Supermarkets lack imagination when selling online, new research reveals 

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Supermarkets are lacking imagination when presenting products to customers online, according to new research.  

Imaging and workflow specialist SpinMe studied how 20 of the UK’s best-selling brands are displayed on the websites of Tesco, Waitrose, Sainsbury’s, Amazon Pantry, Iceland, Morrisons, ASDA and Ocado.   

The survey revealed that four of the eight supermarkets show only one product image for 100% of the items surveyed, while two retailers represent 95% of the products with one image. 

Meanwhile, two supermarkets – both selling solely online – perform particularly well. Ocado shows multiple images for 60% of the groceries reviewed and Amazon Pantry supplies a selection of imagery for 80%. They are also the only retailers to offer a video alongside product images, albeit both do this for only 5% of the items surveyed.   

Almost all – seven retailers – display a product label image and lifestyle shot for between none and 5% of the products surveyed. Amazon Pantry breaks with convention by including an image showing information on the product label, including ingredients and nutritional value, across 80% of the items surveyed. Lifestyle shots appear across 30% of items researched on the Amazon Pantry site.   

With regards to providing a zoom function, the survey revealed that five supermarkets use it consistently across the products researched, while the rest don’t provide a way to enlarge images. None of the retailers offer customers the ability to manually spin one product image 360 degrees so it can be seen from all sides.  

“It’s interesting that the two newest players, focused solely on ecommerce, are more consistently working with multiple images and video and creating a real point of difference in the market,” said David Brint, CEO of SpinMe. “With online supermarket shopping predicted to be worth £17 billion by 2020, this gives them a competitive advantage. Shopping for groceries now needs to match other ecommerce experiences – where differentiation makes a real impact – and provide demanding consumers with enough visual information to make informed choices. Lack of innovation means supermarkets risk losing not just one individual purchase, but the long-term loyalty of that shopper.”