Mobile-optimized websites are (finally) becoming the norm for both retailers and brands. However, with little innovation in the design of product pack shots for smaller screens, the risk of buying the wrong size or variant of consumer packaged good remains high. Consequently, conversion rates on mobile remain resolutely low.

New mobile-ready hero images, created by Unilever but currently being tested by a number of other consumer goods companies including P&G and L’Oréal, highlight critical differences in product variants to create shopper confidence. Supported by research from Cambridge University, these new formats for mobile pack shots have delivered up to 24% increases in conversion rate in A/B tests.

Conventional packshots generally feature the full product, making it near-impossible to see the details on the packaging. Yet Cambridge University’s research shows that on mobile devices consumer pay little attention to text-based descriptions and instead rely on visual cues, using fast scrolling to quickly identify the product that looks like the one they usually buy.

The new formats designed by Unilever use the same amount of screen space but showcase the elements of most interest to a consumer, such as brand, variant, format, size, or number of applications. This example of the Dove range highlights the challenge facing consumers, and the improvement offered by the new hero images:

Unilever images

To encourage adoption of these new pack shot templates by retailers, Unilever and Cambridge University have open-sourced their research and design guidelines in the hope they will become a new industry standard across all consumer packaged good manufacturers. To review the recommended design guidelines, visit

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