Creating an e-commerce brand is a precarious task. You want your products to be intriguing to potential customers who visit your site to purchase. There are many factors that contribute to your conversion rate, but none as obvious as the product images on your e-commerce store.
Outstanding e-commerce product images are instrumental in convincing shoppers to buy. Much like a grocery store shopper, who will pick up apples, squeeze them, rotate them and even smell them (it happens!) before deciding which ones to buy, online shoppers want detailed visuals that help them determine the quality of the product before they purchase.
Additionally, 63 percent of consumers say that good product images are more important than product descriptions.
So, how can you make sure you are following product image best practices when choosing images for your e-commerce store?
It’s simple. Follow the easy-to-implement steps below!
Demonstrate The Product
If your product is one that serves a particular purpose, like a smoothie blender or a hair-styling product, why not show viewers how to use your product in your visuals? By using your product images to show customers the function of your product, you engage viewers on a deeper level. They gain a better understanding of how to use it and quickly learn the advantages of your product, versus your competitors.
If you have the time and capability, product demonstration videos are a worthwhile investment. You can find some great inspiration here.
Welcome User Generated Content
User-generated content is an excellent way to allow loyal customers to act as brand ambassadors for your business. Shopping giants like Sephora and ModCloth both allow shoppers to contribute UGC of their products. What does that mean? Essentially, customers who have purchased items can upload an image of the item they ordered, write a review of the product, show how the product worked for them, and encourage other online shoppers to buy the product.
Below you will see an example of user-generated content from Sephora, showing a makeup look that a customer created using specific products.
This is an advantageous e-commerce product image because online shoppers can see what the products look like when they are applied to the skin, and thus will be more inclined to trust the product's effectiveness. Ultimately, this boosts the likelihood of a purchase.
Provide A 360° View of your Product Images
A product image is always a requirement when selling products online. But 360° videos are even more persuasive to those browsing the web. You may have seen these videos on jewelry websites, as they are quite common in the jewelry industry. People’s Jewelers, a leading jewelry company, shoots 360° videos as you can see here. These videos give ring shoppers the ability to see the lustre and design of the ring from every angle, as they would if they were shopping for the ring in person at a brick and mortar location. 360° videos are invaluable for e-commerce businesses that want to provide their customers with an interactive, three-dimensional shopping experience.
Name Your Photos Correctly
When you upload photos from a camera onto a computer, you’ll notice they are often given names like “IMG_2098” or “DSC55609”. Did you know that leaving your image titles in this format can actually work against you on your e-commerce website? It’s true!
In fact, the SEO industry experts at Yoast recommend having your primary keyword in the name of all image files you upload to your site.
Doing so ensures that Google will recognize your image for its intended purpose and will view your website as a credible shopping site, ranking it more favorably.
And we shouldn’t have to emphasize that having Google on your side is always a good thing!
Don't Sacrifice Speed
This can be a tricky hurdle to overcome since you also don’t want to sacrifice the clarity of the images.
So, how do you find a happy medium? One strategy is to save separate image files for your mobile site. Since mobile screens are shaped differently and provide a more vertical view of your site, smaller images are more acceptable. This will increase your load time from mobile devices and ensure that your e-commerce images always appear when a user visits your site from their cell phone.
Keep It Simple
As a general rule of thumb, e-commerce product images should be shot against a white background. This eliminates your customer's eye from being distracted, honing their attention in on your product (where you want their attention to be).
Depending on the size of the products you sell, white sweeps can be quite affordable. You can even get portable table-top photography studios for small items!
Also, product image best practices show that white backgrounds solidify your online brand. When shoppers scroll through your site and see a consistent photo style, they are less likely to become confused or overwhelmed. If your site has a variety of photo styles with different angles and lighting, your brand becomes more chaotic to the eye.
Popular footwear company Timberland is a great example of consistency in product images. As you’ll notice in the screenshot below, they use white backgrounds for all of their photos.
Save Your Filters For Social Media
While choosing a filter for your Instagram selfie is fun, using filters on your product images can work against you.
Customers expect the products they purchase from you to appear exactly as they did in your photos when they arrive at their homes. If you used a filter on a specific product image, the item may appear to be a different color than it actually is when viewed in person.
For example, we took a photo of these Nike Kyrie 4’s and placed a filter on the image. In the original photo, the red bottoms of the shoe appear to be a deeper, more crimson red. With the filter applied, the shoes themselves appear to be more yellow-toned and the red now looks more orange.
It’s important to maintain transparency by displaying your products in images exactly as they would appear in person. Save your filters for Snapchat! And remember, if you need a tool for sizing your photos or designing visuals, online graphic design programs like Design Wizard are worth their weight in gold.
Once you are done optimizing your product images, you need to start off with product descriptions that sell.
This is a guest post by Claire O'Brien of Design Wizard.
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