XAY TOMSEN | 14 July 2016
Welcome to part 4 of Setting up a business in virtual worlds. In the previous module, we discussed creating killer textures to promote your range of products and to outfit your store. In Part 4, we look at Creating Desire through text and images to buy your products.
Creating Desire - Running a business in virtual worlds
There's a well used adage, "Sex Sells". It's a cliche but true. There are many other sales triggers of course, including fear (used by insurance companies), hope (lotteries), and vanity (cosmetics firms).
The list is endless, however they all have one thing in common - desire. A desire to be beautiful, or to win money, or to rid yourself of fear or guilt or worry.
Effectively tapping into the buyer's sales trigger will make them WANT to buy your product, so regardless of what you are selling, you need to create desire.
In virtual worlds, a good merchant achieves that through their product box. Your box should tell a story - It should make the prospective customer want to be like the person on the box, or to live in the house that's on the box. It shouldn't just be a picture of the product with a price.
Sure, it's a bit of mucking around taking photos for boxes, but your sales will be exponentially higher if you put a bit of thought into your photo shoot, lighting, fonts, and box design. Here are some tips:
Find somewhere with a nice backdrop that's appropriate for your product. If you're selling barns, rez one on a parcel of land and put some animals about, a tractor etc. Create a dream scene that will make the prospective customer WANT to live there;
Use your sky and water settings to create a mood that suits your product. Nice blue skies with a random scattering of sunset cloud always look good. If you have several versions of the product, freeze the time of day for the duration of the photo shoot so that the range looks consistent;
If the picture centres on a person such as the Tora Campari photo above, front light them so it highlights the person and softens any shadows. Experiment by having the light higher or lower;
Again, if the focus is a person, use an AO with evocative - not to be confused with provocative - poses. Evoke a mood the average person can relate to, don't try to force them to feel a way in which they might be uncomfortable, e.g. not everyone will be enticed by a slutty pose on a lingerie box. Some will be put off by it. A romantic pose is safer.
Choose fonts that convey the same mood. For any words that need to be read easily, use a plain font in white or black. Atlanta, Tahoma or Calibri are good for that purpose. Experiment with bold and light fonts. Don't use heaps of words. The picture should tell 90% of the story, not the text;
Avoid fonts that people hate on sight due to over-use or just plain 'boringness', such as Arial, Verdana, and Comic Sans. The latter one particularly looks dreadful on anything;
If you put a store name on your box, keep it consistent across your entire product range, your shop signs, everything;
Prices on boxes? Mmm, that's up to you, but personally I think prices look a bit tacky. Also, you may regret them if you later decide to sell your product on another grid that uses a different currency, and you didn't save the original .psd file.
Xay Tomsen a.k.a. Andrew Thompson