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6 insights from the Ecommerce Playbook

A special sample of Ariyh’s new Ecommerce Optimization Playbook.

163 of you have already bought the Ecommerce Playbook, and the initial feedback I am getting is fantastic. Thank you! To paraphrase Rory Sutherland, you would be mad to neglect this ‘Ecommerce preflight checklist’:

You can buy the Ecommerce Playbook here 👇

Unsure if it’s for you? I’ve put together a free sample with 6 recommendations for you (out of the 74 in total).

This sample is part of the “Product Page Optimization - Product Visuals” section of the Ecommerce Playbook.

Where your models should be looking

📈 Recommendation

  • Models in your images should look away from the camera and the viewer if your product is bought for enjoyment (e.g. chocolate, a holiday). In an A/B test, sales of a sun hat were 30% higher and people rated the ad 19% better when the model was looking away.

  • Models should look at the camera if the message is informational (e.g. product features, price) or involves negative emotions (e.g. poverty alleviation, anti-smoking).

🧠 How it works

  • When a model’s gaze looks away from the camera, it’s easier for viewers to transport themselves into the model’s place and imagine themselves using the product.

  • A direct gaze makes it clear that the person in the ad is someone else, not the viewer. It also makes the message feel more credible if the person giving the information is making eye contact.

🎓 Research

Scientific research by To, R.N. and Patrick, V.M. How the eyes connect to the heart: The influence of eye gaze direction on advertising effectiveness. Journal of Consumer Research (February 2021).

Universities: Bauer College of Business, University of Houston.

PRO TIP: Show contextual background with women’s clothes

If you are selling women’s clothes, show models wearing them while in a contextual background (e.g. a reception for a cocktail dress, while jogging for sportswear), rather than a plain white background. They will be more likely to buy. This does not matter for men’s clothes.

Include in images items that can be grabbed

📈 Recommendation

  • If your product can be held or grabbed (e.g. a mug, a remote, a screwdriver), position it around the right side of the image, so that people can more easily imagine picking it up and holding it with their right hand.

  • If your product can’t be picked up or held (e.g. a painting, software), include in the image another object that can be picked up, and place it near the main product.

  • Signups to a supermarket loyalty program were 3x higher when a vegetable peeler was strategically positioned on the right side of the billboard.

🧠 How it works

  • When people see an object positioned so it can be grasped by their dominant hand, they have a stronger feeling that they own it. The effect spills over to other items in the same field of vision.

  • 90% of the world’s population is right-handed, so you should tailor for them to maximize your sales.

🎓 Research

Scientific research by Maille, M., Morrin, M., Reynolds-McIlnay, R. On the other hand…: Enhancing promotional effectiveness with haptic cues. Journal of Marketing Research (October 2019).

Universities: KEDGE Business School; Rutgers University - Camden and Oregon State University.

PRO TIP: Adjust your product’s color saturation

The color saturation of your product makes it look bigger or smaller. If you want your product to look larger (e.g. a large bag of chips), use high color saturation. If you want your product to seem smaller (e.g. a portable charger), use low color saturation. People will be more likely to buy.

Surround your product with complementary products

📈 Recommendation

  • Surround your main product with complimentary products (e.g. accessories, add-ons). People will pay more attention to your main product and will be more likely to buy it. Sales of the complementary products aren’t affected.

  • The more complex and diverse the display of complementary products - including a mix of colors or shapes - the stronger the effect (e.g. a variety of sunglasses, necklaces, scarves, and sun hats alongside a dress for sale).

🧠 How it works

  • Displays with high design complexity (different shapes, sizes, colors, and arrangements) tend to be more likable, interesting, and engaging.

  • Using complimentary items (vs unrelated items) ensures that people aren’t confused by the display, and are able to focus their increased attention on the main product.

🎓 Research

Scientific research by Radon, A., Brannon, D.C., and Reardon, J. Ketchup with your fries? Utilizing complementary product displays to transfer attention to a focal product. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services (October 2020).

Universities: Södertörn University and Monfort College of Business, University of Northern Colorado.

PRO TIP: Adjust the position of future or past-related products

People like future-oriented products (e.g. high-tech) more when they are in the right side of an image. Vice versa, they like past-related products (e.g. vintage) more when they’re on the left. Flip this if your audience reads from right to left (e.g. Arabic, Urdu, Hebrew).

Examples of Applications

Enjoyed this sample?

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