The importance of visual content for sportswear brands - Part One

The importance of visual content for sportswear brands.


Most people in the first few months of each year are looking to get fit and healthy - which means they will be looking for all the essentials to get started, from tops, jackets, footwear, leggings and all other sorts of accessories for their chosen workout. This results in a huge opportunity for sportswear brands and retailers- but how do you stand out in the crowd when there are hundreds of sports retailers in the UK alone? The sportswear market was predicted to grow by £2.6bn last year, and with a huge focus on fitness in 2018, it is set to grow even further.

Here at the SpinMe Imaging House we work with many sportswear brands and retailers, and we have a few insights to share to help you increase engagement, reach, interest and grow profits. In this three-part blog, we’ll cover what we believe to be the three essential pieces of content every sportswear retailer should be using on their websites. Through our research we have found these three combined are the perfect recipe for increased online activity.

It’s no longer enough for retailers simply to show two to five images of each product.

Part One: Video Content

Virtual Catwalk Videos.

So why use video? And specifically, catwalk videos? Well, consumers want to see how the garment moves, have a sense of what it feels like, a 360 view of how it will look and most of all, they want to understand the product. The quickest and most transparent way of showing your products to consumers is through video content. One of the most frustrating things for consumers when shopping online is that they can’t get a true sense for what the garment is like. 57% believed they knew the products in more depth after watching a video and felt more confident in their purchase.

If a picture speaks the much cited thousand words, imagine what a video communicates. They are engaging, interesting, transparent and easily digestible.

SpinMe Imaging House has always seen the value in video content and uses the virtual catwalk to create imagery for a wide variety of clients. The moving catwalk is a large platform which rotates 360 degrees with a treadmill in the centre, allowing a model to walk, jog or run at their own pace. The virtual catwalk pictured below comes from PhotoRobot, which works closely with the SpinMe software team providing innovative solutions to automate studio operations in eCommerce businesses. 

These videos are from a recent shoot for one of our clients here at the studio, featuring sports brands such as Nike, Adidas and Asics.

The goal of the day was to create video content that showed the garment in its entirety, focusing on how it moved and to showcase what makes it different to other brands. These videos were part of a ‘Shop the Look’ campaign, so each look was put together as a cohesive outfit to help the consumer visualise and build their sportswear wardrobe. We wanted the content of these videos to be unique and ensure our clients’ products stood out from the competition.

When planning a video shoot we take several things into consideration. We start by breaking down the main visual points we want to capture, so that each outfit and look has a consistent layout and is easy for the viewer to follow:


1. Model walking towards the camera

2. Model standing still rotating

3. Detail shots

4. Incorporate still shots to save time and money

The virtual catwalk is 2.7 metres wide, so it can be a challenge. For shoots like these we hire in specific LED Fiilex lights from The Floating Harbour Studio which is based in Bristol. Lighting both the back wall and the model, we set up two cameras for the catwalk. One for the full lengths, and one for the close-up of trainers and detail shots. We will then switch between the two cameras to shoot the different angles. 

From the video you will see we capture two different full-length features. The first is the model standing, with the turntable slowly moving 360 degrees, while the second will show the model walking towards the camera.

The first shot is captured to show the outfit in its entirety in different poses. We find that this enables consumers to visualise the outfit on themselves and how it looks in general. Everyday athleisure wear is becoming a cultural trend, so the need for these different garments to look good is certainly one of the top priorities for brands.

The walking shots are then used to showcase how the garment moves. Looking great is certainly very important, but how the garment moves when the consumer is wearing it will make or break the buying process. The shopper now has a better idea of how the garment sits and hugs the body, how it will move with them and cope with their sport.

The detail shots are very important. They enable the consumer to fall in love with the product even further. Details will enable the brand to showcase their unique qualities and points of difference. Why purchase these leggings? What makes them special? You need to validate the product and the price - if I am spending £100 on a running jacket, I need to know why. Sure, you could add this to the product description - and you should - however these extra visual cues will resonate with the consumer far more. We as consumers are demanding and wanting quick and easy communication. Reading a paragraph of text is just slowing us down.

The numbers really speak for themselves. Recent research from Hubspot allows us to gain insight into the use of video. Around 14% of top page internet search results will contain video, and gain much more trust from consumers. 

According to the study, using video content on your website can convince 73% more visitors to purchase, and the return rate will be considerably less, as 57% of those consumers will already feel more confident having watched a video before buying. One of our clients saw a returns reduction of 76% by introducing video content, which is a fantastic turnaround.

Video content has proven to be a huge success for SpinMe clients, with increased engagement, shares, reach and sales. Another bonus reason to shoot video? It’s also a lot of fun!