Mobile’s smaller screens and consumers’ dwindling attention spans have made a brand’s visual experience more important than ever.
eMarketer’s Tricia Carr spoke with Gaurav Sethi, co-founder and business development lead of product visualization technology provider Outward, about how retailers can benefit from improving their product visuals and the theory behind an interactive visual experience the company helped create for PBteen.
eMarketer: Outward works with retailers in the home furnishing industry to help them create 3-D product images and visual experiences. What is the core focus among your clients this year?
Gaurav Sethi: There’s a focus on having a consistent look and feel with visualizations that are accurate to the product—which helps to minimize return rates—and look uniform rather than the mishmash of imagery you often see. This year will be a transitional time for our clients as they go from having static product pages and inspirational experiences to something that’s much more engaging and interactive.
eMarketer: Retailers might think, “Why should I overhaul my photography division now? Will I see immediate ROI?” What would you tell them?
Sethi: We’ve gotten a lot of data over the last year on how visual experiences impact dwell time and other online metrics—including conversion. When retailers have product pages where you’re consuming information more interactively, you tend to stay longer and that’s tightly correlated with increased conversion.
Retailers feel comfortable making the investment [in visuals] because they understand what they save [by eliminating the traditional product photography process] but more importantly, it can amp up online metrics for product categories across the board.
eMarketer: What’s an example of an interactive visual experience you’ve helped create for a client?
Sethi: One example is the Design Your Own Study Space tool for PBteen. Instead of the idea that a product page is based on a single skew, this tool incorporates multiple skews in an environment that’s more relevant to the customer. On this page, you can configure a room using many different combinations of items and then add all of the items to your cart.