How to Create Amazing Photos for Your Online Store, a Helpful Guide
Good images are paramount to ensure you consistently get a steady flow of new and repeat customers to your super shiny brand new online store. They create a memorable experience and are super important, if not the most important consideration in your customers buying decision.
According to an important study by Marist poll regarding e-commerce and online spending habits, 25% of Americans buy at least one item online per month.
So, how do we make sure we get our piece of the action with our fabulous product or service?
In this article, we’re going to explore a few ways in which you can create stunning imagery to encourage your customers to continue to purchase from you time after time and create a ‘must have’ brand to set you apart from your competitors.
Do I need good photos for my online store? Creating amazing product photography and imagery on your e-commerce website or store is important. Your online customers are not able to use all their senses to view your products as they would in a physical location, images help them make an important buying decision about investing in your store.
Let’s firstly take a more in-depth look at the reasons why you need high quality and stunning visuals for your online store.
Why Do I Need Amazing Photos for My Online Store?
The main difference between an online and physical store is that you need to give your customers enough clear images to persuade them to buy your product, rather than give them the opportunity to touch, feel and see with their own eyes as they would in a brick and mortar establishment.
Photographs of your products need to provide your customers and potential customers with a substitute for the whole five senses experience that they would be able to get if they walked into a physical store.
Your photography has a large amount of ground to cover to be able to compete with the ‘in person’ experience and to increase the odds that they’ll add your amazing products to their basket, and make that purchase, in turn creating a good conversion rate from merely browsing.
‘Your online store product photos should replace the
Five senses your customer uses when in a physical store.’
Let’s start by looking at how you can use existing high-quality images to start the ball rolling.
Utilize Stock Imagery
If you don’t have the time, aren’t confident with your camera skills or simply aren’t interested in creating your own DIY and are looking for some fabulous images for your website, social media or online store, seeking out free stock images can be a worthwhile investment of your time.
There is a huge range of amazing quality and excellent stock imagery available, maybe you want a one time image for your blog, or for your products or any other kind of commercial use, take a look below at our favorites.
Make sure you check out the licensing requirements on each resource you decide to use but licensing can be subject to change and some imagery may require approval if you wish to use them for financial gain or commercial use, whilst others will be without any provisos and be free to download and start using right away.
The use of filters on your products can also help you create a brand and a unique style for your store. These filters are perfect to use over stock images if you have decided not to take your own photographs for any reason. Seek out free filter apps and websites to give your stock images an extra dimension.
Ok, you’ve decided you want to create your own photography for your brand new e-commerce shop, where do you start? Let’s take a little more of an in-depth look at what helps to make your images more beautiful, more professional looking and help you to create a brand to rival your competitors. Looking at the important considerations before you start your photoshoot.
What to Consider Before Starting Your Photography
Make sure before you even pick up your camera that you’ve given some clear thought to the design of your store or website. Would your photographs look better in portrait, landscape or square images?
Where is your product description going to sit? Will it be underneath, alongside or above your chosen image shape? If you’re looking to use a designer for your e-commerce store, they’ll usually require a stock of quality images in various shapes to allow them the freedom to design the overall look of the store or website.
Now we’ve decided on the style and overall design of your store, let’s look at other important points to consider.
How to Create Super Imagery for Your Online Store
Let’s look at cameras, lighting, and backgrounds, and views in a bit more detail.
Before embarking on creating your own images, make sure you invest in a really good camera. To show off your products to their best, you’ll need crystal clear high quality and sharp images. Do your research and find a camera that’ll showcase your products to their best possible advantage.
Using high-resolution photography is a must when promoting your wares via an online platform. It ideally showcases your product and could be the difference between a customer buying the same item with you rather than elsewhere. These high-quality images will guarantee that on retina screens such as on Apple devices. The images will be perfectly clear and sharp. It will also allow you to use a detailed lightbox (image zoom tool) on your website or online store platform.
There are service providers available to take professional pictures and videos for less than 50 USD. Look for those service to save time and focus on things you’re good at.
If you don’t have adequate lighting your images will appear, dark, gloomy and more importantly grainy and poor quality. Try not to use camera flashes as this kind of exposure can give a very ‘washed out’ look to your fabulous products.
Lightboxes are ideal for smaller objects. Whilst daylight lamps will give larger products a much more professional look. Make sure lighting is one of your most important considerations. Your smaller items will work well with 30w bulbs and for larger objects, use two 60w bulbs. If there are still dark shadows on your photographs, consider putting your product on a surface which reflects the light better.
If this isn’t possible, diffuse the light by putting greaseproof or tracing paper over the lights. This creates a really professional looking ‘soft’ finish.
One of the most important considerations of product photography is the background or settings. This will help you create an important context for your product. Let’s take a look below at how to achieve that.
Settings and Backgrounds
Your customers are looking to you for a story around your product. This will assist them in making that all important buying decision. We know that consumers today are looking for a little extra when they purchase and are looking to ‘buy into’ your product. This is where you can help them by creating emotional responses – by creating a story for each product in images.
If you are selling vintage home interior products, show a picture of them dressed in context. For example, fill a vase you are selling with seasonal flowers and include an image shot of it on an old rustic table.
‘Consumers today are looking for a little extra when they
purchase and are looking to ‘buy into’ your product’
Try to have at least 3 or ideally 5 images to help your customers with the story of your product. One image will really pop out to your customers if on a plain white background and you can get creative maybe with 1 or 2 images which show your product in a styled setting. This will show your customers how amazing it will look, it will show how your product will look once they’ve bought it, and give them ideas they may not have otherwise had of ways in which to use your product.
Always keep the backgrounds of at least one of your images of each product consistent. This will help build a brand identity for your store.
Now we’ve looked into the backgrounds for product images, what kind of views of each product should you show? Let’s look below to find out about product views.
What Product Views Do I Need to Show?
Including as many images and close-ups of your product as possible is a sure-fire way to reduce your returns.
Product returns can make a serious dent in your profit margins, so add as many good quality close images as you can, in different positions and angles. The more detailed view a customer has of your product, the easier it will be for them to understand it and the fewer questions they’ll have.
Consider close-ups of the inside looking out, from the top looking in, underneath and side views. The more detailed you can be, the better in terms of your customers understanding, one photo added once, can save numerous returned products.
Getting creative with your images, and providing top quality, sharp photographs, will make sure your customers prefer to browse your store rather than your competitors.
Group smaller items together to give your customers an idea of how they work together and also to encourage them to buy more products from you than they may have initially anticipated! Anything you do that will make your products stand out or look more appealing is going to help you sell more products and be far more desirable to any potential customers. These things, done well, will help ensure repeat buyer’s, and a steady flow of new customers.