The Importance of Visuals in Collections Page Design: 4 Best Practices + 9 Great Examples

Web Designer Local

Can website design help boost conversions? After all, optimizing key web pages is one of the most effective ways to inspire web visitors to purchase. Ideally, you want these assets to appeal to your target audience. You also want to convince them of the effectiveness of your solution, and remove any conversion obstacles. One strategy for this is to use visuals in collection pages.

But here’s the thing. Most web designers and business owners think that the key to maximizing conversions is investing in their product pages. And, sure, this is an excellent course of action, seeing as people decide to buy while looking at these pages. Nonetheless, this course of thinking often disregards the importance of visuals in collection pages.

Ultimately, if you study the sales funnel, you’ll find that product selection and evaluation make up a significant portion of people’s buying journey. Visuals in collection pages often represent the environment where that initial evaluation takes place. It’s only natural that they should be designed to present consumers with sufficient product information while encouraging them to take a closer look at the items matching their criteria. When shopping online, people depend on visuals to make their buying decisions. You want to do your best to enhance these pages with the right images and illustrations.

So, if you want to optimize your site by acknowledging the importance of visuals in collection page design, here are the best practices to follow, along with some examples to take inspiration from.

Visual Branding Elements

Branding is crucial to a brand’s success (or demise). 

Look at the typical buyer’s journey. You’ll find that branding informs people’s buying decisions. For example, statistical data shows that brand reputation is a major factor for 58% of US consumers when choosing what products to invest in. Brand recognition can be essential for converting customers, as 82% of people click on a result from a familiar brand when browsing SERPs. Finally, remember that today’s buyers consider brand values crucial, with 82% of consumers expecting a brand’s values to align with their own.

With this data in mind, prioritize enhancing your collection pages with instantly recognizable branding elements. And what better way to do this than by employing visuals?

Something as simple as placing a sufficiently large brand logo in the top left section of your product listing pages (PLPs) can be an easy way to remind your prospects of the qualities they’ve started associating your brand with. Similarly, sticking to your brand’s color palette can create a cohesive appearance reflective of your business’s primary attributes. 

Or, if you want to take this tactic to the next level, you can also enhance product images with recognizable branding elements, as done by Smith Optics below.

Product Images

If you look at how online shoppers evaluate solutions, you’ll find that 83% of people rely primarily on product images. But as you work to upgrade the visuals in collection pages on your website and make them more effective at converting customers, you need to ask yourself the following question. What makes for an effective, purchase-inspiring product photo?

The good news is that science has an answer to this question. According to a research study conducted in 2014, the ideal product photo that’s successful at convincing people to buy should have the following characteristics:

  • It must be high in quality.
  • It should feature a big key object.
  • The photo should be clear and in focus.
  • The color should ideally be warm in hue.
  • Contrast levels should be high.
  • The depth of field should be higher, with no noticeable background blurring.
  • Ideally, the photo should include a positive social presence.

If you check out the A.P.C. Eyewear collection page, you’ll notice that the primary image ticks all these boxes.


But can you do anything else to maximize the conversion-inspiring impact of the product photos on your listing pages? Absolutely! Here are a few more hacks that could help you choose and showcase visuals that will boost sales.

Show off Alternative Product Angles

Ideally, your web visitors should be able to see about three to five product photos when evaluating your solutions. So, ensure that your product collection pages allow consumers to look at an item from multiple angles, showing off the entire product and a few detailed views portraying relevant attributes.

For inspiration, check out how each Mr. Porter listing page features a primary product photo and an alternative view (with a social presence) shown when a web visitor hovers their cursor over the item they’re interested in.


Experiment with Video

As a multimedia format, video is exceptionally effective at convincing consumers to convert. It’s an engaging element you can add to your website or incorporate into your marketing strategies. Plus, it’s insanely good at demonstrating what a product does and convincing consumers to try your solutions. 

Employ User-Generated Content Where Possible

Finally, remember that depictions of your products don’t necessarily have to be professionally shot to effectively convince web visitors to invest in your solutions. In fact, by supplementing pro-shot images with user-submitted visuals, you can give your audience a much more realistic view of what to expect from your business, effectively managing their expectations and maximizing their satisfaction rates should they decide to convert.

Check out how Greenhouse Emporium does on its Small Greenhouses product listing page. Here, the brand alternates between pro-shot product photography and UGC showing the items in customers’ backyards, making it super-easy for potential buyers to see how these items look in real life and decide whether they match their expectations.


Visual UI/UX Elements

As you approach the collection page design process for your ecommerce website, note that visual elements don’t only refer to product images.

Yes, visuals showing your products will help your prospects choose a solution (and hopefully buy). But, other elements rely on the power of imagery to inspire consumer action. In most cases, these include UI and UX elements that aim to ease the product selection, evaluation, and purchase process.

For example, if you check out this collections page on the Moto Machines website, you’ll notice that it allows consumers to purchase straight from the listing page. However, to make this UX feature more prominent, the brand uses an attention-grabbing CTA button that attracts shopper awareness with a bright red color, which contrasts with the page’s background.

Or, knowing that most shoppers don’t buy before they’re ready to commit to a single product, some brands utilize visual UI elements to encourage future brand interactions. Check out the Loafers collection page on the Cole Haan ecommerce site. You’ll notice a clickable heart element in the top right corner of each product box, allowing visitors to add an item to their wishlist for future reference.

Visuals in collection pages

Finally, as you experiment with methods to upgrade your collection pages with visuals, note that some prospects won’t want to look at product listing pages on their shopping journey. Instead, if they’re almost ready to purchase, they’ll want an easy way to identify a viable solution and go directly to the product page.

One way you can streamline the buyer’s journey for these consumers is to include product images in your search bar results. This is what Design Within Reach does on its site, where even search results include a small product image, helping customers find the item they want to evaluate/buy.

Visuals in collection pages

Purchase Supporting Visuals

Lastly, as you explore the best practices for collection page design that will help you elevate your ecommerce website, don’t forget that, sometimes, consumers simply need a little nudge to make their buying decision (regardless of what part of your website they’re browsing).

So, if you want to maximize the conversion potential of your product listing pages, why not supplement them with visual elements that will support your audience’s decision-making process?

For instance, you probably know that social proof plays a tremendously important role during the buyer’s journey. In fact, 77% of shoppers will only buy on websites with product ratings. So, why not use visuals to prove that your solutions do a solid job of removing consumer frustrations?This is what Transparent Labs does on this page. Here, the brand includes a visual representation of each product’s rating. Even more, the design features social proof “Bestseller” badges that inform potential buyers of the most commonly purchased (and re-purchased) products in the brand’s offer.

Visuals in collection pages

Alternatively, knowing that brand trust impacts people’s willingness to invest in a solution, you could use collection page visuals to emphasize your business’ credibility and competence. Check out how Golf Cart Tire Supply does it on this page. The header section of this particular page includes several trust badges testifying to the brand’s reliability. Moreover, the page features an attention-grabbing bright green Reviews fly-out element that buyers can use to read the latest product reviews submitted by fellow shoppers.

Visuals in collection pages

Final Thoughts

There you have it, the ground rules for designing collection pages that convert. By implementing these tactics on your ecommerce website, you’re sure to see a boost in conversion. To ensure you’re making the best possible design decisions for your brand and audience, remember to continually test your site’s performance. That way, you won’t just confirm that these PLP design hacks work. You’ll also uncover valuable opportunities for web performance improvement to help you maximize your business’ success potential.

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