Believe it or not, product images on e-commerce websites are one of the keys to success in this always competitive industry. Whether you’re looking to get a new business off the ground or grow an already successful venture, online retailers have to find a way to make product images work for them.
Even though best practices for e-commerce are now readily available, far too many e-commerce professionals post blurry or confusing product images. Such visuals usually end up frustrating customers, which in turn can negatively affect sales numbers. This highlights the fact that success in digital commerce is mainly dependent on high-quality imagery and vivid product descriptions.
For example, consider the differences between shopping on an e-commerce website and browsing in a physical store. When looking around a store in real life, customers can pick up products and get a better understanding of their quality, form, and function. On the other hand, online shoppers must rely heavily on product images in an attempt to gain a similar understanding. Simply put, if you’re using low-quality pictures, customers aren’t going to understand the benefits provided by your products.
Thankfully, the issue of subpar product pictures is a relatively easy problem to fix. To help your e-commerce store images better communicate the true nature of your offerings, we’ve compiled the following list of tips and tricks. Applying these approaches can improve product images – and by extension, sales numbers – in no time.
Showcase Products with All the Best Viewing Angles
When selling any product online, you want to make sure that potential customers know what they’re getting. For example, if you’re selling a coffee maker, you want visitors to understand how it looks, functions, and fits into their existing kitchen setup. Images from multiple angles are a great start, and a picture or short video of the product being used is better yet.
Try to put yourself in the shoes of e-commerce customers. When you visit a local brick-and-mortar store, you typically leave with a strong understanding of a product. Providing multiple different images on an e-commerce site mimics this effect, making shoppers more likely to spend their money.
Include At Least One Close Up Picture
It can be hard to get a sense of scale when shopping for products online. To counter this effect, include at least one close-up image of each product that makes it appear as close to life-sized as possible. As we have already discussed, customers rely on visual inspection when shopping online, so it is essential to include this step, even if your products are common everyday items.
Provide Visuals for Every Color or Style Offered
While it can be tempting to use basic stock photos for one product style and include a description like, “also offered in red, yellow, and green,” we strongly advise against this practice. If your e-commerce business can do so, make sure to include sample images of every color and style available. This is a little step that goes a long way towards capturing the attention of potential customers.
Curate the Branding of Your Products
Every product image on your site should be different, but it is vital to make them similar in some way as well. Whether it’s using the same background, lighting, or image style, consistent image branding is a simple step that will make your site appear professionally curated. Unless your products and brand are intended to be inconsistent in nature, stay consistent.
Take Professional Product Photos (If You Can Afford It)
Starting a successful e-commerce enterprise is difficult and expensive (to say the least). However, if your budget allows for it, investing in professional photography for product images is a decision that will provide benefits for years to come.
When selecting your partner, make sure the individual or company you partner with is experienced with creating product photos and understands how you’re looking to showcase your brand. Better yet, if the first collaboration exceeds your expectations, look to partner with the same photographer in the future to further promote brand consistency.
Make Sure You Own the Rights to Your Product Images
This may seem like obvious advice, yet far too many e-commerce professionals have failed to take this step, leading to headaches later on. Professionally made product images only do your business any good if you know that you have the rights to them.
While it may feel rude at first, talk with your photography partner to guarentee that your business will own the rights to the product images for marketing purposes. If your photography partner doesn’t agree with this approach, it may be a good idea to look elsewhere for such services.
Practice Product Image SEO
Even if you’re just starting out in the e-commerce game, you’ve likely heard all about search engine optimization (SEO). Many internet entrepreneurs think of SEO as a way to get more website visitors. But did you know that image SEO can be a key aspect of finding new customers through search engines like Google and DuckDuckGo?
In short, image SEO is very similar to traditional search engine optimization. The better the metadata you associate with product images, the more likely potential customers are to find your offerings. Moving beyond the necessary alternative and title texts, you’ll also want to develop a coherent strategy when it comes to using captions for product photos.
As we have seen, there are many ways to turn unappealing product photos into sales-generating assets quickly. We can’t guarantee that making these improvements to your product photos will lead to record-breaking sales numbers, but taking our advice into consideration will certainly help to boost overall sales numbers. Remember, since e-commerce shopping takes place through a digital marketplace, strong visual presentation is critical.
If your business can afford it, consider opting for professional assistance, as this can be a wise long-term investment in your business. Most importantly, remember this: if your product images aren’t visually stunning, the typical online shopper won’t feel the need to try your product. Don’t make this common mistake, and work to make the most of your product images today.