ecommerce visuals

How to Use Visuals to Shape Audience Perception and Grow Your Ecommerce Brand (+Examples)

Guest post 19.3.2024. Reading Time: 7 minutes

Standing out in the ecommerce landscape is difficult. You will never be the only brand selling a certain item. You may offer the best service, but unless your website is appealing and you make an instant connection with your audience, they might decide to shop elsewhere. 

The visual identity of your brand will impact how your audience perceives you. It can help you work on those connections and relationships. It can help you grow your brand over time and achieve your business goals. 

Here’s how to use visuals to improve your brand’s online standing: 

Show All Relevant Product Information

The first and perhaps most obvious way to improve your visuals is to examine your product images. 

Surprisingly many ecommerce brands mistakenly believe that it’s enough to feature one or two photos of a product and call it a day. However, the more relevant, high-quality photos you display, the better the user experience on your product pages will be. 

Start by considering the nature of the product. How is it used? How could a photo best illustrate its size, its quality, and all of its relevant features?

Ideally, you want to show the item from as many angles as possible. Also, try to shoot a photo that can be used as a size reference. Place the item in a natural setting, next to something that has a standard size. Show what the item looks like in use. 

What if your item doesn’t really need to be shown from more than one angle? Look at this vegan weight gain supplement page for a good example. Instead of featuring just an image of the product bottle, it also showcases the ingredients. 

This very simple additional photo instantly elevates the brand in their customers’ eyes. They demonstrate that they understand the shoppers’ needs and have taken the steps to cater to them.

Showcase Your Partners and Features

One of your main goals as a brand will be to establish yourself as a trustworthy, reputable, reliable online store. To that end, you will use customer reviews and testimonials. You should also consider using simple visual elements too. 

Let’s look at an example to demonstrate this point. Cold Plunge Facts features the logos of the cold plunge brands they partner with on their homepage. This instantly makes them more trustworthy. They are not just a random website. They work with some famous industry names. 

This kind of visual content can do wonders, especially for first-time website visitors. You can create a section for brand logos on your own homepage or your product category pages and display the brands you work with (or the most popular ones if there are too many to list). 

You can also display the logos of news outlets or websites that have featured you. Ideally, you will also link out to the page so that visitors can read more. Being picked up by someone else will yet again enhance your reputation, helping customers overcome a lot of their most common conversion obstacles.

Show the Faces of Your Customers

On a similar note, showing that your customers are real people can go a very long way, too. If you add faces to the reviews and testimonials, it will be much easier for your visitors to connect with them. 

Ask some of your loyal customers whether they would be up for providing a short blurb you will feature on your homepage. Ask them to provide a photo of themselves they like. If you can, send them a small gift as a sign of appreciation for their help. 

Check out this meal planning app to see how you can create this section on your website. It doesn’t have to be very large or particularly eye-catching. It should follow the logical hierarchy of the page and clearly stand on its own. 

how to build customer loyalty

Depending on the nature of your products, you can also feature your customers wearing or using your items. You can show before and after photos, too, as long as the shopper is featured in the photo. Don’t overly retouch these images. They aren’t meant to look polished but real. 

Leverage User-Generated Content

One more way you can use your current customers to help convert new ones is to incorporate user-generated content where you can, which is practically everywhere. 

For starters, you can encourage customers to add photos or videos to their reviews. This will not only prove that they actually own the product but also help visitors determine whether or not that particular item is right for them. 

You can also incorporate user-created images into your product carousels. This will make them more relatable, and customer photos are usually much more appealing because they are not staged. 

You can also feature an Instagram carousel on your homepage to showcase both products and customers. This is a very appealing type of social proof that is very easy to incorporate. 

Look at Funny Fuzzy and their homepage. They have a simple row of Instagram photos that are likely to bring a smile to a pet owner’s face. They encourage you to check them out on social media at the same time, too.

User Generated Content

Speaking of social media, don’t forget to use user-generated content across your social profiles, too. This is usually where visuals can most organically shape your audience’s perception. 

