Why You Should be Using Mobile-Ready Hero Images for

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

If you sell products online and you’re not using mobile-ready hero images, you’re missing a trick – and here’s why. 

Last year, online e-commerce sales on mobile devices accounted for 41% of the total e-commerce spend, and that’s set to rise to 43.4% in 2023.  

With so-called ‘m-commerce sales’ now making up nearly half of all online retail sales in the UK, your products must look just as good on smaller screens as they do on the big ones. 

How can you make that happen? Mobile-ready hero images are a great place to start. 

What are mobile-ready hero images?

A product hero image is the lead photo or graphic that a visitor sees when they view a product on an e-commerce site. Its goal is to showcase your product and communicate exactly what prospective customers need to know.

To do its job properly, it must be a single, high-quality image that shares the what, why and how of your product. Armed with the most relevant information, customers can then make a one-click purchase or click through to find out more.

So, what about mobile-ready hero images?

Mobile-ready hero images are those same clear and impactful product images that are designed specifically for mobile phone screens. When the dimensions you’re working with are so much smaller, you need to make sure your images still allow customers to recognise your products, verify your brand and determine key product information, all at a glance. 

Mobile-ready hero images are designed and optimised to give those viewing your products on mobile phones the best possible user experience. And with so many mobile shoppers out there, it’s well worth the effort. 

How do mobile-ready hero images differ from standard pack shots?

Based on that description, you may be thinking that mobile-ready hero images are just a fancy way of describing standard pack shots. 

They’re certainly similar, but mobile-ready hero images differ from standard pack shot photography by making key elements of the product stand out, particularly when it’s viewed on smaller screens. 

Researchers from the University of Cambridge found that pack shots often fail to communicate critical information to shoppers, particularly on mobile devices. Mobile-ready hero images solve that problem by digitally enhancing the image and adding off-pack communications. 

For example, to create a hero image, you may take the original pack shot and:

  • Remove irrelevant information
  • Improve the clarity of key information on the pack
  • Crop the image to show only relevant details 
  • Improve the appearance of the product
  • Optimise the image for mobile phone screens

The key word here is clarity. A hero image is all about making the key product information so clear that a consumer feels confident enough to buy a product immediately based on the imagery alone. 

What should your mobile-ready hero images show?

Competition for online retail sales is only going in one direction – up. So, while simple product pack shots might once have been enough, now your imagery needs to work harder to secure a sale and boost your mobile conversion rates. 

With that goal in mind, the global standards body GS1 worked with the University of Cambridge and Unilever to create recommendations about how to design visually clear e-commerce images that sell. 

The advice was to remove standard pack shots from your visual shelf and use mobile-ready hero images as your core product photography. 

Furthermore, they provided four key pieces of information your mobile-ready hero images should include to be successful: 

  • What Brand? – The recognisable name you use to identify a product line or item – e.g. Heinz Baked Beans.
  • What Format? – The type of product it is and how it can be used – e.g. Four Can Pack.
  • What Variant? – The distinguishing features that differentiate products from the same brand and of the same size, such as flavour or fragrance – e.g. Reduced Sugar & Salt.
  • What Size? – The amount of product contained in the package – e.g. 4 x 415g. 

By following these simple guidelines, you can create mobile-ready hero images that help your customers find and buy the products they need more easily.  

What are the benefits of mobile-ready hero images? 

Your products might already be popular with shoppers on mobiles, but if you’re not using mobile-ready hero images, there’s always room for improvement. And here’s why:

Double-digit conversion increases: Products with mobile-ready hero images can expect conversion rates that are up to 10% higher across all mobile shopping platforms.

Fewer returns: Products with mobile-hero images typically see lower return rates due to fewer ‘accidental’ basket adds.

Better shopping experiences: Higher-quality imagery creates better mobile shopping experiences and increased customer loyalty. 

A consistent brand: Having a consistent digital shelf appearance across all your products helps to build and reinforce your brand. 

It’s quick and easy: Perhaps most importantly, you can easily integrate mobile-ready hero images into your current workflow without increasing turnaround times or adding to your costs. Simply adding off-pack communications, zooming in on label details or changing the label size might be all that’s required to turn your pack shots into hero images that are optimised for mobiles.

What about the stats?

We can bang on about the expected benefits of using mobile-ready hero images, but what you want to see are the stats. Well, try these on for size.

In 2017 and 2018, mobile-ready hero images were A/B split-tested against conventional pack shots by some of the biggest brands:

  • Persil saw a 2.6% increase in mobile sales
  • Ben & Jerry’s mobile sales rose by 3.6% 
  • Dove’s mobile sales soared by 22%
  • Magnum Ice Cream saw a mobile sales uplift of 24%

Throw in the fact that 65% of online shoppers say the quality of a product image is more important than the product description, and you have a pretty compelling case for creating mobile-ready hero images for your products. 

How we can help?

With 57% of the UK traffic flowing through Amazon coming from mobile devices, your product images must be fast-moving, clear, contain all the relevant information and look fantastic on small screens.

At marketplace amp, we can help you get there. Our skilled designers take complicated pack designs and turn them into striking hero images that you can apply to your Amazon listings and beyond. Find out more about our mobile-ready hero image design service and get in touch to discuss your product listings with our team. 

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