Good product photography can be the difference getting a visitor to your site and getting a paying customer. Your product photos have a significant impact on converting traffic to sales.
Site content and product descriptions remain as crucial as ever for organic SEO, but you need to accompany them with eye-catching product images to really boost sales.
This post will look at why product photography is so important and give you real tips you can put into practice to improve your product visuals and stand out from your competitors.
Why is product photography so essential?
Did you know?
- People retain 80% of what they see
- Content with visuals gets more 94% more total views
- 90% of the information sent to the brain is visual
It’s a visual-first world now with the rise of social commerce and platforms like Instagram and TikTok powered by Gen Z usage. In the e-commerce world, product photography is the fastest way of communicating what you sell to your audience.
Spending time and resources on your product photography is important because:
- The first thing a shopper usually sees are your product photos
- Showing unique and different images allows your business to stand out from the crowd
- Good product photography reduces returns because it helps set customer expectations
- A variety of product shots improve your chances of being found on social media or on search engines
- Your product photography will assist your descriptions in telling the story of the item
Now you know what product photography can do for you, let’s talk about how to improve yours. But first, a quick note on what not to do.
What not to do
The absolute worst thing for a customer is to see a grey “no image available” placeholder where a product image should be. Having no image will have a massive impact on conversions. Almost every customer simply will not buy if they can’t see the product.
If you want to truly boost sales though, any old image won’t do. To make the most of your product pages and listings, follow our guide below.
Best practice for better product photography
1. Use high quality photos
All of your images should be of consistently high quality and fully optimized for display on your website. Blurry or dark images are not suitable for display on a website.
If there is a difference in quality between your images, customers will have a disjointed experience when browsing your site. If some products have images of a lesser quality, it can dissuade customers from buying. No matter the item, all your product images should be a comparable quality.
2. Provide multiple views and zooming
When shopping online, customers want as much detail and information as they can get. Showing your products from different angles and giving the option to zoom into the images will really help customers.
Using pictures from the vendors/manufacturers should give you enough angles and shots to show each side to the product. You’re trying to recreate the in-store experience where they would typically be able to pick up the product and rotate it to see every angle. This is important to a customer when buying, so give them the freedom to see it from all angles.
3. Consider lifestyle photography
Lifestyle photography works wonders as it brings sensitivity to the purchase, allowing the customer to imagine how they’ll use the product. Your product descriptions will often describe the situation where the product will be used and talk about benefits over features. Your product photography should attempt to show this lifestyle and add the human element.
You’re trying to persuade customers to buy without seeing it in real life, so showing this lifestyle can make a big difference.
4. Be consistent
Whatever you do decide to do with your product photography, make it consistent. Your main images should show exactly what the product is, and if you can keep them all uniform and from the same angle, then the customer will be happy.
This way your product category pages will become very useful for the customer to browse, as they get the full picture of each produce side by side. Having all your images appear on the same white background looks great on these pages.
5. Update your images
You should also keep your product images updated to help customers. If a product has changed its look or packaging, you should updated your site and let customers know.
You don’t want a customer disappointed because the image is not representative of the product. So help them and your business out, and keep everything updated.
Can I take good product shots on a budget?
Digital cameras take more appealing pictures than smartphones and there’s no doubt about it. However, cameras on smartphones are improving every year and some phones now exceed 15 million pixels. It is therefore quite possible to take professional-quality photos with a smartphone, but it’s important to take those shots in front of a suitable background and with sufficient lighting.
Here are some quick tips if taking your own shots:
- Shoot on a white background
- Don’t use filters
- Check your photos on a computer first
- Only one type of light for each image (natural or artificial)
- Shoot many different angles
- Edit your images after you take them
If you decide to take photos of your products with your smartphone, the total budget you’d need could easily amount to less than $60, with only a white background (average of $20) and two light spots (average of $30) needed.
Product photography gives you an excellent opportunity to shows your products in the best light. Your photography and copy should work together to drive conversions up.
By following this guide, you’ll have better visuals and better sales in no time. For e-commerce, product images are essential. It’s usually the first thing a potential customer sees when interacting with your business, so it’s important to get it right.