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Conversion Lessons from the Luggage Industry

Broad economic trends impact conversions. A prime example is the luggage and travel-accessories market, which experienced a 60% decline in 2020.

The pandemic had drastic effects on both production and sales, challenging online merchants to find unique ways to entice consumers to purchase items they might not put to immediate use. The mid-range luggage market, which focuses on value instead of price, teaches us a great deal about today’s savvy consumers.

Led primarily by independent, direct-to-consumer manufacturers, successful mid-priced luggage and travel-bag sites are setting the pace for conversion practices.

Here’s why.

Selling to Savvy Consumers

Emphasis on value. Showcasing what makes a product more durable and long-lasting than lower-priced competitors is critical. Using text, photos, and videos to highlight reinforced stitching, no-catch zippers, and sustainable design justifies higher price points.

Informative images that show the product from many angles, inside and out. Consumers want to know exactly what they’re buying. Using product images to educate shoppers about look and functionality is crucial. Any time visual content (reinforced by text somewhere on the page) can answer a question, you’ve increased the chance of a conversion.

The Away store provides 10 or more images for its products, giving a 360-degree view. Then, it breaks out the most important features into large, detailed photos and videos.

Product page: Away luggage on display

Away highlights product design and functionality.

Another benefit of quality images is conveying a product’s design and aesthetics. This can get people talking about a product, even if they have no intention of buying it.

Real-life solutions. “How much can it hold?” is one of the most frequently asked questions about any suitcase or bag. Dimensions aren’t sufficient, and neither is the number of travel days. Images and videos showing various packing scenarios keep shoppers engaged and more apt to convert.

Solving both everyday and unique dilemmas can also boost the purchase of products as gifts. For example, Brevite designed its Jumper backpack for cameras. However, it can organize many items, including crafting supplies, toys, and food containers.

Images of Brevite backpacks being used different ways

Showcase products being used in different ways. Brevite designed its Jumper backpack for cameras. But it can organize many items beyond photography goods.

When possible, incorporate short explainer videos. These help customers visualize how they could use the product. Brevite’s 41-second “Daily Packing” video shows how much the backpack holds without overstuffing.

Let customers do the talking. Customer reviews, especially on video, are big conversion boosters. They can point out a product’s unique features and explain alternate uses. For example, some Brevite customers have touted the company’s camera backpack as an ideal diaper bag.

Reviews also convey customer loyalty and trust, a huge conversion factor. By encouraging customers to share their stories, merchants can build massive audiences.

Easy purchasing. Many top travel gear merchants offer flexible payment options, including installments. With price points of $100 to $400, being able to pay over four months helps close more sales. Many buy-now, pay-later providers immediately remit the total purchase price (less fees) to sellers, who carry no collection risk if customers fail to pay.

Remember, too, that shoppers are likely on smartphones. Streamline the checkout process and never ask for unnecessary info.

Live chat. Shoppers want answers fast. On-site chat provides instant help. Email and phone support, while useful, takes longer, increasing the risk of shoppers moving on to a competitor. And offering real-time assistance at the point of sale guides buyers to close.


You are likely missing out on revenue-generating opportunities no matter what you sell. Studying unrelated industries can expose innovative ways to attract more customers. Start with the luggage industry. It proves there’s room for growth amid debilitating circumstances.

Pamela Hazelton
Pamela Hazelton
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