How 360° & 3D Product Photography Prevents Returns and Chargebacks from Dissatisfied E-Commerce Customers

Online retailers all suffer from the same dilemma—how can I prevent returns and chargebacks from dissatisfied customers? Not only do product returns cost retailers money (and time) to resolve, they also can also permanently impact the reputation of the product or the brand, causing lost future sales as potential customers are turned away by negative reviews.

We Shop With Our Eyes

As consumers, we primarily shop with our eyes. Next time you’re in a store, try shopping with your eyes closed and see how satisfied you are with your purchase.

Online this truth is exponentially more significant because you lose the ability to touch. In a store, the look of a product look can interest you, but how it feels can be a surprising or disappointing determinant of the purchase. The touch, an invaluable part of the shopping experience, doesn’t occur until after the product has been purchased or delivered—when it’s too late to prevent customer dissatisfaction.

The best strategy is to be proactive, not reactive. Eliminate any hesitation or confusion by providing comprehensive, detailed and high-quality product photography.

Not only will this make your product listing more complete, attracting more buyers as a direct result, but a better visual representation will allow buyers to make absolutely sure that the product fits their perception of what it should be and that it contains any features they require.

Product images are less likely to lead to any kind of misunderstanding or lack of information when compared to descriptive text. This very basic, yet powerful example demonstrates what pictures can do, that words cannot:

Visual_Communication_Snap36-1

Use Product Photos to Answer Questions

Too many retailers rely on manufacturer provided product photography that fails to inform consumers of the unique qualities of the product and differentiate the retailer’s e-commerce site.

Let’s pretend I need to shop online for a camping backpack. As a novice camper and typical female, I’m an over-packer who is highly concerned with pocket storage. Can it hold my clothes, shoes, phone, keys, sleeping bag, tent? Are certain pockets more durable, secure or accessible?

I start my search on Amazon and settle on The North Face Banchee 65 Pack. Included is this image:

Screen_Shot_2015-02-19_at_11.12.31_AM

This is the only image. No alt views, no detail shots. I can’t fully see what I’m trying to purchase, which leaves me uncertain about my potential satisfaction with the product.

I take the search to R.E.I. Again, I found The North Face Banchee 65 Pack with this image:

REI_North_Face_Backpack

R.E.I. includes a back shot, but I’m still not confident about storage capabilities. I look at a few other sites – Dicks Sporting Goods, Rocky Mountain Trail, The North Face— only to realize that they ALL use the same images.

The problem here is obvious. No retailer has provided me with the visual information I need to interpret storage capabilities and make a confident purchase decision. I could purchase the backpack based on a single image, but I’ll risk being unsatisfied and having to return the item.

There is a simple, clean and functional way to address this problem—showcasing products in 360° & 3D spin. Let’s take a look at this example backpack shot in 360° & 3D spin:

360° photography covers the product from every angle and the 3x zoom gets me up close and personal. It creates a total picture for me to view and manipulate. The added 3D animation gives life to the backpack by showcasing the pockets both opened and closed. This serves to answer potential questions of storage spacealleviating customer service calls, product returns, and unhappy product reviews.

In addition to creating knowledgeable, satisfied customers, retailers and manufacturers that provide unique imagery are also differentiating themselves from their competitors, delivering an additional level of customer service that will earn them long-term brand loyalty.

Claire McCracken
Claire McCracken
c.mccracken@snap36.com

Claire is a Marketing Coordinator at Snap36. She recently graduated from the University of Dayton with a bachelor's degree in Communications and Marketing. Before working at Snap36, Claire had a marketing internship with a construction company in Chicago.

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