Monday, 12 September 2011

Selling off the Screen–The Model Issue

From my years in fashion mail order – ie catalogues – and having done everything from running photographic shoots to page layouts to talking to customers I know full well that some models sell and others will hold back sales.

I was writing at Glamoursleuth about eveningwear (or black tie dresses) online, and there was one very large e-commerce site whose dresses I couldn’t include, not because they weren’t suitable for the post, but because the dresses had been shot on models who did not look right in the clothes.  If you’re going to show a gorgeous curvy evening gown it needs to be photographed on a gorgeous curvy model, who knows how to stand, has the right shoes (gladiators with an evening dress?) has simply groomed hair and who fits the dress. 

Anyone whose in photograph fashion knows all about the pins and clips that go on at the back of some of the shots and that’s all very well, but what the retailer needs is to show clothes in a way that’s going to make the browsing customer-to-be think ‘yes I could look like that in that dress’ (or whatever) and I’m going to see if I do.  And a good stills shot is essential as well.

Fashion is one of fastest growing areas of online shopping.  To succeed you have to show several views, offer zoom, preferably video, 360 degree spin, model shots, stills shots, full details and customer reviews.  If that sounds like a tall order then you may be in the wrong business, as the competition will be way ahead of you.

But going back to this major online retailer – and I’ll name no names – please give us models who can wear your clothes properly, shoot them in a way that makes us lust after the clothes and give us stills shots as well.  We don’t want models who are too thin, nor too big, nor necessarily who look like ‘real people’ as there has to be some aspirational effect at work to get us to click on the ‘buy’ button but you can do better.  Seriously………..enough said.

Friday, 9 September 2011

The Importance of More than One Product View

As online conversion rates fall and we become a nation of researchers rather than destination shoppers, it becomes more and more important that every trick in the book is used when it comes to getting the ‘researcher’ to commit.

Don’t think that because you’re in fashion, or jewellery, or electricals, that this doesn’t apply to you… applies to anyone selling products online.  It’s quite simple, show one product view and you have much less of a chance of getting the ‘buy’ button clicked than when you show three or four, particularly if you have a competitor just a click away who offers several clear pictures, back, front and sideways, whichever is applicable to the product.
Take handbags for example.  To get me to buy a handbag online I would want to see it front and back, what the base looks like and how large it is in relation to a person.  I want to see (not read) what it’s lined in and how it looks inside.  I may read how many pockets it has and the dimensions, but I’ll be making my mind up far faster from the pictures.  And I’m not alone.

Take this Balenciaga handbag at Net-a-Porter.  Would you really spend that much money from just the one picture?  Or would you have a good look at all the product views.  There’s no fudging the issue here – you need to invest in more views or you will lose business.
The same applies to pretty well all products – the more we see the more we’re likely to stop, look, read and order, provided the price is competitive.   Combine clear pictures and multi views with zoom and the right price (and video where applicable) and the order is much more likely to be yours.