At Splento, we are often asked whether the quality of product photographs makes much of a difference to sales. We actually think this is a fair question, as to get a good quality photo means an investment of both time and money.
We take a lot of product photographs for our customers and it’s important for us that we get it right every time.
So, let’s answer a few key questions here about the quality of product photographs:
- What are the different purposes of product photos?
- Professional vs DIY – does it matter?
- What is the cost of poor-quality photography?
- Does better quality really make a difference?
Do quality product photos make a difference? You can probably already guess the answer, but it’s worth taking a few moments to delve a little more into the subject.
What is product photography for?
This may seem an unnecessary question, however, product photos are used for various purposes. These then fall mainly into two categories – advertisement and sales aid.
Advertising photography – like the advert itself – is there to grab customer attention. And the standard of your advert shouts out loud about the quality of not just your product, but also your company, your staff, your service and more.
So, although you think the advert may be there to promote an individual product, it is also advertising your business and every part of it.
On the other hand, as a sales aid (for example, on your product selling web page or in a brochure) the photo is still advertising, but now it is advertising the item specifically. Its main purpose is to show off the product, highlight its key selling points and show detail up close.
This is true especially if you are selling online; as customers cannot inspect the product physically, they only have your images to go by.
So high-quality product photos matter?
In advertising, a poor-quality photograph will be the first thing that gets noticed, as people are predominantly driven visually. This then reflects badly on you as a business, not on the item itself (although the conclusion will be drawn that if your business is cheap, then so are your products).
A high-quality photo, however, does not stand out but allows the customer to focus on the message of the advertisement instead. It implies quality.
In advertising then, people expect to see high-quality and only notice it by its absence. And if it is not there, it stands out like the proverbial sore thumb. It is only ever bad news and guarantees customers will look elsewhere. There is a cost to that in loss of business.
As a sales aid, photo quality is king here also – as this is the visual equivalent of picking up an item in-store and handling it. If the picture quality is poor, the message is that the item quality is poor as well. This will only ever translate into lost sales.
Poor quality photography costs you, every time.
Professional product photos vs doing it yourself
You need good quality images – so can you just take them yourself?
With today’s amazing digital equipment and even smartphones with professional settings, people often think that taking product photos themselves shouldn’t be that hard.
To an extent, this is true. Taking a snap of a product is easy. It is taking a professional quality photograph that is the challenge. It’s not just about the equipment; it’s about staging, having an eye for the angles, lighting and a few more things beside. For more discussion about this, have a look at the importance of images in eCommerce.
Once the photographs are taken, they will still need editing (retouching). And this is a whole new set of skills different from photography. The expertise of a good photo editor can be highlighted in the following images.
If your product was glassware (or even the drink in them), which quality of photo would you want to use to promote it?
The majority (although not all) of the differences in these images comes down to retouching.
The normal reason for the professional vs DIY debate is budget. Everyone has one and they come in all shapes and sizes.
Contrary to popular belief, professional photography does not have to cost a fortune (see below) but even though it will incur an expense, in the long-run, paying a professional will usually end up costing you less than doing it yourself.
The true cost of high-quality product photographs
Producing high-quality product photographs is going to cost (although, as we have just said, probably not as much as you think).
But the simple truth is that using poorly taken, or low-quality images is going to cost you more, through a loss of business. Today, with ever-increasing competition in every market imaginable, short-term savings on advertising and product promotion do not make economic sense – any money you save will disappear in lost sales.
Ultimately, low-quality images will cost you a lot more than high-quality photographs ever will.
Getting the best quality product photos
High-quality product photography does not mean high-priced!
At Splento, we have professional photographers who specialise in product photography all around the world. We can handle any size and scale of catalogue, large or small, and can produce the final, retouched images within 24 hours (guaranteed). And for a fixed rate from just £99 an hour – including retouching – we can guarantee our services will fit your budget too.
And some more great news – if we can’t come to you, we also work remotely.
Simply send your products to us and we will photograph them in the studio. Your quality product, our quality photos.
Finally, what if you already have your photos taken and they just need a retouch to bring them up to the high standard you need? Easy – take a look at the Splento retouch service, which will give you product quality photographs that make the difference, with editing for just 49p per photo.