The Next Generation of Visual Website Optimizer is launching in April 2014 See What's Coming

Ecommerce A/B testing: Larger product images increase sales by 9%

Posted in A/B Split Testing, Case Studies on February 14th, 2013

Today’s study is very useful for eCommerce companies. It shows why using larger product images on your category or product pages might be better than providing product information.

Conversion rate optimization agency Optimics used Visual Website Optimizer to run an A/B test on the site MALL.CZof their client MALL.CZ. The company is the Czech Republic’s second largest ecommerce retailer that sells a large variety of products which includes Small Household Appliances, Electronics, Computer and Peripherals, Mobile Phones, Toys and lots more. Among many other tests, Optimics wanted to see if larger product images had any impact on sales and revenue. The primary goal was to increase sales.

The Test

Optimics created two variations; the first had slightly larger product images and the second had larger images with description show up on mouseover.

Control – Original size of product images along with text description
Mall.cz product images control

Variation 1 – Large product images with text
Mall.cz product images variation 1

Variation 2 – Large product images with text description viewable on mouse over
Mall.cz product images variation 2

The Result

Variation 2 with the large images and product description viewable on mouse over was the winner. It resulted in a straight 9.46% increase in sales (96% chance to beat original) with exactly zero Czech korunas spent on advertising.

Marek Cais from Optimics told us that larger product images seemed to work better regardless of product type. While “an image speaks a thousand words” is a well-known adage, it obviously works for ecommerce too. Drawing comparisons with shopper behavior in brick-and-mortar stores, you’ll see that customers walk in, look at a variety of products then settle on one or two and spend some time looking at them closely. If the product is something like a pair of shoes, they’ll even try them on and then walk in front of the mirror.

In all cases, they’re looking at the product as they make the journey from interest, desire and finally action. Nicely shot product images essentially mimic this pattern, allowing website viewers to have a good look at the object of their interest before buying.

Other useful articles on product images

Update: There was an error where Control and Variation 2 had been interchanged. It has now been corrected.

Siddharth Deswal

I do marketing at Visual Website Optimizer.

The Complete A/B Testing Guide

Know all that you need to get started:

  • What is A/B Testing?
  • Is it compatible with SEO?
  • How to start your first A/B test?
Show Me The Guide


Tags

15 Comments
Gerard Cuenca
February 14, 2013

Nice test! Thanks :)

Finally I suppose the winner variation was 1, not 2 :)

In your text: “Variation 2 with the large images and minimal text was the winner.”

Thanks again, good to know, larger product images forever.
Gerard

Siddharth Deswal @ Wingify
February 14, 2013

Thanks for pointing that out Gerald :) Have made the correction.

Daniel
February 15, 2013

Hi,

Great test! Just wondering how you can set up the test site wide? I assume you don’t have to change every single product slot.

Cheer, Daniel

Siddharth Deswal @ Wingify
February 15, 2013

Hi Daniel,

In the Test Page Pattern, enter an * (asterisk) after your website URL.
So if your URL is http://example.com then to run it on the entire site you’d use http://example.com*

Hope this helps. Catch us on Support@wingify.com if you need further assistance.

Marek Cais
February 15, 2013

Hi Daniel,
it requires a little bit of manual jQuery coding, you cannot achieve that using the WYSIWYG editor. But if you switch to the code editor in VWO, you can do some magic :)
In this particular test, we had to change the “SRC” attribute of all the product images, so that it pointed to higher resolution photos.

Cooper Maruyama
February 16, 2013

Daniel, if you want more detailed instructions, we’ve posted an article dedicated to that topic here: landersoptimized.com/guides/lean-conversion-optimization-strategies-for-fast-implementation-and-results/

@Siddharth: We’ve also ran a test on increasing category images that increased revenue-per-visitor by 22% – I think that it has more of an effect on products that have more detail to them – for example, I don’t think it would be very effective on t-shirts, but would be very effective on electronics. You can check it out here http://landersoptimized.com/case-studies/3-consecutive-wins-for-tinytotties-com/

Siddharth Deswal @ Wingify
February 18, 2013

@Cooper,

That’s a very interesting case study and I think you’re right, detail oriented products will benefit far more from larger images.

This calls for an A/B test in itself.

Eduardo
February 18, 2013

Hmm, and what about the customers on tablets? They won’t be able to see the descriptions…

Stepan
February 18, 2013

“A little bit of coding” can mean thousands (in CZK) spent on coding, testing, evaluation, PM etc. .. so yes, money spent on ads was zero, but that was not the price of making it better ..

Secondary, this “beautification” was possible only because all of pictures are isolated on white background. Gradients, grey image bgr or other colors could drive it completely different way and I am not sure, if even MALL is capable of pushing all sellers into providing “white bgr only” images ..

spinxwebdesign
February 22, 2013

That’s totally true. Larger product images will leave good impression on the visitor’s mind and they will increase your business sales online. I have designed many e-commerce websites and already used this concept for my clients. They are happy with their business sales.

Ingteractive.com
June 12, 2013

Is it the fact that the images are larger that triggered higher conversion or could it also be that the add to cart button is more visible due to a somewhat cleaner design?

I love the concept on mouse over descriptions….

Marek Cais
June 12, 2013

I don’t think people use these CTA buttons in this category enough for them to make any difference in the test. These “add to cart” are used mainly with cheaper, every-day-use products.

Ingteractive.com
June 12, 2013

We are talking about kitchen electronics here, right? 1 Czech koruna = 0.039 Euros. So the listed products range between 16 (CZ 399) and 84 EUR (CZ 2100). Seem like low involvement products to me…

Marek Cais
June 12, 2013

What I meant was FMCG such as washing powder, diapers, etc. and generally repeat purchases. With electronics people tend to read into the details and functions a bit more, so they click-through to the product detail page.

Wesley
October 4, 2013

Did mall.cz give up of larger images? Or they are still in A/B test? Because I can’t see this anymore on their site.

Leave a comment
Required
Required - not published


9 − seven =

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

I ♥ Split Testing Blog


Stay up to date

Recent Posts

Write for this blog!

We accept high quality articles related to A/B testing and online marketing. Send your proposals to contribute@wingify.com