Delve Into the Details with Guided Zoom
An online shopper clicking on zoom is the equivalent of an in-store shopper picking up an item to take a closer look. That's generally when a sales associate steps in to offer assistance, point out key features, and basically helps to guide the shopping experience. You can accomplish a very similar scenario on your website by adding zoom targets to your product's images and incorporating text tips as well. Here are some great examples:
This site uses large thumbnail images in its viewer to recommend specific areas on the larger image where shoppers can zoom to see specific product details.
In a pop-up zoom viewer, this site adds merchandising copy beneath each thumbnail target to describe a feature, giving the user more information prior to clicking on any target.
This site incorporates a similar approach as the first two mentioned above, but with an embedded zoom viewer. Also, the thumbnails and text appear as an overlay directly onto the product image itself.
This site uses one single image to point out items in the collection such as the towel holder, towel ring, robe hook, and toilet paper holder. Rollover text indicates each specific SKU number. Shoppers can also interactively pan the entire image themselves by simply moving the image with their mouse and clicking on the zoom controls. This is a great way to use lifestyle room scenes that show off each fixture in a collection.