How design for e-commerce works
Couple of years ago, we were launching a new project in content design for e-commerce. When we asked a client “What are your expectations from the partner?” the answer was “To be fast & accurate!”
Our group of ad agencies has been in the business since 1993, developing ad campaigns for the whole wide world, from Estonia to Thailand. We got used to working thoroughly, with attention to every detail and… long: creative idea development, sketching and execution could take weeks and months in the making. Although some of our creatives were unsatisfied with even that pace ) But the clients for e-commerce visual content have changed the game: the development should take days, sometimes only one day. Try to imagine the reaction of a designer who’s just found out he has one day only to complete the job!
We had to re-assemble and re-install the business processes in the design studio. Such things as working on the platforms already used by the clients (Jira, Basecamp, Trello, Asana), shortening the “client-designer” distance seemed not so important as having the right team on board. Multiple things about the future professions requirements proved true: the most important thing is to learn and adapt quickly.
Our start with great brands
When we were briefed with creating Amazon content for one of the brands of British Unilever a few years ago, the designers had to start with careful studying of the platform technical requirements and the client guidelines. Knowing and being able to strictly observe those ultimately defines how well and fast you perform on the assignment. New brand, new platform, corrections to the tech guidelines – you always have to face something new. If being unable to meet the tech requirements leads to the artwork being rejected by the platform – it means extra time, and time is not on the client side here. A few years ago a client came facing a serious issue: he just couldn’t launch any campaign on time, everything was constantly shifting days and weeks. The artwork was just great. But the studio they worked with continuously failed to meet the tech requirements, made mistakes and had to re-do all the materials. Our colleagues, who had the right expertise and were willing to dedicate some time and inspiration to not only design but also adapting to the tech requirements, were there to replace the previous studio. The ads were finally launching on time.
Accuracy has to be applied not only to tech requirements of Amazon or other platforms. How do you accurately convey the naturalness of the product? Not by text and figures, but using emotions and perceptions of the picture, by choosing the right image, which would carry the right message from the product to the consumer. That is exactly the creative job of a designer. Same as during negotiations – to find the right emotion is just as important as clearly bringning it to the counterpart. To make them hear and understand you.
How we developed over time
Our content factory learned to produce vast amounts of artwork not only for companies like Unilever but also for the starting brands who are dipping their toes in the water. In just a few days we make not only single image designs, but also product infographic, comparison table, amazon brand story design. A bit more time is needed to create rich cart/shop in shop design – but they also seem to be more convincing for consumers to buy. High quality A+ content has gone from a mere whim to a true must for highly competitive segments.
Product presentation started as the simplest photography, and now it includes 3D images and complete virtual shops, videos. From amateur photos the sellers have turned to photo-sessions and professional videos. It is now the time when a product online looks more vibrant than in physical reality. Attraction sells. The designer’s task is to use each opportunity to create the atmosphere, which would improve shopping experience.
Why good design is important for ecommerce
Sales and the first purchase directly correlate with professional design. I will say it again: Sales directly correlate with the design. A few years back we had an interview with this designer: young guy, good portfolio of talented but outdated works. What’s the reason, I asked him, what have you been doing recently? Polishing the sign-in form for an online casino. Every day. Tried to improve something and sent for testing. The same form, every day. Testing showed how much the design influenced the conversion rate.
A/B testing in e-commerce also proves the effectiveness of good accurate design. As far as our clients’ experience goes, the conversion rates, can change dramatically. It is the design that decides whether the consumers the product from you or your competitor.
Fast and accurate design most often means years of professional experience; a team, that knows, that devil is in the detail; and the ability to build effective relationships with partners.
What is A+ content:
Amazon A+: Enhanced listing product descriptions, high-quality images, and video content to help you tell your brand stories more vividly. It includes: comparison tables of competitors, high quality images, HD videos. Amazon A+ content is used to improve consumer experience, which in turn drives traffic and sales.