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Test different product image presentations

Jun 04, 2021

Most of the time, online shoppers browse product images to help visualize owning the product before they make a purchase. You can often drive engagement by ensuring that your products are adequately represented in visual form. Consider experimenting with the following approaches on the homepage, category pages, and product details pages.

Design and content iteration

Consider all the different ways you might present product images. Iterate on your existing situation or brainstorm new ideas. Test out different types of images, different compositions, different treatments, and different placements to see which ones drive more engagement.

Hero image examples you might try:

  • Unboxed vs. in the box
  • Product by itself vs. in use
  • Background: Transparent vs. color vs. texture vs. real-life setting

Thumbnail image treatments you might test:

  • Different styles (e.g. drop shadow, colored borders, etc.)
  • Different shapes (e.g. squares vs. circles vs. rounded edge rectangles)
  • Different placements in relation to the hero image (e.g. left, under, right, or above)

Display larger product images (all pages)

Sometimes the products can sell themselves based on the imagery you present. Identify a good image that can be used for your hero or generate a collage to use.

On the homepage and category pages:

  • Showcase larger variants of the image to emphasize the product.
  • Reduce the text and other content that surrounds the images.
  • Test out different image sizes to see what resonates.

On the product details pages:

  • Present an even larger, more grand version of the image.
  • Surround the image with whitespace to draw visitors’ eyes in.

Example: Apple (homepage, desktop)

The Apple homepage showcases a number of their products, where the focus is on the product images. Very little verbiage is listed alongside ‘learn more’ and ‘buy’ links.

Apple Mobile Homepage

Example: Kate Somerville (PDP, mobile)

A large hero product image is prominently displayed above the fold, with minimal details to distract from it.

Scrolling down reveals additional details, like the product description, ingredients, and instructions.

The desktop version of this page showcases the product image on the left, utilizing about half of the display area above the fold, surrounded by whitespace to draw the visitors’ eyes in.

Include multiple images and angles (PDP)

While one hero image of the product is good, several images are often even better. Anything you can leverage to help the customer imagine how owning the product might be before they purchase it can only be helpful.

Consider including images of the following:

  • Different angles of the product
  • Different versions of the product (e.g. colors or sizes)
  • Images of what’s included in the box (e.g. charging cable or each item in a kit)
  • The product by itself vs. the product in use by a person (e.g. phone case in hand)

How you might present the extra images:

  • Small thumbnails to click through
  • A carousel that scrolls automatically or that can be clicked through

Example: Amazon (PDP, desktop)

Amazon often has several product images that you can cycle through. In this example, the product is a phone case, where different angles are important to cover. Shoppers are interested in specific things, like how much space is around the charging port, how thick the case is, and how much the case extrudes beyond the screen and camera.

If the images don’t answer the buyer’s questions, they’re more likely to look elsewhere.

Product Image Presentation

Leverage rollovers (homepage and category pages)

Rollovers are a good way to simplify the page while still allowing you to present added info or imagery. Customers will see several larger images at first glance, but when they mouse over an image, additional content can appear.

Common use cases:

1) You might want to make the page more visual, but you’re worried that customers need some info that’s already on the page. You could move this info into rollovers to keep the customers’ first impression clean and visual.

2) You might consider pulling some info from the product details page (PDP) into a rollover so that customers have access to it without having to click into each PDP. This would save steps in the buyer’s journey as they browse your products.

Examples of content you might present in a rollover:

  • Display the price
  • Display similar products
  • Display a product description
  • Display the Add To Cart button
  • Display additional images or context

Example: Dermalogica

Dermalogica currently employs rollovers to present different images of their products.

Image Rollovers

Original version:

Presents an alternate image of the product in use with a “quick shop” CTA, which opens a product details pop-up and an Add to Cart CTA. The alternate image shows customers the consistency of the product and helps them envision using the product.

Dermalogica Quick Shop CTA


Presents a different approach one could take, where the overlay contains some product details, pricing info, and the Quick Shop CTA (alternatively, the Add to Cart CTA). This approach keeps the page clean while still presenting contextual info when it’s relevant.

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