Coca-Cola shows the way to Mobile Ready Hero Images

Julie Millar from Coca-Cola European Partners shares their experiences in Mobile Ready Hero Images – product images adapted for mobile.

More purchases are made today directly on mobile. This means great opportunities for retailers and brand owners who invest in online and e-commerce, but it also comes with some business challenges.

Two and a half years ago, Coca-Cola launched an investigation in the field of Mobile Ready Hero Images (MRHI) where 80 creative concepts were tested. In August 2018, the results of the study, which was divided into six phases described further down on this page.

Here, Coca-Cola shares its conclusions and lessons from the study. They also give concrete tips for suppliers and retailers who want to start optimizing product images for mobile.

Visual communication is a key priority

In England, as many as 50% of all online transactions take place via a mobile device and therefore there are strong reasons to improve the online shopping experience on mobile.

Coca-Cola European Partners is part of a global GS1 working group that is working together to develop guidelines for product images in mobile phones. The goal is to help suppliers and retailers in the grocery industry with an effective presentation of key facts about the product.

By finding the right visual language (image, layout, icons and symbols), the industry can gain both sales growth and consumer confidence.

Mobile shoppers fail to read the small text on the packaging. This means that consumers often choose the wrong product in terms of brand, variant, format and size.

Julie Millar, Cocoa-Cola UK

Two and a half years ago, Coca-Cola began research in the field of Mobile Ready Hero Images (MRHI) where 80 creative concepts were tested. In August 2018, the results of the study, which was divided into six phases, were published.

Phase 1: Optimizers

Find out what the consumer is primarily looking for

In the first phase, four different optimization solutions were tested with visual elements that enhanced volume using illustrations for sizes small, medium, and large in the water and soft drinks categories.

Here, consumer behavior was tested through eye-tracking tests. The conclusion of the tests was that consumers did not primarily look at size using small, medium and large. They preferred size statements in milliliters and liters. Another lesson was that they looked at images first and then the title.

Lesson: When highlighting size, you should find out what your shopper is really looking for.

Phase 2: Medium Zoom

Redesign & Medium Zoom means that you peel off part of your product to highlight the label. Qualitative tests were carried out here with focus groups. It turned out that this solution was not so successful because the products did not look realistic. Consumers looked for the shape of the product/bottle in the beverage category and when the product was too heavily cropped, the recognition was lost.

Lesson: The product should look realistic, just like on the store shelf.

Phase 3: Final redesign & testing

Strengthening brand, variety and taste means more purchases and higher recognition

In the third phase, visual reinforcements were tested for the Schweppes brand, which underwent a redesign. The new design posed recognition challenges for the online shopper.

The new mobile-optimized images worked well compared to the usual online images and a clear increase in sales could be measured. For example, effectively putting visual elements over the bottle that describe brand, variant and taste.

Phase 4: Retailers Rollout

When Coca-Cola found a working design in different categories, the images were published at several different retailers. Here it was important to be consistent with the visual communication within the category because these images are anomalous in comparison to regular online images.

Phase 5: Global GS1 Guidelines for MRHI

In collaboration with other brand owners and retailers, Coca-Cola participated in the development of global guidelines for Mobile Ready Hero Images.

Our focus in this work is not primarily about creating sales increases. We need to get ready for the future where the consumer is on mobile.

Julie Millar, Coca-Cola UK

Phase 6: Launch of mobile-fit hero images

Collaborate within the catechism to present consistent visual communication.

In rolling out mobile-adapted hero images, Coca-Cola has partnered with some of its competitors in the carbonated beverage and water category.

The images were tested using eye-tracking at one of the UK’s largest retailers between July and August 2018. Several retailers in the UK are currently open to test Mobile Ready Hero Images.

Order Mobile Ready Hero Images

Help your shoppers buy on mobile. Validoo’s photo studio helps you create mobile-friendly hero images with support elements that clarify when buying online.

We follow the guidelines for Mobile Ready Hero Images (MRHI) that apply to the Swedish grocery market, based on GS1’s ongoing work in the International Working Group on MRHI.
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5 Tips for Mobile Ready Hero Images

Coca-Cola’s top five tips for getting started with mobile-adapted hero images.

  1. Understand your competitors Collaborate within the category and be consistent with the visual communication as mobile-adapted hero images are different compared to regular online images.
  2. Show a realistic product Consumers want online images to represent the physical product.
  3. Examine whether medium zoom is right for your category Consumers use the full size and shape of the product to subconsciously identify the product.
  4. Stay within the limits of the packaging Preferably communicate the brand, variant and size within the packaging frame without adding anything extra.
  5. Communicate with your customers Suppliers need to understand the retailer’s perspective on mobile-adapted hero images and collaborate on solutions