How high-quality visual experiences are driving growth in the ecommerce sector

Every online business has to do without the touch-and-feel aspect, which is why ecommerce companies are now focusing on building incredible, consistent visual experiences to drive growth.
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If you are running an ecommerce business, you would know that there is more to getting customers to buy from you than just the product you sell. Yes, they are a vital part of ecommerce, but a good product alone won't help a business succeed. 

And the reason for that is that people don't just buy a product; they buy into an experience. They become regular customers for the business's overall experience - on the store or off it. 

Through the experience you offer, whether through social media or customer support, or the checkout experience on your website, you have to appeal constantly to a customer's emotions and senses.

As with every online business, because your customer cannot touch or feel the product you sell, the sensory appeal must be visual. And that is why we now see businesses focus on building incredible, consistent visual experiences to drive growth.

Let's look at a few examples of this that brands have implemented.

1. On-site visual experiences

A large part of the buying experience for a customer is when they are on your website or app. If you cannot focus on other channels, it is at least essential to have well-designed, uniform experiences on your online store to help users complete the purchase. You should ensure:

a. The experience on mobile web or apps is good, if not better than that on desktops or laptops. More users now access the internet via mobile phones than other devices, so the experience there can't be ignored.

b. You are using beautiful product photos and accompanying visuals. These photos are the only time the customer can "see" a product before making a purchase. So, make sure you show them the best possible images (or videos) of the products.

c. You are using visual cues to drive the customer towards completing the purchase or giving them more confidence. For example, delivery services started showing measures that they have taken to counter COVID during the checkout experience to assure the user of a safe experience after completing the transaction.

d. The page loads quickly. A visually appealing page and great product photos are no good if they cannot load quickly on your customer's device.

2. Off-site experiences

When the customer is not on your website, they can still interact with your brand via other platforms like social media, email, display ads on third-party websites, push notifications that you send to their phones, and so on. 

Every such experience that the customer has when not on your store should be visually and tonally consistent with the experience on your store.

Through these off-site experiences, you want your customer to register a particular emotion, messaging, colour in their mind for your brand. The aim should be that the customer finds similarities between on and off-site experiences.

An excellent example of this is how Zomato has a consistent visual experience across platforms. A quick look at their social media posts, mobile app, emails, and notifications is enough to highlight the consistency of the visuals.

3. Experiments with new forms of visual experiences

Ecommerce stores are now experimenting with different media and experiences to bring the online shopping experience as close as possible to that in a physical store. The use of product videos by Myntra, and the use of '3D Try On' by Lenskart, are standout examples of this trend in India. 

Several stores have also started using larger product photos, 360-degree product views, and automatic image sliders on product listing pages to help compensate for the lack of the physical touch and feel online.

Though often done as experiments, these visual changes would start becoming the norm, if not already.

More tools to democratise creating such experiences, coupled with better internet connectivity, more features, and compute power on the consumers' devices, will help adopt these trends.

4. Enabling high-quality visual experiences as a growth driver

The above examples highlight how building a good experience is not just about the page load time and having a great product to sell. As a business, you should carefully strategise how you want your brand to be perceived online and what role the visual experience would play in that. The customer should relate to your brand, and the experience that they get should help distinguish yourself from the competition.

Only the right strategy can’t help achieve this; the right tools should also be in place. Using a Digital Asset Management tool will help your creative teams manage and collaborate on the digital assets and deliver a consistent, high-quality visual experience across platforms that would drive growth for your business. 

Edited by Teja Lele Desai

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)

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