According to research, 64% of women who shop on their smartphone say that seeing images of products in context positively influences their purchasing decisions.

It’s a simple tactic, but by including context, the online customer experience can be greatly improved - and this doesn't just apply to shopping on mobile either.

By reducing doubts about size and fit, and enabling a shopper to envisage how they might use a product, ecommerce retailers can help to reduce basket abandonment and encourage consumers to buy.

Here's a look at some of the best examples of brands putting products into context online.

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When it comes to ecommerce retailers that sell a wide range of brands, implementing product demonstrations across the board can be difficult.

In its 'electricals' category, Boots tackles this problem by making use of videos created by the brand manufacturers themselves.

It includes demos from the likes of Braun and Dyson, which adds a sense of authority as the information comes direct from a trusted brand.

As well as helping to make the online experience more engaging, this also gives shoppers a greater understanding of the product's key features as well as how it can be used in real life.


Nespresso uses context to solve consumer worries about the environmental impact of its coffee capsules.

Instead of merely focusing on the product itself, it uses its video on the ‘infinite journey of your Nespresso capsule’ to widen the story, informing customers what happens after the product has been used.

By highlighting the surrounding environmental factors, consumers are reassured that they are making a responsible purchase, giving them more incentive to buy.

Under Armour

Though many ecommerce retailers use contextual product imagery on-site, it's less common to see it used in email marketing - missing a trick when it comes to reducing basket abandonment.

Under Armour is a great example of how to effectively combine copy and contextual imagery, often promoting its products with seasonal context or consumer motivation.

The below email displays the products in a real-life scenario, capitalising on the relatable context of running in cold weather.

Even better, this example includes integrated video, which nicely complements the various feature-based images.


Practical products like household appliances are best shown in-use, especially when it comes to large items like fridges and freezers.

Bosch is a great example of this, using visuals to tell consumers how much food and drink can fit inside its fridges.

While sizing dimensions are all well and good, this highly visual element means customers are immediately engaged and well-informed.

It also uses demonstration videos to further highlight the product's features in a real-life scenario.


Visuals are a great way to provide context, but Teapigs proves that words can also do the job.

Its product descriptions do not merely list ingredients or describe the taste of the tea. Instead, it tells the customer how and when the tea should be drunk, describing it in relation to time of day, and even with tips like ‘add sugar if particularly hungover’.

This contextual information makes the brand seem more human, which helps to trigger a positive reaction.

Finally, it uses recipe ideas to add extra value, reminding the customer that products can be used in scenarios outside of their common everyday context.

Nikki Gilliland

Published 17 January, 2017 by Nikki Gilliland @ Econsultancy

Nikki is a Writer at Econsultancy. You can follow her on Twitter or connect via LinkedIn.

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Comments (4)

Pete Austin

Pete Austin, Founder and Author at Fresh Relevance

Serving Suggestions

over 1 year ago


Molly Pfister, Director of Marketing at Snap36

Great post Nikki! You should check out how Lowe's showcases refrigerators using 360° imagery. This gives the customer the ability to turn the fridge around, open its doors, and zoom on any angle. The concept is similar to video (it provides the same benefits as the Bosch example you presented), but it gives the customer control of how he or she engages with the product.

Samsung Refrigerator on

over 1 year ago


MILJANA MITIC, Marketing Executive at Goodvidio

I really like these examples. Adding a good story to the product presentation makes the experience less flat and more relatable. That's one of the lessons we learned with Tassimo UK as well. Adding videos from YouTube that show how real people prepare Tassimo drinks at home made the online experience of the brand more authentic and increased sales (read more about it here

over 1 year ago

Andrew Adamson

Andrew Adamson, Director at Web

Nikki good post and I completely agree with your thinking - context for the online customer experience is so important. There is a trend of websites presenting themselves in a very generic way and most fail to build any kind of relationship or trust.

We think we have gone one step further with video and have just released a new platform that engages users with product video and integrating it to an eCommerce system - we have a few samples here of what we are doing.

over 1 year ago

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