E-commerce store owners know the value of quality product images. They increase sales and build brand confidence. Now, with these e-commerce product image best practices, they can also help with your search rankings, visibility and social marketing.
Let’s start with the best practices for creating product images. These are important no matter if you are hiring a product photographer or taking images yourself.
1. Use variety.
Consumers want to see the details of a product, and they can’t hold an online product. E-commerce images are important for figuring out if your product will fit their needs, lifestyle, and the quality you are offering.
One photo doesn’t go far to make the sale. Having multiple images featuring different angles, details, and seeing it in action or lifestyle shots, help move consumers toward the purchase.
2. Create an e-commerce photoshoot plan.
Also known as a shot list, when you plan for a product photoshoot, you want to have a road map.
- Know what products you need photos for.
- Figure out where you intend to use the product images, which will determine the image sizes and compositions you will need.
- Determine what kinds of images you will need for each product.
- Think about the settings, props or if models may be required.
Create a shot list with each type of image listed under the product along with notes on what each photo will be. This way as you start to assemble products, props and backgrounds with confidence.
The shot list will also act as a check list for the product photoshoot. There is nothing worse than taking photos, cleaning everything up and then discovering you missed a shot you need!
3. Consistency is key.
Even if your products are different, the lighting and look should remain similar. A jumbled look of styles presents a negative feel for consumers. You want to project your brand and products in the best possible way.
Images should be the same format – if your e-commerce store is using 1:1 ratio (square) images and you have a 3:4 portrait image pop up, it disrupts the flow.
4. Quality editing of e-commerce product images is extremely important!
You can tell when someone shoots their own photos vs. the e-commerce stores that hire professional product photographers.
A professional will make sure the product is straight, blemish and dust free. Details will be lighted to stand out creating a polished appearance that encourages the click.
Another benefit of a professional taking the image is correct coloring. This is more than a simple white balance. It requires color matching charts and software to make sure the image perfectly matches the item photographed.
If you are selling something by color, it needs to match what the customer will receive. If not, you are inviting returns which cost you money and goodwill.
5. Optimize your product images.
You will want to size and export your images in the proper file format for each intended use.
Using images that are too large will result in blurry photos as software compresses it to the required size. Large images also take longer to load, slowing down your e-commerce store making it more likely people will leave without purchasing.
Using images that are too small will result in pixelated photos when software tries to expand it to fit the platform’s requirements.
So sizing and compressing, (or on some sites, not compressing) and file formats are important. If you want more information on the best size for e-commerce product images, read this article.
6. Boost SEO efforts using e-commerce product images.
SEO, or search engine optimization can be increased using your product images. Every e-commerce photo should include metadata on the image. The image name should indicate what the image is or a product number, or both.
When you add an e-commerce image to your website you should always use an Alt tag telling what the image contains. The image description should also be filled out. If a caption works, add it too.
Finally you will want to create an image map so that Google and other search engines find and index your product photos.
Why do all of this? More people are doing image searches these days. If someone types men’s brown dress shoes into Google and you sell them, having these images pop up at the front of the search results will draw traffic and sales.
7. E-commerce product images can also be valuable on social media.
Posting product images on your timeline can entice people to check out your online store. They will raise interest in your products and help stop the scroll, keeping people on your profile longer. (Which also helps with your social profile showing up in more places.)
8. Hire a professional product photographer.
Even though phones on cameras are getting better, if you aren’t a professional photographer, you aren’t getting the best results.
It is a proven fact that high quality images will increase sales on e-commerce sites. There is a lot that goes into styling, lighting and editing product photos to draw the eye. It is so much more than taking a picture of your product on a white sheet of paper.
Having a variety of high quality, creative product images on your e-commerce product page keeps consumers clicking and looking.
According to Neil Patel, by boosting customer retention by just 5%, you increase profits by 95% . You can read that article here.
All this to say: If you are taking your own product images, you are likely losing sales and customers.
By following these e-commerce product images best practices tips, you can move your online business ahead of the competition.
If you decide to take your own photos, you can read more about how to improve e-commerce product images here.
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