This is another edition in our series Broken Commerce, examining practices that frustrate consumers and lead them to abandon purchases.

Imagine: A consumer scrolls through Instagram and sees an image that’s breathtaking and inspiring. They’re engaged and want to either purchase the products depicted in that image or learn more about them. The problem? You’re driving them to an e-commerce site that’s sterile and devoid of lifestyle imagery — and it’s killing your conversion rates.

Commerce today is all about experience. Physical stores have got this down pat. They set the mood with lighting, music and a thoughtful layout. In clothing stores, sales associates typically wear the merchandise they sell — helping consumers see what they look like in real life, on real people.

Experiences in e-commerce are anything but inspiring. Many ecomm sites feel like being in the fluorescent operating room of a hospital. That gorgeous lifestyle photo you saw on Instagram? It’s been replaced by a boring product image shot against a white background. The site may be optimized well for search, but the tree-like structures that force people to dig through multiples levels creates far too much friction, turning shopping into a test of stamina and patience. And consumers can forget seeing what products look like in real life. The whole process changes a shopper’s mindset from inspired and excited to frustrated and annoyed. What compelled them to click in the first place is now gone. Why would you do that to someone interested in your brand? Perhaps a better questions is: Do you even realize that you’re turning off potential consumers?

Most brands don’t have a customer-centric commerce strategy, leading to lower revenue, decreased profits and minimal lifetime customer value, according to a report by Constellation Research. Only 37 percent of U.S. brands and 28 percent of the U.K. brands rated their organization’s ability to achieve its e-commerce goals as very effective.

“As a result, most brands and organizations lacked the ability to convert a large portion of prospects into revenue-producing, loyal customers who could continuously provide revenue for the brand … ” according to the report. “In an opt-in economy, where customers can quickly jump to another e-commerce site and purchase from another company, many organizations are in for a serious awakening.”

The key is continuity. If you’re delivering a customer-centric, experience-driven commerce process that’s consistent across all platforms, you’re way ahead of the game. But chances are you’re not. What’s more likely is that your commerce experience is fragmented, your imagery isn’t consistent, and you’re frustrating consumers who genuinely want to learn more about your products and brand.

How do you ensure continuity at all points of the buyer journey — from discovery through purchase? Partner with Curalate. At Curalate, we know that commerce is no longer site-centric. Increasingly, commerce originates in lots of places like social, blogs, videos and ads — places that were never designed for commerce. Curalate powers commerce experiences that adapt to meet customers’ expectations, and connect your e-commerce infrastructure (product info, conversion pages, etc.) to the channels where your customers engage with your content and products. Want to learn how Curalate can take your brand to the next level? Sign up for a demo.

Curalate helped European luxury fashion retailer Farfetch power discovery and conversion at scale, launching an e-commerce experience leveraging fan photos and removing friction in the buying journey. Read all about it here.