Ecommerce Guidelines: Search Result Page Product Images

Guidelines 121-125

Ecommerce Best Practices » Product List & Search Results Page » Appearance » Product Images

People hardly buy anything without seeing it. Usually they also want to touch it, hold it and take it for a spin. You really can’t do those things online (unless it’s web based software). So to compensate for all of that, you need to work twice as hard to make your products come alive via excellent photography and graphics.

The following guidelines apply to product images in a product list, and on search results pages.

I was easily able to find and add the specific items that I wanted based on the pictures.

I think the pictures when in the shopping category could be a little bigger for a better view of the items.

Not having to go into the details to see the different angles … is a big time saver.

5 guidelines for ecommerce product list & search results page, product images:

  1. Product thumbnail should reveal product in context, secondary thumbnail should reveal product on its own.
  2. Reveal additional product picture(s) that appear upon mouse hover, or as a gallery slider; photos can show all variations of a product, different angles/facets of a product, or hidden attributes of a product.
  3. Consider which product thumbnail would be more effective for the specific product at hand: a photo of the product itself, or of the product packaging.
  4. Product packages should be taken straight on to capture all small product details that are on the package.
  5. Take your product picture at an angle if you want to capture the product’s physical depth.

Guideline #121. Product thumbnail should reveal product in context, secondary thumbnail should reveal product on its own (or vice versa, just make sure both ways are shown).

To provide as much information as possible, show how a product looks both alone and in context. When the product is picture alone, users can focus on its details. When in context, people can get an idea as to how it fits into its surroundings, and how it may fit into their lives.

West Elm shows a variety of product pictures including close-ups of the pattern, individual pictures of each pillow in the set, and various photos of the bedding in context:

I was easily able to find and add the specific items that I wanted based on the pictures.

The items are displayed beautifully, which makes it easier to imagine the items in my own home.

How to do it RIGHT

H&M

Shows shorts on the model in the primary product image. There is a thumbnail with the product alone.


Guideline #122. Reveal additional product picture(s) that appear upon mouse hover, or as a gallery slider; photos can show all variations of a product, different angles/facets of a product, or hidden attributes of a product.

Once again, this guideline aims to reveal as much visual information about a product as possible.

American eagle shows a second way to wear this sweater upon mousehover:

The product images were excellent! Large, and previewing a color change was done with a simple hover over the color swatch

I’m unable to see bigger pictures in the search results, instead, I have to go back and forth between search results and product details screens

When I put in the filter for color I seemed to have gotten some items that were different colors that I guess you could change to black, but would have liked to have seen black in the beginning. Also, would have liked to have seen the zoom in tool go in further to get a better look at the material of the clothes

How to do it RIGHT

American Eagle

On the product list the left picture is displayed and reveals the right picture during mousehover.


Guideline #123. Consider which product thumbnail would be more effective for the specific product at hand: a photo of the product itself, or of the product packaging.

Imagine seeing a pile of powder when shopping for workout supplements. Alternatively, imagine seeing a cardboard box when browsing lamps. It simply feels like the wrong way to advertise the product.

Considering conventional practices (“how is it usually done?”) combined with the nature of the product at hand to determine the best way to photograph and display a product.

GNC’s approach to photographing a chocolate protein shake:

I found it difficult to narrow down to the specific earbuds that I wanted as I couldn’t see pictures for a lot of the items.

How to do it RIGHT

BodyBuilding.com

Displays the packaging for these acai chews in their product picture. Not only does the packaging shares lots of details about the product, but it shows what the chews look like.


Guideline #124. Product packages should be taken straight on to capture all small product details that are on the package.

If you’re photographing a product’s packaging, it only makes sense for the details on the package to be visible and legible.

On BodyBuilding.com, from looking at the product picture alone, shoppers know the tablets are chewable, there are 1500 mg of d-ribose per tablet, they are orange flavored, there are 90 tablets in the bottle, and that the tablets help with energy production.

It was good to see all the information for the nutrition labels.


Guideline #125. Take your product picture at an angle if you want to capture the product’s physical depth.

This is particularly important when a product’s size/dimensions matter (furniture, appliances, etc.)

West Elm includes an angled photo of their larger pieces so shoppers can see multiple dimensions and better understand each product’s shape:

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Ecommerce Best Practices » Product List & Search Results Page » Clarity/Credibility » Product Information