Online retail is an enormous business, and sales through e-commerce stores have been significantly boosted in the past 12 months as more people stayed at home and shopped from their sofas.
Forecasts for the coming 3 years suggest that the trend will only continue, as projected online sales approach £150-billion by 2024 – and that’s a pie you can’t afford not to have a slice of if you’re selling online!
But getting your products to ‘stand out on the online shelf’ is a challenge – apart from having good SEO and digital marketing channels and campaigns in place to ensure your shop is found online, you also need to ensure that your digital product packaging is attractive so that it catches a potential customer’s eye.
The challenge is that – unlike a real-world shop where a customer can see the item in life-size and in close-up – online shopping is largely done on smaller screens, including mobile, where a small thumbnail image or at best a larger but not life-size image is all that’s available for a customer to make the initial purchase decision.
But fear not, there are some tricks of the trade to really help you get your products seen and get that first click on your way to a sale…
1. Less is more
With a small thumbnail to convey the info to entice a customer, it really comes to down to stripping back anything that is unnecessary – small text, too many elements, an unclear logo, a fuzzy finish on the actual item image, these should all be avoided in favour of a crisp image, bold logo and minimal text
2. Play up the value offering
If your product has a significant unique selling point (price, bundle value, size etc.) bring that to the front of the image in a bold way – for example, if you’re offering 2-for-1, or a 30% discount, make sure that stands out
3. Brand is key
If your product has a specific name brand that is highly recognizable, that’s a great selling point, and oftentimes brands have what is known as a ‘lock-up’ logo – for example, the ‘M’ of McDonald’s. Using these lock-up logos can really save space without diminishing the recognizability of the brand.
4. Be creative with colour
Vibrant colours catch the eye, so if possible use the strongest colour options of your products, and create image backgrounds that complement these to ensure the customer’s eye is drawn in.
5. Maximise keywords that resonate
Discoverability is key, and keywords that are strong for SEO but also resonate with what a customer is looking for will help you achieve great discoverability as well as engagement.
Ultimately, you need to position your online products very differently, and a really good way to get started is to trawl through a few websites that you use to buy the things you like, whether that’s groceries and edibles or fashion items, appliances, books and more. Make notes about what you see, like and don’t like.
The things that catch your eye will be the same for other customers, so use these as benchmarks for your own image and packaging design.