10 BASICS OF EFFECTIVE ONLINE MERCHANDISING

The merchandising 101 of e-retailing that can make or break your venture

1.Think Like Your Customer
2.Don't Run With Turkeys
3.Use Cross-Sell Effectively
4.If I Can't Find It...You Ain't Got It!
5.Why Should I Buy From YOU?
6.Every Product's Worth a Picture
7.You Gotta Be Easy
8.Create an Impulse To Buy
9.If They Wanted to Call...
10.Learn to Feed the Need!

Every Product's Worth a Picture

It’s easy to understand the importance of using good product photography for items purchased primarily on visual appeal. Chances are you wouldn’t buy a shirt, or a piece of art without seeing a picture of it.

It may surprise you to know how important pictures are for products that are purchased based on technical specifications, or other non-visual merchandising.

It takes a picture to get screwed:

I consulted for a client that sells airplane fasteners – screws, bolts, nuts, rivets, etc. Each of the products had to meet certain specifications for strength, size and specific fit for a demanding application like aeronautics.

Their number one selling product – the item they sold more of than anything else was a particular type of screw that had a special ridge cut out of it. They weren’t the only retailer who carried it – almost all of their competitors sold it – but everyone bought it from them. And their price point was almost double that of their competitors.

The reason they had the market cornered on that particular screw was simple. They had a picture of it on their site. All of their competitors just listed a part number and size – assuming that since those were the most important aspects of selecting the screw, those specifications would be sufficient.

People shop visually!!!

What the competitors failed to realize is that people shop visually. Don’t just tell me the screw has the special ridge cut out of it…show it to me. Let me see that it’s the right ridge cut out, in the right place. Let me verify visually that it is in fact what I’m looking for.

No matter what type of product you sell, a visual demonstration of the product will add value to your merchandising.

If it's worth a picture, it's worth a QUALITY picture!

Obviously for some types of products, pictures are of incredible importance. And for those types of products, good pictures are important.

As an example, if you’re shopping for shirts, you want to see not only the design of the shirt, you want to see how it fits – is it a tightly tailored cut, or a looser cut? How short are those “short sleeves” really? How far does that neckline come down? These are visual cues that that can only be effectively demonstrated if the shirt is photographed on a person or mannequin.

When considering product photography, don’t think as a retailer. Think as a customer. If you are shopping for this product, what visual cues will you need? What will you need to be able to see and experience to decide on a product?

As a general rule, every product needs a picture. And every picture needs to be effective. If it’s a very simple product, or one purchased on technical specifications, a single snapshot might be effective. But, if it’s a complex product or purchased on visualization, it might need a specially posed photograph, or even multiple photographs to be merchandised effectively.

Never skimp where product photography is concerned.

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