How to step up your online retail game

INVEST MORE TIME IN PHOTOS THAT REALLY TALK UP YOUR PRODUCT

The most successful online retailers know how to walk that delicate line between maximising the perceived value of their products and completely overselling them.

To bring great visual communication to your online store, consider bright, clear images which allow your customer to zoom in to check every detail including fabric texture, stitching, seams, closures, and even a photo of the label. Of course, no customer wants to be surprised by what they find in their mailbox after purchasing, so keep colours as accurate as possible and limit your use of Photoshop –  it’s a fantastic tool for polishing flaws in your images but over-editing is a surefire way to get yourself into hot water.

One final note on online store photos: the best retailers make sure all their product shots look like familythis means the same brightness and the same collection of images per product (eg: front/back/closures/texture/side/motion shot) etc. Creating a cohesive look like this goes a long way towards ensuring your collection looks polished and professional.

REGULARLY UPLOAD NEW CONTENT

Think about your relationship with some of those huge online stores out there like Net-a-Porter and Shopbop. Why do these websites make us want to come back to their websites day after day? Because we know they’re going to have new content for us to lust after.

Even though you may not have the volume of a global giant (…yet) staggering the release of new product entices shoppers to visit on a regular basis.

Want to up your game even further? Take a page out of Kate Spade’s book and ask your web team to add a “Fresh this week!” banner to appear on your newest items.

SELL THE WHOLE LOOK (STYLING WITH OTHER PRODUCTS) 

This might sound like online store logic 101, but it’s amazing how few brands cross-promote items by styling pieces with other items from their inventory! If you’re using a styled lookbook image, make it easy for shoppers to click on other items to complete the look. 

PROMOTE HONESTY, REALNESS AND OPENNESS 

Although it’s pretty commonplace to shop online these days, some customers still experience a little angst about transparency and trusting that what they see online is what’s actually going to show up on their doorstep.  “The research study highlights that consumers’ trust in the overall shipping experience is key to winning online customers from other markets,” Kim Garner, managing director, FedEx Express Australasia says. “Customers need to have confidence that they can return items easily and have access to dependable shipping service.”

Brands like Gap and Modcloth are leading the way by showing honest reviews of products (Fit/Colour, quality as described, etc.) as well as images of customers wearing their purchases. Don’t shy away from negative feedback, it’s all constructive and will help you really nail your next run of products.