Etsy Jam

Etsy Jam Episode 18: Using AIDA to Spice Up Your Photos

In this episode we talk about the acronym AIDA.  You’ll learn what it stands for and how you can apply it to your listings’ photos. AIDA is something you can apply to any eCommerce photos – so feel free to take the concepts over to your Amazon Handmade and Shopify listings as well!

What is AIDA?

AIDA stands for Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action. It’s a form of communicating whether you are writing an email, a letter, writing descriptions or in this case, photos – since pictures are like ‘currencies’ that we use in e-commerce.

1. Attention:

The ‘A’ stands for Attention. Where attention relates to your photos is in the search results. It’s the first place you are going to show up and it is the first place that a shopper is going to have exposure to one of your listings.

The ‘A’ is all about grabbing their attention and helping them see your listing in the search results. There are actually researches about traffic signs in this regard. When you expose people to a certain number of signs, what they find in studies is that people actually don’t acknowledge any of the traffic signs anymore. So in Etsy, when someone does a search; and they see a bunch of thumbnails and if they all look the same; it all blends in and nothing catches their attention anymore. So stand out and be the one to grab their attention.

This is a little activity you can do on your own in looking how attention works:

  • If you’re on Etsy, you want to make sure that you’re not logged in to your account and you are in Private Browsing mode (Incognito for Chrome) so you’re not getting any personalized results.
  • If you’re on Marmalead, we do that already and you’re not getting any kind of personalized search results.
  1. Do a search and close your eyes before the page loads (10 seconds or so is probably enough).
  2. Open your eyes and take note of where your eyes goes first. Pay attention to that single listing that you looked at first.

You can start to do this multiple times and start to look for things they have in common. Try to understand what made you look at that particular listing as opposed to the ones around it. Start trying to understand what is making you see this listing before the other listings.

You don’t have to just do this on Etsy, you can go pretty much anywhere and do this. You can also do this on Amazon and do the exact same thing.

If you're not catching their attention right off the bat when they're looking at the search results, it's really gonna diminish your chances of them clicking on your listing.

2. Interest:

The first thing you need to do is get them to see your listing in the search results. The next thing you want them to do is to click it. But in order to click they need to be interested in it.

How do you build interest?

It has to tie back to what they are looking for – to what they typed in – and if the photo they are being presented with is in line with what they are trying to find on Etsy.

There are some places where you can see photos that are specifically geared towards capturing people’s interest and making them click. The first thing that comes to my head is If you’ve been to the site, whether you’re checking the forecast or anything, you have undoubtedly seen all those articles that they place on the side or at the bottom of the page to try and keep you on the website longer. Most people go just to check the temperature and the weather then leave the site; but want to keep you and see more of their content. If you’ve ever looked at those photos that they have, those things are designed just to get your interest peak and get you to click so you stay on the site longer.

Now I don’t think you should go full crazy on your photos like they do because it probably won’t work very well – but it’s the same principle. You want to give someone enough information that they are interested in it but they still want to learn more. They want to click your photos and find more information about your listing.

Use Rock Your Photos

Another tool that you can use is our Rock Your Photos report which will give you more information and understand how clickable some of your photos are. Some of the results might surprise you like you might find that out of your 5 photos, the most clickable one isn’t the one you’re using as your thumbnail photo. So you might want to start rethinking some of these things.

When you look at your Rock Your Photos report, we have actual shoppers score your photos on different criteria. One of them is quality, one of them is appeal, and the other is clickability. When you’re looking at the level of interest and building so people would want to click your listings; the two you should focus on are how appealing your photo is, and how clickable it is.

3. Desire:

Desire is an important one. You want people to naturally want what you’re selling. That’s the whole point. Make them want to buy your listing. To build desire there are different things that you can do. Show how the product is used especially if this is something that a person can use. If it’s home decor, show a picture of it as a decoration for their house.

It ties back to knowing your customer. That is why it’s super important to talk to your customers and get to know as much about them as you can. Get to know what their lifestyles are; what their goals are; things that fit along with other purchases they made. It’s really beneficial to have a better understanding of who your customer is and what they want in their life. Then you can make sure that what you are presenting is in line with that.

Related: How and why you should talk to your customers

What about your products make it desirable to you?

If you are your own customer, it’s going to be even easier. You make your own type of products that you buy, you are your own type of customer, and you fit that persona.

