Stuck at home and shopping online? Who isn’t. The pandemic has turned brick and mortar completely upside down, leaving online shoppers with limited tools to make confident purchase decisions. When you think about it, eCommerce stores have barely changed over the years. For the most part customers get a few product images, some bulleted details, customer reviews and maybe a video if you’re lucky. But this is all changing.
The current state of the world will only accelerate the need for online innovation. Companies across the board are looking for ways to offer a better shopping experience to set themselves apart and stay afloat. It’s only a matter of time before everyone begins to implement new tools in order to retain loyal customers and be competitive within the industry. The good news is you’re reading this – therefore you’re aware that product page innovation is essential, and that some of these innovations are tangible today.
Understanding Your Customer’s Needs
Today’s companies need to be shifting their attention to their customer’s online shopping experience. What are customer pain points on your website? What tools can you add to product pages that help boost confidence in making a purchase? User testing and A/B testing definitely help shape the shopping experience, but it’s also good to step back and think through your customer’s persona. What struggles might your specific target demographic run into? Here are a few examples:
Suzy lives in New York City. She works in advertising and loves to shop. Now that she’s spending a lot of her time at home she relies on online shopping rather than perusing the streets of Soho. She’s been working from her kitchen table for the past few months but is now ready to upgrade to a desk and have a dedicated workspace. She’s been looking at furniture stores online but is running into some issues:
- She can’t tell what size the desks are from the pictures.
- She can’t get a good sense of the materials used or see the product from all angles.
- The images don’t give her a sense of storage capacity.
Bill lives in Boston and recently lost his favorite pair of sunglasses. His local store is currently closed, leaving Bill to rely on online shopping to make his purchase. He’s running into some issues:
- He can’t tell how the sunglasses will look on him.
- He’s having trouble viewing details of the product.
The Right Tools at the Right Time
We can all relate to the high levels of consideration that Suzy and Bill are exhibiting as they have historically chosen to buy these products in person. There’s always a level of uncertainty when making an online purchase, especially when it’s a higher-priced product or a product that isn’t easy to return. Based on their main pain points, we can assign current technologies that offer solutions for helping shoppers get the answers they need.
Giving customers the ability to understand the true-to-life size and scale of a product.
Understanding the size and scale of a product from traditional imagery is a common challenge for online shoppers. From products like watches to TVs, it’s an important consideration.
Augmented Reality technology allows shoppers to view products in their environment at true-to-life size and scale with their phone’s camera. Brands can now give their customers via a single button on the product page the ability to place a bag on their table or a fridge in their kitchen to make a more educated and confident decision.
Allowing customers to virtually try-on a product.
Virtual try-ons are here and can be used for many types of products. With the click of a button, consumers can try on products like sunglasses, hats or even jewelry, all from the product page.
Increasing the customer’s ability to visualize product details.
There are fantastic traditional images out there, but imagery will always have a looming imagination gap. In order to really be able to see all the angles of a product and zoom in on every detail, you can only rely on 3D models. With the growth in 3D capture technologies like photogrammetry and laser scanning, 3D has reached a new era. It can truly compete with, if not surpass, the traditional product image by offering more information.
3D and Augmented Reality are two technologies that offer the product insight that shoppers are looking for when brick and mortar isn’t always an option. With online shopping becoming more routine and online shoppers across all demographics becoming more tech-savvy, it’s only a matter of time that 3D and AR become a standard offering. How will you keep up?