Good online visual merchandising is a key factor in the success of any brand or retailer. Email newsletters and website homepages have just three seconds to catch and retain the attention of a consumer. Here are the key visual merchandising trends were seeing during June and July 2013.

1.     Stark & Static

Set against neutral white or grey backgrounds, models are shot in stark light and devoid of expression. The effect is an artistic feel, spotlighting unfussy design and good fabrication, with 100% focus on the featured garments. These shots lend themselves to clean, well designed email newsletters and glossy homepages. This trend spans the market segments most clearly linked to high end (shown here at Acne), our database evidences the techniques employment throughout premium (All Saints) and through to mass (Uniqlo), where the style gives a designer collaboration added value.

2.     Illustration & Collage

Consumers' inboxes are bombarded daily with retail newsletters, most of which follow a set formula and in doing so are read and discarded in seconds, if opened at all. An exciting move towards illustrated or collaged merchandising rewrites the throwaway nature of such campaigns. Quirky and often humour-tinged, these campaigns have depth and surface interest which transcends their digital interface.

Reflecting brand, the doodles at Herms are light, hand drawn and expensive. Alice + Olivia use a mix of paint and collage to add interest and character to what would otherwise be a monochromatic product email. A looser scrapbook feel is created by Top shop and Urban Outfitters befit of their youth customer. This trend instantly makes a campaign more intriguing and shareable.

3.     Extreme Colour

Colour saturated email campaigns sound like an obvious way of catching reader's attention, but until recently trends have been more focused on pared back and carefully edited colour usage. A riot of colour, with clashing products and neon bursts has come through in late summer visuals. Paul Smith campaigns are worthy of a special mention for their mouth-watering colours, which make the flat format almost tactile. This style translates well to homepages, as shown in Boohoo's 3rd June update. If clashing colours isn't on brand, My Wardrobe offers a striking alternative, with their single-toned melon spread.