Are you looking for ways to improve your online store? Reviewing your product images and photo arrangement is a great place to start. If you manage it well, proper product and photo arrangement can improve your brand on many levels.
Don’t you just love it when you’re walking through the aisles of your favorite store and see a perfect product display? Maybe there’s one celebrating your favorite sports team… or a holiday season. You may not even consciously realize it but, your mind and body react. Often times, these clever displays will put a smile on your face or make you pause in wonder, thinking about how much time and creativity were required to build the eye-catching exhibit. This emotion that passes through your mind and body, it’s all about how the products present!
Clever store displays will increase your happiness and satisfy your overall emotional state, which is really good for the store’s overall sales. The same thing can be done in an eCommerce store, however. With the proper placement of items in your product photos and well thought out placement of images on your site, you’ll see how this type of attention to detail can boost your shoppers’ sentiment and your eCommerce sales.
Make them laugh. Make them smile. Make them sympathize.
Whether you’re sharing your products on social media or just trying to connect with your online followers, coaxing a positive emotion from your target audience will brighten their day and help your overall branding and sales. There are two ways you can look at product photo arrangement:
- What’s in the photo itself.
- Where the photo is placed on your website.
Product Arrangement in the Picture
Working with product arrangement in the photo is often considered one of the fun parts of website building and design. There are many details that go into taking the perfect product photo. At the very least, you’ll likely need lighting, a backdrop, and a quality camera. When working with multiple items for one photo, however, you’ll want to take it up a notch by taking the time to plan an appealing product photo arrangement. This small step will go a long way in making that human connection… especially if you’re working with the main display photo or have several items to display in one photo. There is one rule that consistently stands out, however.
Keep photos organized and tidy, while remaining true to the emotion you want to evoke.
Johan Wagemans, an experimental psychologist specializing in visual perception at the University of Leuven, believes that images that depict items in a tidy, grid-like manner are fundamentally different from the stimuli the brain ordinarily gets.
“It’s the fascination of the image being something different than a messenger of meaning,” Wagemans explains. “Whenever we see things in our environment or when we look at images, the brain is organizing the inputs or trying to make sense of them. Usually, perception is after meaning, but when you start playing with images in a way like this, it’s clear that it’s not about meaning, it’s about the special relationship between things and how they form a group or a composition.”
Knolling, as seen below, is a great way to stay organized and deliver a sense or calm, even when multiple items are to be displayed. It’s the simple idea of organizing related objects in parallel or 90-degree angles but, simple as it may sound, it looks very appealing to a consumer’s eye.
Photos have only an instant to please and grab the attention of the human mind. In a fraction of a second, we’ll either be turned off or turned on to an image, often without understanding why. Image is everything; it affects how much consumers will buy and even pay for a product.
Photo Placement on the Website
To ensure your website provides an ideal and inviting shopping environment, you will need to pay close attention to how you arrange the photo placement on each page. Like with the photos themselves, unorganized, cluttered web pages are a major turnoff to online shoppers. An unpolished website will complicate an eCommerce experience, which prompts a potential customer to jump ship and find a better site to spend their money.
University of Minnesota marketing professor, Kathleen Vohs, understands better than most, how clutter can adversely affect human emotion.
According to Vohs, “Clutter is very stressful on people’s psychology, and there have been a number of studies that have looked at what clutter does to people’s minds, and from that we can take the perspective that things that are tightly organized are going to have the opposite effect.”
Over the years, there has been an abundance of research that is dedicated to studying the way humans react to design. This type of in-depth investigation has led to the latest trend in product photo arrangement – going horizontal. Popular eCommerce brands like Amazon, Overstock, Netflix and Walmart understand that if a website arranges its products from left to right, their online shoppers will scroll to see a greater variety of products than if they are arranged vertically.
Some examples of this horizontal styling can be seen in the image below, with Overstock. As a huge eCommerce retailer, Overstock will naturally stay up-to-date on trends with product photo placement.
And the example is seen here, again, with Netflix. Though Netflix is not a traditional online retailer, digital media photos are aligned similarly for the same reasons physical product photos are.
Here we see the photo placement again with the giant eCommerce retailer, Walmart.
Consumers are constantly being shaped and led by advertising, whether they realize it or not. Think of the smells from your favorite bakery or the energetic music you’ll encounter when walking into a store… Colors, smells, sounds and placements are only a part of what influences our emotions, which influence the decisions we make. If your online store can harness the power of human emotion through clever product and image arrangement, colors, design, etc., an increase in eCommerce sales and overall success will soon follow.
Do you use clever product and photo arrangement to capture sales on your website? We’d love to hear more about your success or frustration with it in the comments below!
Inspired by her love of travel, Susan is a passionate supporter of eCommerce software and the idea that people should own their own internet business (so they can work from anywhere in the world). Though she currently resides in California, she is often found blogging from random beaches and teaching her kindergartner the delightful difference between ‘hola’ and ‘ciao’.
With a strong past in product evaluation, educational content, and eCommerce sales, Susan is serious about helping online merchants succeed in their goals. She loves meeting other independent business owners on the road and hopes to run into you one day… maybe in the hammock next to her!