Unsurprisingly, product photos play a critical role in successful e-commerce businesses.
In the age of digital retail, having quality product images is essential to showcase your items and draw customers’ attention.
Quality photographs can make or break an e-commerce business, as they are a primary factor in building trust with potential buyers, leading to higher conversions and more profit for the company.
Whether you plan on selling physical products online or creating digital catalogues for potential customers, investing in well-crafted imagery should be at the top of your list if you want to maximise conversions and grow sales.
In this post, we will discuss why every eCommerce business needs excellent product photos and tips for taking better pictures of your products.
Types of Ecommerce photos
Before grabbing your camera or smartphone, it’s worth thinking about the types of e-commerce photos you need and why each is important.
All of your e-commerce photos show prospective customers what your product looks like and how they can use it.
Your main eCommerce photo is likely to be the hero photo.
This dramatic shot is designed to grab attention, especially when shared on social media or the landing page of your online store.
A lot of work needs to go into these hero photos; placing your product in a particular environment helps draw more attention to the overall image and, therefore, the product itself.
Lifestyle photos support these hero images, helping prospective customers picture themselves using the product.
When designing your lifestyle photos, keep your target audience in mind.
Straying too far from this audience with the models and context of your lifestyle images can alienate potential customers. However, there is no harm in being slightly aspirational.
Product photos are perhaps those we tend to think of when we’re planning eCommerce photos; plain, usually bright white backdrops.
Taking simple product photos in this fashion allows you to ‘cut out’ the product from the background, placing it against different colours as needed.
A newer style of eCommerce photography incorporates 360-degree images, allowing your customers to take a virtual tour around the product, looking at it from various angles.
Last but not least, we should pay attention to videos and GIFs (moving images), which create a more engaging experience for our customers.
How to take quality eCommerce photos
Keeping in mind the various styles of e-commerce photos you need to sell a product effectively, how can you ensure you take quality images?
You could hire a professional photographer (nudge, nudge, wink, wink) to get the job done for you.
Product photography is a healthy combination of art and science, with the understanding of lighting, composition, focus and colours all essential.
The DIY approach is best suited to lower-value products unless you’re planning to sell them at scale, in which case professional photographs make sense here too.
However you approach your eCommerce photography, start with a plan in mind. It can help to sketch out a few ideas and then attempt to replicate these with your camera.
LED light panels and pop-up light tents are inexpensive to purchase and can be a solid investment if you plan to take regular eCommerce photos.
Going the extra mile to photograph your products in a hero and lifestyle setting will set your eCommerce offering apart from the competitors.
Hero photos require careful planning and construction of (sometimes elaborate) set designs. Lifestyle photos can incorporate amateur or professional models.
Whichever approach you adopt, ensure you offer prospective customers a decent range of images and angles to help them understand the visuals of your product.
Taking a photograph is only one step in the process.
As with video, editing has the potential to turn good content into great content.
Depending on the requirements, we edit photographs using a combination of Lightroom and Photoshop.
By shooting raw images, we always capture the maximum amount of image data which aids with editing later.
You can apply subtle retouching to your photographs to show them off at their best without being misleading or fundamentally changing the look of your product.
Some cheaper tools can help with your editing process, including the fantastic background removal tool in Canva.
While Canva won’t allow you to carry out the same magic as Photoshop, it’s a good budget option for making subtle tweaks to your eCommerce images.
Before you press publish
Another step in the process is search engine optimisation or SEO.
Name your file with the keywords for your product, and add suitable alt and description tags before uploading each image to your site.
As well as aiding with SEO, these little touches aid accessibility for those with visual impairments.
Quality photographs are essential for any eCommerce business that wants to build trust with potential buyers and achieve higher conversions and sales.
When you’re thinking about the types of photos you need, consider how they will contribute to the customer experience on your site.
And don’t forget about SEO—optimising your images can help you rank higher in search engine results pages, leading to more traffic (and customers!) for your business.
Following the advice in this blog post, you can take better eCommerce photos that will help improve your bottom line.
So what are you waiting for? Get out there and start creating some great shots!