6 ways for online retailer to showcase products

February 18th, 2010
Retailers are looking for innovative ways to showcase their products online. One of the new techniques is to create an in-store experience for the customers.
Many online shopping retailers like to reflect their brick-and-mortar look and feel in their online presence. Look at SaksFifthAvenue.com and Nordstrom.com. Both use the colors and the elegant design to connect their online and in-store experiences. The only thing that these giants are missing is a “closer-look” of the products before the customers are ready to flip out their credit cards and start purchasing. We are going to show you how effectively an online retailer can increase their sales by implementing the following 6 ways to showcase their products.
One: Add zoom to high-resolution images
A 200 x 200 pixels image cannot show any details. Adding a high-resolution image that can be zoomed in and out allows the customers to see the product detail more clearly. The image needs to have great lighting so the customers can see the texture and the material being used. See the comparison below:
Static Image

Figure 1.1 (Static Image) Figure 1.2 (Dynamic Zoom/Pan)
Two: Add Image Gallery
One image is not enough for the customer to establish an emotional connection with the product. The advantage of creating an image gallery is to highlight specific features of the product allowing the customers to appreciate the quality they are paying for.
Dynamic Image Gallery
Figure 2.1
Three: Add Online Product Configurator
If a specific product offers different color choices, it is important to present them with an online product configurator. This custom application is offered by many companies such as our parent company Preface Media who is one the leaders in online Rich Media solutions. The eConfigurator allows the customer to view the product in all the different available colors, fabrics, finishes and settings right on their screen. Some retailers still show a single product image and a list of available colors. This is not enough. It is like stepping into DSW Shoes: you may like the white designer shoes but you also want to try the red ones before making the purchase decision.
Four: Add Virtual Design Center
This feature gives the customers an opportunity to try out different combinations of products and see what matches together. One example is the room designer below, which allows the customer to design their fireplace materials to match with the flooring and the rest of the furniture.
Preface8 eConfigurator
Figure 4.1
Five: Add 360 Degrees and 3D Product Photography
Imagine a customer stepping into a shoe and handbag store. The first thing they will do is look around the store and pick out the products that most interest them. The next thing they do is inspect these products front to back, side to side and top to bottom. How can an online retailer simulate the same experience online? Well… the technology for touch and smell isn’t there yet but visually a Flash-based Product Viewer with 3D product photography can fully recreate the in-store experience. The viewer gives the customer complete power to rotate the product in true 3D along with zoom in/out features.

Figure 5.1 (360 Spin)
Six: Add Video
Producing a product video is simple, effective and fast. eVideos such as powered by Preface8 are delivered instantly to the customer’s screen in high definition. These powerful video messages can be especially persuasive when done creatively. For fashion online retailer, clothes and accessories can be worn by a model while taping these short eVideos. For online electronics store, products can be turned on, operated, opened, closed and moved around to show their features. eVideos are great for product feature presentation as well as usage recommendations.
Preface8 eVideos
Figure 6.1

Creative Product Photography

February 3rd, 2010
One of our customers came to us and asked if we can provide creative 360 product photography. My first reaction is “What do you mean by creative?”. After some samples they showed me on the magazines and online retailers, I finally clicked! Instead of plain white or black background we can perform some post-production tricks to enhance the overall artistry of the product. This can be done by using a photo editing software. The first step is to crop out the boring white background and add a single or multiple layers of different background to compose a flattering surrounding. This technique has been widely used in products such as jewelry, necklaces and fashion accesories where the white background does not bring out the beauty of the product itself. We also was “creative” enough to add some sparkles and lighting effects to the product. The client loved it!
Creative Photography

Creative Photography