Whether you are just starting an ecommerce store or are a veteran of the industry, you know that product photos are a must when it comes to selling anything online. Shoppers who cannot examine an object physically want as much information as they can get about the item they are considering buying, and being able to view it is one of the easiest ways to gather the information they need. But business owners who settle for simple snapshots of their products will not experience the best conversion rates. For that reason, it is important to invest in product photos to ensure that your business is putting its best foot forward.
Why are high-quality product images important?
1. They’re the first thing your shoppers see.
Product photos capture attention. Shoppers want to ensure that the product they are considering matches their expectations, whether they’re looking for specific colors, sizes, styles, or other qualities that make or break their opinion of the product. People make visual judgements quickly, so providing a great first impression will only help your case.
2. They help customers better understand your products.
Modern online shopping experiences are all about convenience. One thing this experience lacks is the opportunity for customers to physically handle a product they’re interested in. High quality product photos from multiple angles help fill this gap by providing customers with the information they need. And when customers can easily access the information they want, they’re much more likely to come back for more.
3. They boost your brand.
Good product photos act as brand ambassadors by telegraphing your brand and style in a simple, efficient, and effective way. Whether your brand is contemporary, kitschy, or anything in between, your product photos strengthen your brand and make it even more recognizable. Plus, high-quality product images are known to build customer trust in both your products and your company.
4. They give you a competitive edge.
Online shoppers are inundated with options—product styles, price ranges, ratings and reviews, and so much more. You should always assume that your customers will check your competitors’ products before making a final purchase decision. Because of this, it's imperative that your product photos are enticing and convey your products in as appealing a light as possible to capture the sale quickly.
5. They lead to increased sales and fewer returns (when done right).
Your ROI from high-quality product photos is maximized when complimented by useful and unique product copy. The closer a customer gets to making a purchase decision, the more information they want about a product—especially at higher price points. Useful product information both entices customers to buy and increases trust in your brand. Additionally, the more unique your product copy, the better your chances of getting found in search. All of this makes for a more informed buying experience, and this experience yields fewer returns.
6. They increase the likelihood of social media sharing.
If you’re looking to get any benefit from social media sites, attractive product photos are an absolute must. Visual social networks like instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook, are great places to share your products and generate buzz for what you sell, but you must have attractive-looking product photos to really take advantage of these communities.
How does product photography fit into your marketing mix?
1. It strengthens SEO efforts.
For some industries like apparel and jewelry, image searches can drive a significant number of sales. Some shoppers use image search engines to find a product with just the right “look,” so it’s important to have images that grab the viewer right away. To help product photos bring in more search engine traffic, add an Alt tag—a description of the image that helps search engines understand what it shows—to the image. As this post explains, search engines don’t see your images like your shoppers do; they rely on Alt tags and contextual HTML text to explain what is in the photo. To write an Alt tag, describe the product like you would to someone over the phone while naturally working in a descriptive keyword in a concise manner.
2. It helps products list on Shopping Feeds.
Your product photos can also affect how well your store does in other marketing methods, such as Shopping Feeds. Google and other comparison shopping engines have a strict set of rules for product photos that are shown in the comparison shopping feed. For example, Google will disallow photos that aren’t on a white background or come with a watermark or other branding on the image. For more on what isn’t allowed in a product photo on Google Shopping, review Google’s guidelines.
3. It supports social media and social commerce efforts.
Social media is another avenue where your product images can really shine. With the emergence of visual-heavy networks like Instagram and Pinterest, it’s especially important to have images that make your products look appealing. Having quality product images that you can use on your social profiles can assist in expanding your social commerce efforts.
Your Guide to Great Product Photography for Ecommerce
Ready to invest in your ecommerce store’s product photography? Check out this suite of articles from our blog for a complete guide on how to capture the best and most compelling product photos for your store—no matter your budget:
- 5 Types of Photography for Selling Products Online
- DIY vs. Professional: Which Product Photography Is Right for Your Ecommerce Store?
- Choosing a Camera for your Product Photography Shoot
- How to Shoot Professional Product Photos Yourself
- How to Photograph White Products on a White Background
- How to Take High-Quality Product Photos With Your Smartphone
- Smartphone Product Photography: Setting the Stage on a Budget
- Your Quickstart Guide to Product Photo Editing
- Best Practices for Refining Your Product Photography