Now more than ever you should be looking to move online, especially in retail. With no clear exit strategy in view for the current circumstances, this is a case of the sooner you get started, the better. We are witnessing the beginning of a new era of retail.
There is a lot of information ‘out there’ on the internet about retail platforms, e-commerce shopping carts, etc. Likewise, there is a ton of advice on doing careful research, retail law, GDPR, SEO marketing and much more.
The problem is that there is one important – most important – area that consistently gets left out of these ‘comprehensive guides’. And that is product images.
Most of this advice actively disregards the importance of the visual media, but without it, you have no store at all.
Pictures paint a thousand words
This may sound obvious when you stop and think about it, but physical retail selling is very different from online. You’d be surprised how many don’t see this at first. Physical shops offer a tactile experience; in many cases, the product can be touched, handled and demonstrated.
Fortunately, however, the vast majority of us are primarily driven by our visual sense above the others. We process the world through sight, about 80% of all information perceived is visual. Hence expressions such as ‘I’ll believe it when I see it’ and even ‘The camera never lies’.
And so it is when we shop online – descriptions are all well and good, but by the time we read them, we have almost always already made up our mind from the visuals.
Customers will rarely buy without a clear photo.
Your product images matter
The images we show of our products are far more important than we think. First impressions count here too!
Depending on the item, of course, you will normally want several photos from different angles, perhaps one or two showing the product being used. This is the closest you will get to the in-store handling by the customer.
Also, if appropriate, have a shot of the packaging.
A buyer can also closely check the product images by zooming them; these images give them an idea of how suitable it is.
However, the most important key to product photography is the quality of the image.
Think about your brand perception. You can have the most amazing product, but if the photography is poor quality, then so will be the perception of your item. That comes right back to the ‘first impressions’ comment above.
Photographing product means professional staging, lighting and equipment to get the best results, plus retouching to make the final pictures meet online store or marketplace guidelines. An iPhone and a co-worker who likes taking pictures simply won’t cut it, and you’ll do more harm than good trying to do this.
Here are some examples of bad and good Product photography settings:
Bad setting vs final photo
Good setting vs final photo:
Key things you need to keep in mind to get successful product photography:
- Correct light set-up of (bright light, possibly multiple sources and a reflector).
- Photos should be stabilised (Pro photographers use tripod or monopod)
- Investing in a lightbox for product photography.
- Correct picture resolution
- Following marketplace or online store guidelines
- High-quality retouching
Once you master product photography, it’s still important to get your photos retouched. Splento can photograph and retouch product images for you.
Here are some examples of why good retouching matters.
Before retouching vs after retouching
How to use video to increase conversions and sales in your eCommerce business
As well as photographs, also think about the use of a product, explainer or demo video.
These can really make a difference to your sales figures – and the stats prove it. Customers can be anywhere from 64-85% more likely to buy after watching a product video.
Consumers are now far more attuned to video that ever before. A huge proportion of online purchasing is now done on mobile devices and they are ideal platforms for distributing video.
And as a bonus, the videos you make can then also be used across your social media platforms for marketing. Video grabs the attention more than anything else on social media, so whilst you have your products staged for photography, get creating a video as well.
Getting started today
There’s no time like the present to make a start.
At Splento, we have many flexible options for producing professional visual content for your online store; we can even handle remote product photography and video creation.
Speak to us today – even if you just need some guidance or help getting started, we’re happy to speak to you.
One more tip
Here’s one other idea – if you’re working to a tight budget and feel you need to take your own photos, then get some advice first – call Splento and talk to them about staging and taking photos. Contact Splento for your free eCommerce product photography advice.
You could also have them retouch your photos (or any existing ones you have) to give them a final professional polish before publishing them to your website.
Learn more about Splento retouching for eCommerce and product photography.