Shoppable Images: Narrow the Path From Browsing to Purchase

Shoppable Images- from browsing to purchase, instantly

Today’s online shopper has many choices from which to purchase products like apparel, footwear, accessories, and home furnishings. When buyers see isolated products from these products (and others) on a blank background, they often find the experience underwhelming, impersonal, and uninspiring. Shoppable images, on the other hand, enhance retail e-commerce experiences by adding context, realism, and engagement that static photos simply can’t convey.

What are Shoppable Images?

Imagine an interactive photograph of a couple of twentysomethings by an apres-ski fireplace in the evening. If that doesn’t resonate, perhaps a meeting of executives at a boardroom table, or a father and daughter working in the yard.

Each of these images offers retailers a unique opportunity to showcase their products in ways that shoppers can relate to and engage with. Strategically placing interactive shoppable tags, which are graphical “hotspots” or areas of popup images that enable visitors to select a product on a digital image, and make choices like:

  • Navigate to the product details page for an item in the image in the same browser tab, or open the page in a new tab.
  • Drop a product into their shopping basket and continue to navigate through complementary items in the image.
  • Purchase a product right away.

The goal of shoppable images is to engage the eyes, minds, and hearts of online shoppers, and foster familiarity and empathy with the models in the photos. Shoppable tags enable buyers to take the next step — either to offer immediate “buy now” checkout options, or investigate important characteristics like size, price, availability and customer reviews.

Visual Merchandising with Shoppable Content and Tags

The retail e-commerce landscape is changing and consumer expectations along with it. A Forbes article says that by the end of 2022, just over 20% of all global retail sales will occur online. The stakes have never been higher.

Online shoppers expect personalized customer experiences from the brands they buy from. They want to shop with online retailers that offer products that align with their lifestyles. There is no better way for an outdoors enthusiast, a business executive, or a busy parent to find the items they seek than by seeing them in context with the kind of familiar places, people, and scenarios they identify with. Not to mention, they can find other products they didn’t even know they wanted or needed.

Shoppable images are like helping consumers take your products for “virtual test drives” without leaving an online store (or their device). The image stimulates their imagination, and ideally, they can your brand’s products in their own home or business environment.

Attributes of Effective Shoppable Images

For shoppable images to win your audience over to your brand, and motivate shoppers to buy your wares, the images must align with your overall brand storytelling.

Maybe your business is a snowboard manufacturer, offering boards, bags, helmets and apparel. Your brand story might be a mix of adventure, fitness, and competitive spirit.

Or your business could be a leader in women’s apparel. Your brand story could be about empowering women to be successful in their careers and in their personal lives. The spirit of your branding should resonate in your images. Make it easy for inspired browsers to buy showcased products and remove any friction which might derail a transaction. As the headline says, shorten and narrow the path from browsing to purchase.

Other important shoppable image characteristics are:

  • Offer high-quality images for mobile and desktop devices. Understanding how many of your customers browse your online store on their smartphones, tablet, or computers should dictate the types of images (and shoppable tags) you use to drive sales.
  • Shoppable images and brand storytelling should be consistent across your digital, and print marketing channels.
  • Use realistic, authentic images which your audience can empathize with.

You can create a shoppable image gallery or library on your website. For example, some images might provide a “springboard” for shoppers into seasonal product offerings in ways your traditional e-commerce catalog images simply can’t do. Timing, authenticity, and alignment between your target audience’s lifestyles, and the customer experiences conveyed by images are crucial.

Transform Your Online Store into a Customer Experience Engine

Creating highly engaging and interactive shoppable images may seem technically challenging and resource-intensive. Yet OSF Digital has created a digital cartridge for Salesforce Commerce Cloud which is compatible with SFRA and SiteGenesis.

Discover how your business can showcase your products with carousels, tooltips, or quick views, without deviating from your online store’s visitor experience “look and feel. Accelerate your online sales by exploring our Shoppable Image and Interactive Product Tagging cartridge, featured on our website here.

Charles Dimov

Author: Charles Dimov, VP of Product Solutions

Charles brings more than 20 years of experience in marketing, sales, product development, and management. With depth and breadth in varied markets, he drives the right go-to-market and demand generation strategies for OSF’s core products. A lifelong learner, he graduated from the University of Waterloo with degrees in management, business economics, and engineering. Charles also holds several certifications in leadership and marketing.