Online retailers rate imaging and language choice as key sales drivers, study finds

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Online retailers rate quality imaging and multi-language choice as the most effective sales drivers, new research from imaging specialist SpinMe reveals.

When asked to choose the three most effective tools used to drive sales on websites, top place was taken jointly by 360 spin and 3D spin imaging, alongside offering consumers a multi-language option – both received 43% of the vote respectively. Merchandising tools came second with 36%, while sophisticated on-site search took third place with 29%.

A fifth (21%) of retailers voted for product videos, while the same number chose personalisation technology.

Further findings from SpinMe’s survey showretailers also believe consumers rate excellent imaging as key to an e-commerce operation’s success: 86% agreed this was considered important from a customer point of view.

Imaging was followed by ease of website use; for example sophisticated search tools (65%) and competitive pricing (43%). Over a third (36%) felt clear brand identity was important, while 29% agreed a distinctive portfolio of products or services mattered to consumers. Only 7% of retailers felt updating content daily was key to consumer satisfaction when shopping online.

Online imaging specialist SpinMe surveyed 21 online retailers in October 2012 to gauge industry thoughts and trends around e-commerce best practice.  

The majority taking part in the survey were fashion (48%) and sports-related (43%). Electronic and homewares retailers made up the rest of the sample (10%).

“Consumers are inclined to buy online based on what they can see and how closely they can inspect products,” said David Brint, marketing director at SpinMe. “The correlation between what retailers rate as one of the most effective sales drivers and what they believe is most important to consumers is telling. Although there are many sophisticated components that make up a successful e-commerce operation, the basics remain constant.”

Just over half (55%) of the sample had been using 360 spin and/or 3D imagery for three months to a year. The primary reason for implementing this style of photography was to improve overall consumer website experience – 67% agreed.

A third of retailers displaying products in this way had a good idea of the sales uplift they wanted to achieve, while two thirds had no concrete expectations; instead deciding to gauge customer response.

Almost half (46%) reported sales uplifts of between 5% and 15%.

When asked about the effect 360 spin and 3D spin photography had on returns, 27% said they had seen a reduction of between 1% and 10%. The rest of the sample had either not yet seen a reduction or were yet to measure this area.

Forty per cent of retailers said they first experienced positive results within three months of implementing the technology.

The majority of retailers – 93% – used 360 spin and 3D spin photography across some of their products, while only a small proportion (7%) used it site-wide. Almost a quarter (23%) said they intended to roll the technology out across all products.

SpinMe works with top online retailers including Wiggle, Halfords and Schuh. It provides photographic software, hardware, in-house studio space and off-site studio set-up and training.