Stop the Scroll


We say pictures are worth a thousand words. With the ever-increasing rise of social media platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube, who can argue with that?

In CPG, the question is how to visually communicate just enough information to disrupt or reinforce in the moment you have with the ‘scrolling-shopper’.

Shoppers refuse to read much text on mobile. 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, not text.

In eCommerce, it’s the first thing you see. The image is an anchor point, it’s a qualifier, a reassurer, and the basis for the shopper to click or pass. It all starts with the image.

That’s why we at eFluence™ obsess about visual imagery.

‘Stop, Hold, Close’ for Digital Sales

With Product Display Pages, there’s a wealth of visuals and text increasing in their volume, form, and function. Every effort is to inform, educate, inspire, and persuade the consumer. Much of the energy directed in the prose and in the carousel of images.

But it’s the primary image that has to generate the first win. Before that assimilation of product detail can begin, there must be an impactful primary image. It’s the gateway. No ‘stop’ to being seen in the first place, means no ‘close’ to being selected at the checkout.

Standards are rising slowly, yet still thousands of images are placed on eCommerce sites that miss the moment. Often, the primary image is just a reproduction pack shot on plain background. It’s functional, but really asking too much of the shopper in the moment. The display at 200×300 has not been optimised for the context of the shopping environment.

5 basic errors we see on primary images:

  1. Lack of adjustment for the channel. Again and again, the pack shot is re-produced smaller and the text unreadable. It’s a lost opportunity.
  2. Key elements, particularly variety and pack size, are not enhanced. The image is a fine pack shot, but a pack shot is not the most advantageous way to use the limited 200×300 space.
  3. The pack orientation fails to communicate quantity easily understood by the shopper.
  4. The primary image is cluttered with information that should live on other carousel images.
  5. Color and contrast are weak meaning the image is missed on the digital shelf.

Control What can be Controlled

Context is everything, but for a CPG on a third-party eCommerce site, a lot of rules are pre-set, and the dynamic nature of online retail can mean that gains are short-lived.

Fixing it is easy – and the creative guidance is available from GS1 and others.

Recognizing that you’ll likely scroll in just a few moments, here’s 5 things you can fix.  In a setting where the rules are tightly defined, it’s good to know how to make a difference.

  1. Audit your images. Sift them at scale into good, bad, and average. Start fixing those that are deficient.
  2. Test every image in the catalogue. You’ll see common patterns on where it all works and where they are deficient, adding new input to the golden rules for your creatives.
  3. Learn from competitor’s images. Where do they win and lose?
  4. Get the big picture. With retailers, present category level insights in business planning.
  5. Rinse and repeat. You know how quickly your category moves on and is constantly evolving.

According to our database of thousands of top performing images, here are a few examples that got it right:

Try eFluence for Free

You have thousands of images. It’s way too many to apply conventional testing efficiently.

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 must be made.

A game-changer in winning at the digital shelf and giving CPG’s the edge with shoppers in a hurry.

Find out more by contacting us at 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.