Confessions of A Director of Ecommerce
I've spent the last few years trying to share as many "secrets" as I learned as a Director of Ecommerce. I don't run an ecommerce website anymore so can afford to be generous (lol).
One of my pet peeves was directing the eye sight line of people in our images. I wanted the eyes pointed at something that mattered. People follow the eye line of those they are looking at. We had three tactics:
1. Gaze straight at visitor - promotes engagement.
2. Gaze directly at a Call To Action - promotes clicks.
3. Gaze at other people in same picture - promotes connection.
We used #1 for pages with broad reach such as our homepage and category top-level pages.
We used #2 in 4Q on the home page and bending the sight lines of any people in images on a product page works well (our product pages tended to make the PRODUCTS the heroes so few people).
We used #3 when connection was one of the benefits of a product. If you sell wine, travel or family cars you may want to have pictures of people looking at each other. I would never ONLY have this picture on a webpage since it can make the viewer feel left out.
The natural companion to the "connection" picture is a picture of a single person gazing out at the viewer. This says, "Yes, we see you, value your visit and want to be friends".
Websites communicate SO MUCH in covert ways. Balancing what you say with one image such as the people looking at each other with another image to promote engagement is the game you play, the inside baseball "secrets" that separate teams capable of making millions in profits online from those who won't and wonder why :).M