eCommerce Insiders

A/B Testing Product Images: A Hidden Gem to Increase Conversions

We have all heard how an image speaks a thousand words and how great product images will increase your e-commerce sales.

And yet, we tend to pick a good looking photo and then stick with it.

But what if you could A/B test your product images until you found the best one and the best layout for it?

Taking Tips from the Dating World

The idea of A/B testing your images isn’t anything revolutionary, its just simply not as common as A/B testing headlines or CTA buttons. There is one place where it is quite common to do this though: dating apps.

Let’s take a step out of e-commerce for one second and look at how A/B testing helps you in your dating world. In dating apps, the first thing someone will see about you is your photo. This might mean a small thumbnail in search results or the full size profile picture.

We all tend to have an instant reaction to these pictures and that will determine whether we actually want message you and then get a coffee with you. This is why we all worry about which are our “best pictures” and what will get us more interest from the opposite sex. To top it all off, we tend to be bad at judging which of our pictures others will like.

This leaves us stuck with potentially bad pictures. The best solution is to simply test them until we find the ones that actually work, not the ones that we like. You can then run a very simple A/B test where you rotate your pictures every few weeks until you find one that is getting you messages.

Coming back to our stores, we can do the same thing with our product images. Assuming that we may be wrong about which pictures perform the best, data will give us the right answer.

So what can you actually when it comes to product images? Let’s look at a few possible tests below.

How would the size of images in pages like the search results affect your conversions?

1. Size

One of the first things you can test is the size of your photos. This is especially crucial in your search results or your category pages where you have different products organized into rows and columns. In a study published on the Visual Website Optimizer blog, a retailer was able to achieve a 9% increase in conversion by simply increasing the size of the photos in their search results. This website simple change led to more sales and they didn’t even have to spend any extra advertising dollars.

Go through your website and consider which areas of your website could benefit from a larger image size. Try to figure out which one could have the biggest impact and run the first test there.

How would the background of images affect your conversions?

2. Background

Could the background of your images affect your conversion? There are obvious design consideration and you don’t want to put a black background on a white website but consider that perhaps a more natural background like nature or wood could lead to better conversions.

The main problem with this test is that you may have to retake new photos to achieve new backgrounds. If this is the case, leave this test for last since they are other options that won’t require you to create new photos.

Can the position of images affect your conversions?

3. Position

In the case study above, changing the size of the image meant that they had to change the position of the image from the left to the top of content. Could changing the position of your images have a similar effect?

Can the number of images in your product pages affect your conversions?

4. Number of Images

In a product page, we tend to list several different images for our products but when does having too many images hurt our conversions? Try to decrease or increase the number of photos that you show here and see how it affects your conversions.

You could also test how much of the product to focus on in each image.

5. Product Focus

Another area that you could test is the focus of each image. Should you show the entire product first or part of it? You can also consider if you should show the product by itself or show it in action (someone wearing it in real life for example).

Do certain models lead to higher conversions?

6. Models

Finally, you could also test which models lead to better conversions. Perhaps a certain model seems to be better liked by your customers and you can focus on having her/him in more of product shots.

As you can see, there are tons of options to consider when it comes to product images and the good thing is that most of tests are quite simple to run. You simple set up your A/B testing tool and then let the software tell you what the size, position, etc is if you want to maximize your conversions.

Do you have any tips for choosing product images? Let me know in the comments.

Ruben Ugarte is a Web Analytics Consultant who has helped companies of all sizes grow through the use of analytics. If you have any questions around how you can use analytics or even how to use tools like Mixpanel or Segment, get in touch with him!

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