Feature a Video

The visual content format that can best be used to tell your brand’s story and showcase your products is video. It is more time-consuming and costly to produce, but it is well worth the investment. 

Start by considering the type of video you need. What do you want to achieve with it? For example, do you want to display all the different products you sell? Do you want to tell a story? Do you want to teach your audience how they can use your product? 

Once you have a goal in mind, start writing an outline for the video. Think of the setting you want to film it in and write down everything and everyone you will need. 

The video doesn’t have to be long. In fact, even a couple of seconds can be very effective if executed properly. 

Check out GetSafe and their homepage video as an example. It’s funny, and it immediately tells you who their target audience is. It then seamlessly goes on to show you what the product looks like, what it does, and how you can use it. Throughout the video, the benefits of the product are organically mentioned. 

ecommerce video

This kind of video will quickly answer all common customer questions, and it can serve as a great tool for growth and conversions. 

Appeal to a Diverse Audience

A great way to shape the way your audience sees you is to use visuals to showcase diversity and inclusiveness. This will demonstrate to a wide range of people that your brand caters to them and cares about them. 

Visuals are an incredibly effective and straightforward tool to achieve this effect. All you need to do is include a diverse range of humanity in your photos. If this is too costly and complex for your small brand, you can again leverage user-generated content to your advantage. 

You can take this moment to think outside the box as well. What is the most common preconceived notion someone may have about a product? Who do they expect the product to be for? Can another demographic use the same product? 

Showcasing these “unusual” uses can also be your chance to be funny or witty. One of the most stereotypical examples of this tactic is a woman using a lawn mower or any power tool.

If you want to check out a brand that has nailed diversity in their photos, check out Glossier. Their Stretch Face Duo, for example, features a product carousel incorporating people of various ages, genders, skin colors, and skin conditions. They clearly demonstrate that their product is highly inclusive and caters to everyone.

appeal brand

Leverage the Power of AR

If you are looking to truly take your visuals to the next level, you can consider using augmented reality to your advantage. 

This can be especially useful if you sell furniture, clothes, or makeup, i.e., any item that a customer would ideally like to try on or see what it will look like in their home. Conversion rates can be significantly increased with the use of AR, as you are offering shoppers an in-store experience online. 

For example, Sephora created their Virtual Artist, which makes buying makeup online infinitely better than ever before. You no longer have to guess whether or not you got the shade right. This results in fewer returns, higher customer satisfaction, and a better brand image. 

Note that AR is much more complex and expensive than any of the other visual formats we have talked about previously, so it might not be the right choice for a very small ecommerce brand that is just starting out. 

Don’t Forget about the Negative Space

Finally, let’s mention a visual design element that is just as important as the images and videos you choose: negative space. 

This is the element of every page that ties all the other elements together. It helps direct attention and draws the visitor’s eye where you want it. It makes pages feel less cluttered and claustrophobic, and it can significantly impact the way your audience perceives your brand. 

Negative space is often white, but it can be practically any color you want. Ideally, you will choose a neutral spectrum of colors so that the other elements of the page can stand out. 

Look at Hook and Albert as an example. Their homepage features a lot of negative space, which immediately emphasizes the CTA and the product images. The font stands out immediately, and the entire page feels professional and light. 

Talk to a professional web designer to see what sort of effect you want to achieve, and discuss how negative space and the spacing of other elements can be used most effectively. 

Wrapping Up 

Now that you understand how you can use visual elements to shape the way your audience perceives your brand, you can take a look at your website with fresh eyes. What could you do differently? Which advice can you implement easily? 

Take some time to consider how you can enhance your visuals, and don’t forget to ensure you align them with your audience’s expectations.

Natasha Lane


Natasha Lane
Natasha is a lady of a keyboard and one hell of a geek. She has been working for, and collaborating with, individual clients and companies of all sizes for more than a decade. Natasha specializes in writing about design, branding, digital marketing, and business growth. She is also addicted to art in all its forms and grilled tofu.