A picture might speak a thousand words. But for online retailers, a good picture can be the difference between a sale and an abandoned cart. When shopping online, images are crucial for customers who want to inspect a product in more detail.
Because they’re unable to touch and feel products online, shoppers rely on images to tell them everything they want to know about a product’s material, size, weight and colour. They want to be able to view that product from all angles so they can picture wearing it or putting it in their home, much in the same way they would while shopping in-store.
The importance of bespoke photography
For retailers, it might be tempting to simply use the images provided by vendors. But taking your own product photos can set your store apart from the competition – not to mention boost your SEO. The great news is, taking your own product images is easier than you think. With the right lighting and a bit of practice, you can create your own high quality product images and ultimately boost sales. Some top tips for DIY photography include:
- Dust off your smartphone – You might think that taking high quality product photos will need a high quality camera – but the great news is you can actually take very good quality images with most smartphones, so there’s no need to invest in an expensive DSLR.
- Find the right lighting – Any photographer will tell you that lighting is everything. But for e-commerce sites, lighting is particularly important – especially if you want your products to appear as though they’re on a pure white background. For small to medium products, a product photography light box is the easiest way of getting even, consistent lighting every time, without shadows or unwanted reflections.
- Choose your backdrops – For stores with larger products that don’t fit neatly into a light box, you’ll need flash lighting and backdrops to help create professional quality images. Paper rolls or cotton muslin are the two most popular backdrop choices, and there are pros on cons for each, so it will depend on your individual requirements as to which backdrop might work best.
- Play with camera angles – In store, customers will pick up a product and look at it from all sides, so it’s important to think about how your customers might want to experience your products while shopping online. Make sure you’re taking shots from different angles and remember to get up close to capture important details.
Stand out from the crowd
If you want to take things to the next level and display your products in the most attractive way for customers, 360-degree images are the way to go. Rather than showcasing products in a traditional photo gallery, 360-degree images allow shoppers to see the product ‘spin’ in a continuous motion as if they were turning it in their hands – a much more exciting and realistic experience than clicking through a gallery.
The best thing is that 360-degree images are surprisingly easy to take. All you need is a turntable to spin the image and photography app which takes a continuous shot. Pop your product in the light box and voila! Your customers can now shop your e-commerce store as if they were there in person.
Taking your own product photography will dramatically improve your e-commerce site and really set you apart from your competitors. It does take a little while to get the hang of it, but once you do, you’ll be taking high-quality product pics that better showcase your products and ultimately increase conversions.