Retailers selling children’s shoes are apparently failing to maximise the potential of rich media when presenting products to customers online, according to new research.

Imaging and workflow specialist SpinMe reviewed the websites of 50 well known children’s shoe retailers to see how two popular styles – trainers and Wellington boots – are showcased to shoppers. 70% of the retailers also have high street stores.

The survey revealed that 34% are not employing imagery consistently – using the same quantity and type of product images across a category – with almost a third (32%) showing a different number of images for each product. One large retailer relies on just one image per product, while the average number of images used by retailers to illustrate each item is four.

Alongside the more traditional side, back and above views of products, 62% of retailers also show the soles. Just one online store includes a model shot showing what its trainers and Wellington boots look like on a child’s feet.

 SpinMe’s research found that three out of 50 retailers do not offer customers zoom functionality, and a further two fail to provide clear, high resolution images.

82% of the sites surveyed don’t give customers the ability to spin an image around 360 degrees so products can be seen from all angles. Furthermore, three of the retailers that are using a spin function do so inconsistently across different types of shoes.

The survey also saw that most retailers (94%) are yet to include product videos. Only one notably features an educational video on how to fit children’s shoes.

“Children’s shoe retailers appear to be out of step with the expectations of their customers,” said David Brint, CEO of SpinMe. “Parents of young children today will likely be regular online shoppers and social media users, where they’re influenced by inspirational visual lifestyle content. Retailers that use rich media in stimulating ways, while also providing the practical information parents require to make a purchase online, will appeal to shoppers and increase sales. Our research shows that most have a lot more work to do to cleverly capture the attention of this customer base.”