A Clear Connection?


In summer 2022, GS1 published new guidance for digital images. For anyone not aware, GS1 standards are the most widely used system of eCommerce standards in the world. They improve the reliability of product information, make it easier to find and buy a product and, in turn, improve the shopping experience for us all.

In recent times the remit has widened to developing image guidance, for shopper accessibility. And let’s face it, who hasn’t intended to buy one thing and ended-up with another product altogether? Mistakes that cost money, time, and frustration for retailers and shoppers.

For more on product image importance, check out our blog: “Why Product Images Are So Important Online”.

Why this matters

Those mistakes we make when buying online can be reduced. People are fallible, mistakes happen, all the more so given how people shop today, not sitting at a desk but on-the-go. Still more can be done to drive up standards.

Mobile now accounts for around 68% of web traffic globally (Perficient.com, 2020). The small screen presents significant accessibility issues. Older shoppers often with poor eyesight find it harder to shop quickly (and the longer it takes to find products online, the less is added to basket).

Overlay that shoppers refusing to read much text on mobile and the issue is even more evident. In observational research, it is found that around 70% are scrolling within 10 seconds and over 90% within 15 seconds. Our brains are good processors, but most of the info absorbed is visual, it’s not text.

That’s why we here at eFluence obsess over visual imagery.

All clear?

We ran an analysis across chocolate and candy brands on Amazon US. We wanted to identify the common traits of high performers in the presentation of their Hero/Primary images.

So, we took the hero images from all items on Amazon’s Candy & Chocolate Best Sellers list and evaluated them with our Flash.PDP AI powered platform on several dimensions tied to appeal and clarity. We found that nearly 2/3 of the Best Seller items have top performing hero images on measures of appeal. Only about 1/3 of items were able to make it on to the Best Sellers list despite their hero images being average. If you are a brand, you have far greater likelihood to become a best seller if you have a PDP image that shoppers find appealing.

Another stand-out KPI is clarity, by which we mean the ability of the image to communicate brand, variety, and size. Our database analysis shows that there is a very high correlation between perceptions of image clarity and appeal.

Looking at the eFluence database, there are great ways to put that across.

Other primary images take longer to process. They are simply more cognitively demanding and that sits awkwardly with mobile shopping. Brands that employ hero images that are clear and appealing have a far greater likelihood of success.

Small thumbnail, big pack-size

All retailers demand standard images sizes, sometimes as small as 300x200mm. This presents a greater challenge when the pack is not a standard/default size.

Even when the product is complicated (in this case a multipack with three brands), there are effective ways of getting sizing information. In this example, the number of items is prominent and the carousel image with the shadow figure in the background confirms.

All the images shown pass the compliance standard and best practice guidance most CPG’s use. Still, the real question is their impact in the fraction of a second before your shopper scrolls past.

Image optimization at scale

Our prediction algorithms do the heavy lifting. For example, with Flash.PDP, the hard processing work is done. The algorithm references brand new images against the database of similar images from the same category. It calculates whether the image looks more like a top performer or has closer visual similarity to images that don’t work with shoppers.

The algorithm will tell us straight away. And most of the time straight away is when the decision has to get made.

Clients find that time saving an invaluable decision support, a game-changer in testing and learning.

Find out more by contacting us at info@behaviorally.com for a free demo!


Adrian Sanger helps insight start-ups, scale-ups, and established agencies bring winning products to market. He is a Director at eFluence™, the technology division of Behaviorally. He has helped in the build of Flash.PDP™, from the very beginning and now works with clients to shape the program and realize the value. He is a classically trained researcher, assisting C-level Insight teams in tackling their biggest growth challenges, including finding market opportunity, elevating their product strategy, and positioning, and developing winning go-to-market innovations. Connect with Adrian on LinkedIn.