‘Seeing is Believing’: Why Visual Merchandising is Integral to Building Trust

Visual merchandising is a critical tool allowing retailers to present the products they sell in the most flattering manner. While brick-and-mortar stores have every opportunity to create tactile shopper experiences, online selling presents more obstacles. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Here we look at how ‘seeing is believing’ for online shoppers and why visual merchandising is so integral to creating meaningful, reliable experiences.

1. Bringing visual merchandising to eCommerce

eCommerce shops can bring visual merchandising concepts to their online customers. You can create a product hub where shoppers feel safe and confident when making purchases. Whether you have your own online store or are selling through various marketplaces, you and you alone can control how your product appears and what information you decide to share with customers.

Despite shopping from the comfort of their own homes, or just about anywhere via their mobile devices, seeing products and product information enables customers to enjoy unique experiences when interacting with retail brands online. By adopting traditional visual merchandising tactics to enhance what customers see, you can leverage the seeing is believing approach to selling to increase sales.

2. High-quality images tell the truth

Product visualization is the only way for customers to determine if they want to move forward with their purchasing decisions. The higher the quality of the images you present, the more honest your product displays become. Since online customers don’t have the luxury of touching the products or learning more about how it works by testing them out, you need to show them as much as you can using high-quality images.

How does a shirt look on the body?

How does a blender operate, and what parts are included?

What does the back of the sofa look like? How big is an item when you hold it in your hand?

The more detailed your images and the more angles you capture, the more your images help tell the truth about a product. Showing someone wearing, using, or holding something tells a more complete story, so people understand how it will work in their own environments and for their intended uses. If it comes in different colors, allowing people to click the colors and see how it changes the product is very important. If a product is only the most basic model, clicking upgrades enables customers to comparison shop right there to make informed decisions.

3. Comparison shoppers

Remember, most people don’t make a purchase without online research first. So even if you figure you have the best price, you need to have the best of the best visual merchandising online to persuade customers to buy. When someone comparison shops online, they like to compare apples to apples. If you have the worst images and the least amount of information, you are handing business to your competitors.

Why would someone buy a product from a business that can’t afford to show its products in the best possible light? What are you trying to hide? Again, your images tell the truth about your products, so customers trust interaction with your brand. With well-planned visual merchandising, you can:

  • Always display your best products in the most positive manner
  • Showcase your USP to help your brand stand out
  • Get creative in how you display products to appeal to your target audience

You can also consider what your competitors are doing and then do it better. Enhancing visual images to show the true value of the product is the easiest way to get the upper hand.

4. Group products to encourage cross-selling

You can also use visual merchandising to create cross-selling opportunities. For example, if you sell home decorating items, you can provide ideas to create an entire room using your products. If you sell clothing, you can put together must-have outfits.

If you sell electronics, you can show how customers can improve their experience with all the available accessories. Upselling and cross-selling are at the heart of a successful digital commerce strategy. Shop the look, customers also bought, or you might also be interested in approaches all help increase shopping cart value.

5. Building trust through product information

Visual merchandising doesn’t just focus on static images. You can provide detailed information using video as well as 3D technology to improve customer experience. This empowers customers to get an even better idea of how a product works or looks so they can make informed decisions. Informed decisions lead to lower return rates because you are providing a more realistic presentation of the product. This reduces the odds of disappointment when the item is delivered.

Having comprehensive product data available is the best way to manage your visual merchandising strategy. A product information management (PIM) system enables you to create potent buyer intent signals while remaining more responsive to improve product information quality to become more competitive.