Sell the Whole Story
How to sell products: It's more than just a pretty picture.
By Lois Boyle
A picture may be worth a thousand words, but it rarely tells the whole story. Consider a photograph on a catalog page.
You can make it as attractive as possible, with beautiful lighting and extravagant propping, but there are drawbacks—a photograph alone won't give the full experience the product has to offer. You can't touch it, taste it, smell it or try it on. A multifaceted product is reduced to one simple dimension. Often that isn't enough.
Catalogers must work hard to establish a perceived value with their audiences. Buyers must understand what they're getting and why they should be willing to risk a purchase on an unknown.
To give your products the best chance of selling, paint an elaborate landscape of words and pictures within a limited space, conveying as much information about each product as succinctly as possible.
Before discussing best practices of selling products on the printed page, keep the following points in mind:
- Understand the role of catalog creative. It must grab attention, explain the product, make it easy for customers to make a decision and even easier for them to follow through with a purchase.
Remember that a visual has less than a second to grab the reader's attention. In that fleeting moment, the reader—with little more than a glance—must be able to understand a product's major benefit.
- Take into account how readers will process a page. The photo catches the eye first, followed by an intrusive violator (whether it's copy or a graphic) then the price, headline and body copy. And if they've gotten into the copy block, it's a safe bet that they're seriously considering purchasing your product, or at least comparing it to others.