Photos are the hallmark of online shopping. They effectively communicate the details of your product to customers in a way product descriptions alone cannot. The quality of the images you use in your design as well as individual product photos will influence the perceived value of your products and can help or hurt your brand’s image.
People are visual beings who retain 80% of what they see and do. Visuals are processed 60,000 times faster than text.
Great product photos consistently boost sales. Great photos will have a profound impact on the bottom line. Users are more likely to scan product photos than they are to scan product descriptions. The quality, quantity and placement of product photos can drastically impact how successful your site is at drawing in new and repeat business.
A study commissioned by BigCommerce and Square, American online shoppers cited additional product photography as the #1 thing they want more of from online brands.
Whether a consumer is looking to buy vitamins, shoes or farm equipment, large, vibrant, web-optimized images are absolutely essential. Quality product images drive engagement, customer conversion and retention, and will boost customer lifetime value. When a shopper is faced with making a choice between the same product, at the same price on two different websites, the quality of the photography almost always makes the difference.
General eCommerce Product Photography Best Practices
Online shoppers do not have the ability to touch and feel your products, so your images are going to do the selling. Photos are the only way customers can experience your product. So your images must be attention grabbing, engage your audience, evoke a mood and create an emotional connection with your brand. Better quality images will also result in fewer product returns.
- Fast loading – You will want to compress your images so they are web-ready and load quickly. Most photo editing tools allow you to condense your files while preserving quality. JPG and PNG are the most common image format on the web today. There is another relatively new image format called WebP. Using WebP, smaller, richer web images are possible. It is currently supported by most newer browsers.
- Consistent background color and lighting – Most retailers love white backgrounds for their products. White is consistent and clean. But, don’t be afraid to be adventurous. Depending on your brand and the products you are showcasing, it is OK to think out of the box. Just make sure the style and backgrounds provide continuity and consistency.
- Consistent image shape and size – To provide the best brand experience, the size and shape of your product photos should be consistent.
- Provide alternative views of each product – Remember that your customer cannot hold or touch a product when shopping online. In addition to well written descriptions that engage all the senses, you should provide photos of the product from different angles and viewpoints.
- Consider showing the product in use – This gives customers the full lifestyle experience. For example, if you sell dresses, you’ll want to show photos of your dresses from different angles while being worn on a human body rather than laying flat or on a mannequin. Take it a step further, and show your dresses on different body types.
- Have a photo for each color variation – Customers want to see exactly what the product they are considering will look like in a specific color. Simply displaying various color swatches is not enough.
- Provide zoom photos – Customers want to see your products close up. Before they buy, they will want to see product details and construction that is just not possible without high quality, crisp zoom images.
Include Life Style Photos
Lifestyle Photography is more than taking candid shots. It is about capturing images that reveal a story. A personality. A feeling. Life Style photos show your product being used in its intended environment or alongside complementing products.
Create Brilliant Banners and Calls to Action
Most online stores and eCommerce websites have one major design component in common, large, featured images prominently displayed on the homepage or on category pages. These larger images are used to build your brand identity and tell your story. They can also be used to feature a product or make an announcement. Regardless, they should be eye-catching with a strong call to action.
Show Your Products in Action
Photos of people using a product or a product in use will provide credibility and convey a sense of trustworthiness to a consumer. This type of presentation can increase conversion by over 95%!