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

The best e-commerce experiences are frictionless — with as few steps as possible between “I love that” and “your order has been shipped.” Smart brands are on a mission to make product discovery easier and more engaging. Where many fall short, however, is making those “discovered” products immediately shoppable.

For instance, a women’s fast-fashion brand (who will remain nameless) recently roped me in with an email blast featuring its spring collection. I’m immediately fixated on the photo a woman wearing a black bomber jacket. She was wearing jeans, an embroidered T-shirt and sunglasses too, but that jacket was the object of my affection. Once I clicked through to the ecomm site, I went from mildly interested to wildly frustrated. The bomber jacket caught my eye but I ended up on a product page for the embroidered T-shirt. What happened to the photo I just saw in the email? Where’s that bomber jacket? I couldn’t even find it in the “customers who bought this also bought that” section.

Then I wasted the next 45 minutes clicking through countless pages of bomber jackets trying to locate the one from the original photo, only to give up and abandon my buying journey altogether. Why didn’t the retailer know that consumers want to shop the entire look?

Want to stop frustrating consumers? Want to increase conversion rates by 31%? Here’s how.

This exchange, trivial as it may seem, actually reveals a lot about what’s wrong with the online shopping experience for many consumers. The brand connected with me via email newsletter (win), enticing me to click through to their site (win). Once on the site, I spent far longer than I had meant to browsing items thanks to the cool lifestyle shots and great styling of the clothes (win). However, the interaction turned sour because I couldn’t shop the entire look, ultimately forcing me to walk away without a single purchase (fail) on top of feeling like I had just wasted a bunch of time (fail). The brand did everything right until I reached the ecomm site and couldn’t find the product I had just discovered.

Lots of brands make the same mistakes. Lifestyle photography ropes the consumer in, because it’s far more enticing that traditional ecomm photos against a flat white background. Stylized shoots with lots of personality and creativity get the consumer thinking about cool product pairings, enticing them to buy more than one thing. But brands are failing because they’re focused on just one product — not the entire grouping. Why not identify all the products in each image and make them instantly shoppable?

There are a few brands that understand this crucial step in the online shopping experience. For Love and Lemons features multiple outfits in a travel-diary-style blog post, showcasing their beautiful clothes in fabulous places.

For Love or Lemons, fashion, model, hat, earrings, smoking, blog

At the end of the blog post, there’s a button if you want to shop all the looks, which takes you to a landing page with every article of clothing featured in the blog post.

For Love or Lemons, blog, fashion, retail, women, clothes, hat, earrings, accessories

Ikea is also embracing all kinds of digital marketing and ecomm goodness on their site. At the top of their homepage, there are entire rooms decorated in a variety of styles that are very different from one another. Click into any featured image, and the image fills your entire screen with a few text blurbs on the side, feeling more like a magazine spread than web page.

Along the bottom, there’s a “show products” tab which expands to show all the shoppable items in the image. And just for bonus points, there’s a play button in the upper righthand corner which pops open a Youtube video introducing the designers behind the collection. (Win!)

Ikea, collection, chair, wicker chair, basket, bench, seating, pillows

The takeaway? If brands are already enticing their shoppers with innovative, lifestyle-heavy imagery that incorporates more than one product, they should let consumers shop all those products. Sounds simple doesn’t it?

Want to stop frustrating interested consumers? Want to create commerce experiences that enable a seamless transition between offsite discovery and onsite conversion? Partner with Curalate and our discovery driven platform leading to greater order values, higher conversion rates and more customer loyalty. Sign up for a free demo.

One brand that’s on the cutting edge is Pendleton Woolen Mills. Partnering with Curalate, Pendleton placed shoppable images on its e-commerce site and launched a gallery of shoppable fan photos — leading to a 10% increase in average order value. Want to learn more? Read our case study.