Professional product photography is crucial to your online business being a success. It seems obvious that when you have a store that runs online the visual media should be sleek and professional and the photographs should showcase your products in the best possible way. But did you know just how important having optimised product shots really is and how it can help to drive online sales?
Here are some stats that show just how crucial great product photography is.
75% of online shoppers rely on product photographs when contemplating a potential purchase. (Efelle 2018) That is an extremely large number of customers who rely on your business providing high quality optimised product shots before they will commit to purchasing from your shop. This is too high of a percentage to ignore; your business simply cannot afford to wing such an integral stage of the online selling process.
64.2% of online shoppers report that they make a return when “items don’t match the description or expectations. (Statista 2020) Returns are inevitable when running an online store. This is understandable as often customers can misunderstand the product, sometimes products arrive damaged or faulty or perhaps don’t fit the buyer as expected. These are all expected reasons an item could be returned and really are unavailable. A product being returned due to it appearing differently online should absolutely not be a reason for a return. It is up to the seller to ensure that their product, both images and description are accurate and not at all misleading. The miss-representation of a product and its details and colours does not happen with professional product shots. Having aesthetic visual content makes your business 40% more likely to be shared on social media platforms. (Efelle 2018) Another telling statistic as to why product shots are integral to your e-commerce business is this. Social media is one of the best ways to drive sales in your online based store, but it is time consuming to build up a brand. If simply by investing in professional product shots, you can not only reap the benefits of the other stats but simultaneously give your business 40% more chance at being shared it seems like a no brainer! When your business and its products are shared on social media it makes it look trustworthy, modern and up to date. A great thing to consider with social media content is to mix in some lifestyle imagery as this keep your products relatable. People process visual information thousands of times faster than text and retain 80% of what they see VS 20% of what they read. (CMSWIRE 2019) This statistic outlines exactly why visual imagery is so important to the e-commerce customer experience. Product photographs are ultimately what the customer relies on when considering a purchase. We also retain visual material at a much higher rate than textual information, this means that by just by providing effective product photographs your product is much more likely to be remembered by a customer. Considering and providing high quality visual material for your business means that you are scientifically giving your products the best chance to be visited, viewed and remembered.
What to think about when optimising your product shots?
When you are figuring out how best to optimise your products shots a great place to start is with the customer. Try to put yourself into the customers shoes and consider every single thing that a customer would need to know before they felt compelled to purchase your product. Simply put, know your product and showcase it in the best possible way. The top things you should be considering with your product shots are:
What colour background you should use for your product.
White works the best with e-commerce studio product shots, but this will ultimately depend on your product and brand. Consistency across media is key when optimising your product shots.
Consider merging lifestyle shots with studio shots.
This allows you to show the quality and details of your product whilst simultaneously contextualising your product in the real world making it relatable.
Don’t forget the details. This is particularly important because this is what allows your customer to develop trust in the product. If you have
professional photographs that really showcase all of the angles and details of the product it makes the customer feel as though they really know what they are getting. You can go one step further for the customer at this stage by providing additional media such as zoom ins, product 360’s and video shorts. This is all additional media that a professional photographer is able to supply you with.
And finally, keep it simple and focussed. Provide the customer with the best quality photographs and additional details of your product without bombarding them with media. This is where the word consistency comes in. Keep backgrounds minimal and the same, keep angles similar across the products and provide the optimum number of images for each product. This means the fewest number of images the customer could see and still feel as though they have seen the whole product and its details.
Why a professional beats winging it when it comes to product shots
When it comes to things like product shots, it can be easy to think “I’ll just do it myself”, especially in an age where we all have access to good quality smart phone cameras. When a professional takes the photographs, they have a wealth of knowledge and understanding that will ensure your shots can be used for the web, that the colour will be balanced and consistent across media and that the focus and sharpness in your shots is spot on. There are so many invaluable settings that a camera has and a professional considers that cannot be accessed on an iPhone.
Here are a few extra reasons you should use a professional… - They will have access to professional backdrops, lighting and equipment, and they will know how to use it! - They will be able to maintain consistency across all of the images and be able to batch edit when needed. - The standard of their equipment will allow for super close up details as well as extremely high quality product zooms.
And perhaps most importantly, your competitors will more than likely have professional product shots!
Ultimately, your visual media plays the biggest role in getting your customer on to the site, it is what keeps them captivated whilst on the site and is the main reason they eventually click “buy now”. Don’t wing such a crucial part of your e-commerce business and let your product shots be the reason people want to purchase your product, not the reason that they return it!
Batman knows not to 'wing' it!
"If you want to win it, Don't wing it!