Have you ever walked past a window display so beautiful that you just had to quickly duck in and check it out?

When the packaging alone makes you want to hand over your money just so you can keep the box forever? Or you wish you could live in a store because it’s oh-so-pretty? (Mr and Mrs White, we’re looking at you!)

The question is, how can you create this feeling online when all you have is a computer screen and no way for the customer to touch, feel or smell your products?

A person browsing a website on a tablet.

We put our thinking caps on and created our top tips for improving your online shopping experience:

  • Keep your website tidy and clean, less is more. Even the most colourful brands stick to core shades (e.g. Ruby Olive).
  • Show your products in their best light. Consistent photography is crucial. Low budget? Use your phone! High-resolution settings, natural light and apps like Lightroom (free on mobile and tablet!) make it totally doable.
  • Take product shots with a plain white background or send your products to deepetch.com to remove the background for you (for as little as $1 per image).
    Extra tip: Use these images as the first (hero) product image.
    Our studies show that plain product shots with a white (or block coloured) background are likelier to be clicked.
    We know you put a lot of effort, time and potentially money into your styled shots, but to get that initial click, simple is better.
    The decision whether someone is interested in a product or not is made subconsciously within split seconds and it’s much easier for our brains to process what we’re looking at if unnecessary information is removed. All you need is people to click! Once they’re on the product page, you can show your beautifully styled images and give more information on the product (dimensions, materials, etc.).
  • Add secondary lifestyle shots, e.g. your prints hanging in a living room or a model wearing your earrings. This helps people imagine something for themselves and gives them an understanding of size.
  • Take images of the packaging and shoot your products from different angles.
  • Add a short video of someone using and experiencing the product (great for beauty or fashion products).
  • Tell a little story in your product descriptions to paint a picture and get people’s imagination going (make them feel something). 
    E.g. ‘This is the perfect comfy chair to relax in after a big week with a book and a beautiful cup of tea. The ultimate me-time spot – you’ll never want to get up!.’
  • Create themed categories to show which products go together. Using Visual Merchandiser apps/plugins, you can even rearrange the order of your products to group them.
  • Make checkout simple and secure – you want to make sure people feel comfortable.
  • Offer a generous returns policy – this adds trust and might just be what someone needs to finally order from you.
    People often worry about “What if I don’t like the product?” or “What if it’s not as nice as it looks in the picture?”. If they know they can return something easily, they are more likely to try it.
    If you sell products that can’t be resold once opened (e.g. food or beauty products), we still recommend to offer returns. You’ll find that most people won’t return and for the handful that do, you’ll have made many sales that you otherwise might not have.
  • Offer free shipping! This is super important and we’ll be frank here: People are spoilt and don’t like to pay for shipping. It feels like wasted money. It’s not what they signed up for.
    Imagine if someone looked at your product and consciously decided to spend $50 on it. Then they get to checkout and are presented with a $60 total because shipping has been added – it does not feel good and it is not what they decided to spend. 
    However, if the product were $59.95 with free shipping, they would have probably just as likely decided that they wanted to buy it. In addition, they’ll feel like they’re winning at checkout when they see the words ‘free shipping’. 
  • Offer upsell options at checkout (you can use apps/plugins for this). Think about when you’re instore and the shop assistant offers you the perfect top to go with your new skirt – it makes you feel good and solves the problem of finding something to wear with your new piece.

Next: You can extend the instore experience beyond your website by creating a stellar unboxing experience. Read this article to find out how.