Idea and example packed post at Practical Ecommerce with real world examples of optimizations for any ecommerce site.
I am amazed every day at quality of product pages of ecommerce sites, even supposedly major sites. One little picture, showing one color option of some product, often taken out of context, sliced out on a white background so most product pictures look OK on the websites whatever background color. They may sell some, but poor shopping experiences leave much money on the table that optimized sites can easily scoop up.
Bottom line… shopping is an emotional experience. When shopping in person, you are able to touch the merchandise, feel the material, examine the workmanship and in many cases try it on, take a test drive or sleep in that Sleep Number Bed for 30 days.
With ecommerce, you get none of those tactile experiences. We purchase online largely from a 2D picture on a small monitor, so we must rely on other ways to spark that emotional interest in our shoppers. You’re article has provided some great ways to lead customers down an emotional path towards the shopping cart.
Having lots of great pictures with multiple color options and angles should be at the top of the list. Follow this up with great product content so that the customer can see themselves wearing the sweater or driving that shiny new automobile and you’re well on your way to putting your customers in that emotional buying nirvana.