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Visual merchandising your online store: what you need to know

It's Friday, which means the Fashion Darling is back with another guest blog post with expert advice for your fashion brand. This week, she discusses visual merchandising for your eCommerce store - tips for making the most of your visuals. 

When you dive in to the world of eCommerce, having great products in stock is not enough to wow your customers. Your product needs to be presented well and excite the potential buyer.

Visual merchandising is not only for physical stores – it is an important part of every online store’s sales plan. Your customers will judge your brand based on how it is presented so make sure you control how they experience it.

Shopping via your site should be a rich experience and must fill the void of not seeing the product in person with the best possible visuals.

So, how can you perfect your visual merchandising starting today?

Invest in high-res, captivating photos

High-res, clear, and professionally taken photos are an asset to your brand. Quality images can boost your conversion rate and improve sales.

Beautiful product images that allow the customer to zoom in and out assist in answering questions your customer may have about the item they're looking into purchasing. If you don’t have a zoomable feature, then offer an additional product image that is a closeup of a detail – fabric pattern, zip or hardware detail, beading etc. – to convey quality. If you’re looking for an example, Net A Porter does this really well.

Make sure to get different angles so your buyers can have a 360’ view of the product just like in physical stores. Some stores like ASOS also offer a catwalk view of products so customers can see a product in motion.

ASOS catwalk

If you are on a budget and decide to take the DIY course for now, use a good DSLR camera and make sure there is good lighting. Then use a photo editing service like PIXC to remove background from your photos.

The background is very important. Keep the background white or neutral to keep the focus of the shopper on the product.

Hire models to wear your items

Another great way to give your customers a more realistic view of your products is by hiring models. This is significantly costlier compared to the basic product photography, but data shows that model shots perform better.

Model shots give your customers a better idea of the scale element, and inspire them to imagine how the item would look on them. ASOS also does a great job at using model in movement shots. 

ASOS models

Consider shooting videos to promote your products

This is probably the most expensive visual content you can offer but if done right, it can yield higher returns on investment. In fact, based on a Google study , 4 out of 10 people who have watched a product video are likely to visit the merchandiser’s physical store or the online shop. And 34% of clothing shoppers buy an advertised item after watching its video ad.

Product videos are effective in building an emotional connection with the customer and make them feel more confident in the decision to purchase. If you have the budget to cover the costs, I say go for it!

Make your homepage strikingly beautiful

Your homepage is your storefront and the layout of your homepage is crucial. It is the first place your customers see and it should embody your brand, and give returning visitors something exciting to look at. Even though you might not be adding new products every week, your site has to feel fresh every week.

Think of your homepage as your physical storefront. You need to make it interesting by changing content regularly. If you had a retail store you would change the windows in your store weekly, to give passers by something exciting to look at.

This is the same with your home page – change content weekly based on story concepts. In our online fashion marketing course our students learn to plan their website merchandising ahead of time. You can do the same by creating a simple list of merchandising ideas, for example:

Week 1 Graphic Story
Week 2 Paisley
Week 3 Gold
Week 4 Pink

The secret lies in planning ahead and preparing your images and graphics a few stories at a time to minimise your workload.

I hope this post inspires you to take your online store to another level with the help of visual merchandising!

About the author

Vanja Stace is the founder and principle of The Fashion Darling School of Business.

The Fashion Darling was founded in 2015 and has helped many international designers. In July 2015 she won the Fashion Edupreneur 2015 Award, which recognises excellence in the delivery of educational programs in the fashion industry.

The Fashion Darling will be back next friday with tips for your fashion line. In the meantime, if you have any questions for Vanja, reach out to her on

Vanja Stace The Fashion Darling School of Business

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