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The Great Venditan Bake Off For Forever Manchester

The Great Venditan Bake Off For Forever Manchester

2 MIN READ

We’re no strangers to raising money for the fantastic Forever Manchester, having competed in their 7-a-side football tournament previously. When the opportunity came up to take part in fundraising for them again, we couldn’t pass it up and took part in this year’s October Cheer Fest. 

Instead of a one-day event, we held our Great Venditan Bake Off throughout the entire month of October. This gave more people a chance to take part, and more money to be raised. Members of the Venditan team spent the month making or buying bakes of all kinds, bringing them in for the rest of the team to buy. The idea was well-received – I mean, who wouldn’t love a month of cake?! – and we had 9 people take part by bringing in an array of delicious bakes; brownies, cakes, cookies, pies and even some French and Polish delicacies! 

Thanks to everyone who took part, baked, bought and ate – not only did we have a great time and eat some delicious bakes, but we raised a fantastic £151.73 for a brilliant cause. 

 

Everyone did a dazzling job, some even worthy of a Hollywood Handshake, as you can see below!

Keep an eye out for more of team Venditan fundraising for Forever Manchester in the New Year! 

Did you know, Forever Manchester fund and support thousands of community projects across Greater Manchester? They’re the only charity raising money to support these activities, creating stronger and more connected communities – a sentiment at the heart of what we do, which is why we love to support them. 

You can find out more about some of the projects they support, and how you can get involved here

 

 

 

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Charlotte McKee
9th December 2019

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Ditch The Dull Product Images And Sell More

Ditch The Dull Product Images And Sell More

7 MIN READ

Could the imagery on your product pages do with a spruce up? A vital part of your product page anatomy is the imagery you choose to represent your product. The right image makes a huge difference when it comes down to buying decisions, and improving your product images can help you sell more. 

Did you know it only takes 150 milliseconds for us to process images? That’s a tiny window in which shoppers will make a snap decision about a product based on the visuals. If it’s a poor representation for whatever reason (there can be quite a few things to address), the shopper will likely leave it and buy from someone else. 

When shopping online, customers aren’t able to try items on, inspect them more closely or see the quality and material up close in order to make the most informed decision possible. So, it’s your job to provide as much information through spectacular visuals and marvellous product descriptions, in order to influence the buying decision – and here, we explore how.

Quality images sell more 

 

Quality images are more than a nice to have and will help you convert more buyers and sell more. No one’s going to buy from you if your pictures are low-resolution or poor quality. Using high-quality images not only makes your brand look way more professional but also, your product look more desirable and appealing to potential buyers. 

It’s also important to remember that online shoppers are missing the experience of seeing the product up close; think texture, fabric and general feel of the quality of the product. With high-resolution imagery, you can perfectly capture the finer details so users can zoom in and out to see the product close up. 

Using high-quality images is important for any item, but it becomes even more crucial when selling high-value items. For example, you can’t expect someone to pay £500 for a pair of shoes if the picture is poor.

It’s all about the angles 

Is there anything more unappealing than a flat, front shot of a product? 

The main image you use for your product should capture the most important features, backed up with a selection of images from other angles. If you’re selling a pair of shoes, it’s a great idea to include images of the heels and soles so that people can get more of a feel for the entire shoe – not just a single view. In fact, a research report from Salsify reveals that 73% of consumers need 3 or more images when shopping online for a product. 

You might also want to consider 360° photography. The interactive element with this is appealing to users as they will feel more in control of the experience, as they can see what aspects of the product is essential to them. 

If you’re struggling to think of what features should be captured in the variety of angles, consider the following:

  • Shoes: Heels, side angles, any design work (logos, stitching) 
  • Electricals: Inputs, technical details and types of connection (USB ports, for example) 
  • Books, CD, DVD, Vinyl: Inside covers, back cover, reviews 
  • Bikes: Tyres and tread, handles, pedals 
  • Handbags, purses: Show the inside and layouts, inner compartments 

Joules are really good at this, like in the image below where you can scroll through multiple pictures of the product angles, including inside the bag so you can see the extra zip compartments – a big selling point!

If you’re still unsure of what features to show off, you can refer to customer feedback and reviews. There might be some suggestions on what type of visual content could be missing – or stand out elements people like about the product you can visually encapsulate to show to other customers.

Keep mobile images in mind 

Mcommerce is on the rise and not something you should sleep on if you want to keep up with your competitors. 

Always consider and test how your product images render on a mobile screen and ensure your website is mobile-responsive. The last thing you want to do is inadvertently disrupt the customer journey by making the experience of shopping with you, regardless of device, anything less than amazing.

Partner images with great product descriptions 

Think of your product images and descriptions as two vital ingredients you need to pair well to make your product page the best it can be. I might be biased given my love of the written word and all, but a well-written product description can be the difference between someone liking the way a product looks and really selling it to them based on how you convey how it will benefit them and fit snuggly into their lives.

Show real-life situations in your images 

Being able to see the product in a relevant situation or setting is a great way to use your product images to sell more efficiently.

