Why standardize your e-commerce photos with smart crop

The KitchenAid case

Roberto Ghislanzoni
Senior Manager Digital Center of Excellence @Whirlpool EMEA

For anyone who has an online shop, optimizing all activities revolving around product shots is definitely a goal to be achieved.

KitchenAid, a brand of the Whirlpool group and a leader in the industry of food-preparation appliances, has succeeded in this: thanks to THRON's automatic cropping of product images, it reduced by 66% the time spent in editing and publishing photo assets, and by 99% the manual intervention needed to replace incorrect files. 

Not all product shots are the same, as there might be too large a portion of background, diverting the attention from the product; this lack of homogeneity in an e-commerce showcase affects user experience. It is well-known that quality images are necessary to convey the value of a product, inspiring consumers to buy it, and ultimately convey brand reliability, winning the customers’ heart with a consistent communication across all channels, including e-commerce.

Standardizing the photos to be published on the e-commerce requires manual intervention by the agencies and employees involved, which is quite costly both in terms of time and resources. The shots, in fact, must be cropped and adjusted with photo editing programs such as Photoshop: a time-consuming, tedious and low value-added work that cannot be avoided without affecting the user experience.

Moreover, since different people are involved in the process of editing and publishing, there is a risk of generating different copies of the same image and uploading the wrong one to the portal.


The KitchenAid solution


For the above reasons, KitchenAid adopted the intelligence of the tool THRON, which includes among its features the automatic cropping of product images.

First, THRON is a DAM that applies different automatic adaptations to content, depending on the publication channel. Speaking of products, the AI the system is built on automatically crops the images, eliminating any unnecessary space around the product, and making them particularly suitable for e-commerce

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Displaying photos of the same size may seem a purely aesthetic factor, but in the world of digital commerce a realistic rendering and care in the presentation, together with the clarity of the brand's messages, does much of the work of convincing the user in their purchase choice. 

THRON automatic cropping of product images brought KitchenAid the advantage of eliminating any manual intervention on the original shots. Instead of having editors to manually review all the shots to make them consistent on the front end, assets are uploaded to the DAM platform, which automatically prepares them for a uniform outcome.


Advantages


The KPIs achieved are remarkable: before THRON, editing and publishing manually used to take the editors three days, while the automatic cropping has reduced the time required to one day: about 66% of time saving.

When corrections and fine-tuning are needed, and therefore a wrong version of an asset must be replaced, the system does so in 5 minutes: just by uploading the new piece of content to the platform, it will automatically update it in real time across all channels. This operation, with THRON, takes 99% less time.

It should also be noted that this content centralization enables shared workflows, so everyone works on the same version, which is present in a single copy. There’s no longer the risk of uploading the wrong version to the portal, and this benefits brand consistency in the e-commerce.

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The future

 

The excellent results achieved in the asset management of Whirlpool’s world with the introduction of THRON’s new technology opens interesting prospects for the future: the scalability of the solution, and its proven reliability - verified on all sites of KitchenAid Europe - naturally lead to plan its extension to serve all the websites of the Company. 

It is an optimization process that brings efficiency, not only economically, but also in response times and service to the market, which is increasingly demanding in its request of quality content and timely reactions. Results that, without adequate technological support, oftentimes don’t go together. 

Quality and timeliness are structural elements to guarantee the brand’s online digital presence. Without them, a good interaction with the consumer cannot even begin, conveying messages about the brand as well as about the product and its benefits, to take the consumer's journey towards conversion.