My e-commerce is a marketplace, where it sells products by other stores. I'm having trouble trying to inform the users of the product variations inside each product details page.

Let's say I have a details page for a product that has some variations: color, for instance. In this case, this product comes in 5 different colors but the only available color is orange. The problem: both the main pictures in the product page and category pages are of the blue version (those images are inputted by hand). So if the user clicks on it on the category page hoping to get that blue product, it's only gonna frustrate him.

My limitations here are that: 1. I can't really know what exact colors are available. 2. I do have a picture of the available product, but my operation has no control over its quality or even content. (It comes from other stores in my marketplace, so they could even have their brands stamped on them) - I could only use it as secondary information, never as the main picture.

Is there any sort of pattern for informing the user of the available variations using only those secondary product pictures? Could that confuse the user even more?

1 Answer 1


It is ok to display a generic image of the product in the category page or as a primary picture. Even amazon does this. Only after the user goes into the details page will he/she get to know the available color choices and other options.

As you already have a picture of the available product, it is ok to display it in the details page. This flow will work as long as the user has to go through the details page to order the product.

Another way is to have a label below the primary image that says

This image is not an exact representation of the product. Check the details page for the right image.

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