visuals can be highly customised, making it easier for shoppers to see products from different angles and often in real-life contexts. For example, many online furniture retailers now enable shoppers to see how a new sofa will look in their living room. If you’re a retailer, the better customers can contextualize the visual image and imagine their lives with your products in them, the more likely they are to buy your products,” he adds. Alexander continues, “You would think by now that all online retailers would appreciate the importance of great visuals. But many don’t. I recently spoke with people at a large cosmetics brand who told me that they often use the same visual asset for the lifetime of a particular product. This approach is so 10 years ago. Today, when a cosmetics retailer—or any retailer—posts a product visual on, say, Instagram, it is devoured by consumers within 24 hours and should not be used again. We’re living in an age of hyper-consumption, and it has completely changed the visual game for online retailers.” A photo studio in the cloud This new paradigm dramatically alters the way retailers create the photographic images they use in their e-merchandising efforts. Savvy retailers are rethinking how they shoot product images,