Ikea does a fantastic job of this and you’ll often find images of their products in home settings, like the below lamp. It’s a nice lamp on its own, but placed in a nicely decorated room emitting a warm glow stirs up further emotion for buyers; homeliness and comfort. They’re no longer just selling a lamp, but a feeling – that’s what appeals to buyers most, and imagery is the perfect way to achieve this.

An increasingly popular way to show products in real-life situations is through user-generated content. Including user-generated content on product pages is a fantastic way to boost sales on these items. 

Monki is a retailer doing this really well, using the hashtag #monkistyle, customers can share their Monki buys with the retailer, who then use these on-site (as below) and on product pages. For potential customers, seeing the products on real people in real settings adds authenticity – other people are buying and enjoying the product, so why wouldn’t they?

Use imagery to show different attributes 

Again, it’s so important to remember that when shopping online, users need as much information as possible in order to secure the purchase. They need to be safe in the knowledge that the item will fit (whether on them or in their home), that it’s the right colour and quality level. 

Showing the dimensions and measurements in an image is a much better way of detailing this information as plain text. Do both, for sure, but it’s definitely worth including a visual here. It saves on confusion (not everyone will know the differences between height/width/length) so lining these up next to an image of the product is a simple and effective way of communicating this. Argos do this really well on home furniture items. 

ASOS do something similar with clothes sizing, highlighting what size garment the model is wearing compared to their size and stature, so people can compare how the fit would be on themselves.

You can also use imagery to show off different colour attributes, like H&M convey on many of their product pages. This saves users toggling to different pages and helps upsell by offering more choice for different tastes and styles. 

Imagery can be used to boost SEO, too 

Optimising your pages to appear at the top of search engines is no easy feat – there’s a lot of competition, regular algorithm updates and changes to consider, not to mention the time to invest in this. However, there are simple things you can implement when uploading your imagery that will benefit your SEO.  

  • Make sure file names are reflective of keywords you’re targetting on the page
  • Use Alt Text to describe what is in the picture (for accessibility AND to impact SEO keywords on page)
  • Compress images where possible – this will speed up load times, and this benefits SEO rankings

Final thoughts 

Follow these steps to improve your product images and it will go some way in helping you sell more. Keeping your imagery fresh, relevant, of a high standard and up to date may seem like a challenging job but it will definitely bring big rewards! If you’re looking to update your website and boost sales and need some advice, get in touch, we’re always happy to help.

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Charlotte McKee
5th December 2019

5 Things Retailers Need To Know About Magento 1 End Of Life

5 Things Retailers Need To Know About Magento 1 End Of Life

2 MIN READ

If your website is running on Magento 1, by now you’ll probably know about the end of support coming in June 2020. But what does this mean? And do you really need to migrate your website? Here are 5 things you need to know if you’re considering staying on Magento 1.

1. Website functionality is likely to become broken

When it comes to online shopping, customers have more choice than ever before. If a site doesn’t provide a seamless and enjoyable experience then they are likely to purchase from somewhere else instead.

For Magento Community 1, and many versions of Magento Enterprise 1, quality fixes have already ended. Without maintenance, the features and functionality on these websites will gradually become more and more broken.

The longer retailers leave it to migrate, the more likely they’ll be left with a non-functioning website while they complete the re-platforming process.

2. Magento 1 websites will be vulnerable to security breaches and hacks

By far the most worrying aspect of Magento 1 End Of Life is the end of security patches. This will leave websites vulnerable to security breaches and hacks.

Hackers are likely to see Magento End of Life as an opportunity to automatically hunt out security holes on the remaining Magento 1 websites. DDOS attacks, spam registrations and brute force penetration attacks are just a few of the ways that Magento 1 sites are likely to be targeted.

3. There will be no official support for merchants

Retailers who continue to use Magento 1 after June 2020 will be on their own. No official support means that developers and merchants will need to rely on forums and community support to resolve any technical issues with their websites.

By this point, Magento 1 will be seen as a dead platform so it may also be difficult for retailers to find developers or agencies willing to help them.

4. There will be no way to protect customers’ data and payment details

As security patches will end in June 2020, Magento 1 checkouts may no longer be secure. This means that hackers may be able to access customer data and payment details. Not only will this result in lost sales and a damaged reputation, but could also see retailers in breach of GDPR so having to pay large legal fees, fines and compensation to customers.

5. There will be no new features or improvements to existing features

It’s an exciting time for eCommerce with technology evolving at a rapid rate. Offering new features such as subscription models, chatbots, mobile payments and same-day delivery can help retailers to differentiate themselves from their competitors.

With no first-party platform improvements or third-party extensions being developed, retailers who remain on Magento 1 will find it hard to keep up with consumer demands in terms of performance, convenience and functionality.

Final thoughts

With less than 200 days to go, the time to act is now! If you need to migrate before the deadline, why not take advantage of our free migration offer available until March 2020.

Less us guide you through a stress-free migration to our Venditan Commerce platform in just 90 days.

Fill out the form to register your interest.

Stephanie Fenton
3rd December 2019