Ask these questions:

  • What about it is desirable to you?
  • Why did you first start buying this product?
  • What does it mean to you>

If you are not your own customer, think about some of the things you bought. Look at some of the catalogs you like looking at and then when you see a product – look at it and start thinking “Why am I so drawn into this?”, “I want this, but why?”. So pick off something in your wishlist and ask why you want it and what it means to you. If you are able to answer those questions, the more you understand how other businesses build interest into their products and hopefully you can apply the same.

The 5 Whys

You can do this too with your listings. Ask yourself why 5 times. Q:”Why do I want this?” A:”I want it so I can do X” Then ask again why – and the whole idea is to ask yourself 5 times. After five, you’re pretty much at the root of the whole reason why you want it because the first answer isn’t always the biggest, most overarching, most meaningful answer.

Allison’s style of building desire in her photos

We just talked with Allison last week in the podcast and she recently introduced with her listing photos the idea of putting her digital prints in a frame. The whole point of doing this is so that the shopper can picture this piece of artwork in a frame, in a home, in a room or wherever it’s going to be. They can picture that as opposed to just posting the picture of the printable artwork. Taking that additional step in her photos really helps to serve the building of desire for her customers.

Build desire with your other 4 photos

With your first listing photo (your featured photo), you’re gonna want to focus on attention and interest. You don’t necessarily have to make sure that the first photo builds desire too. What you really want is to build desire with the other 4 photos that you have to use. Use some of those to take some close up shots of your listing so they can see the intricacies and the details that you put into your work. Show people using it or some uses for your product so that they can envision themselves using it. You can use those other 4 photos to build the desire instead of relying on a single photo that has to do all 4 of these things at once.

Show them what’s different

There has to be something about your listing that’s different from the other ones. Remember, that this is your opportunity to showcase in visual form, the most readily digestible information – and it doesn’t matter what language they speak, they’re going to understand the photo and this is your chance to stand out from the other ones. Don’t just tell them what’s different, show them what’s different.

4. Action:

We’ve taken them from the search results by grabbing their attention. We’ve made the photos interesting enough for them to click and you’ve built desire with your 4 other photos. Now, the last thing you want them to do is to actually make the purchase.

How do you get people to take an action?

The first thing is you have to tell them to take the action. Tell them to buy it. If it’s vintage or one of a kind, you can remind them that if it’s gone – it’s gone. Because a lot of times, we’re somewhat conditioned that there is always another chance but in this case; it’s not.

Here’s an example of a story that you can pull from if you’re selling vintage:

“Hey, I sell a lot of vintage but I don’t come across this very often and this is a pretty rare find. There’s just no other ones that roll on conveyor belts that you can pick up and take home. This is in great condition and there’s probably not a lot like this one.”

Offer upsells

Another thing you could do to push the action forward is to offer upsells. Let’s go back to Allison’s example where she had custom color backgrounds that she could put into her listings – those were upsells. You could have a photo that tells the shopper “If you order before November 1st, you get this free upgrade to this listing” and that’s going to make some people feel like they better hurry up before that offer is no longer available.

Using the Commitment Bias

Sometimes there are listings that are available in multiple colors. Maybe there’s a different colored fabric involved, or different colors involved and what the majority of sellers do is they put up a photo showing all the different options. This is actually pretty clever because one of the things that’s going to happen when a shopper sees this is – without even thinking about it – they are going to pick out their favorite. Even if they’re not invested in making the purchase yet, you’ve already convinced them to take a baby step. You got them to make a decision and that is a good baby step to forward them to take the next step which is to actually make the purchase.

That is called the commitment bias. Once we’ve started making decisions, it is hard to go backwards. In finance, there’s also something called a ‘sunk cost dilemma’ and people have a very very tough time dealing with it. Basically it’s the emotional difficulty that once you’ve started investing something in it or once you commit, you might as well just go straight for it.

Closing Thoughts

We’ve covered Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action. Now the action of this blog post is to go apply it.

Tomorrow you're going to wish that you've done it yesterday – so do it today.
In this episode we talk about the acronym AIDA.  You'll learn what it stands for and how you can apply it to your listings' photos. AIDA is something you can apply to any eCommerce photos - so feel free to take the concepts over to your Amazon Handmade and Shopify listings as well!

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