Think of your favorite bad or piece of clothing. What is it you like most about it? Perhaps it’s the style, texture, and feel of the materials. Perhaps it’s the one-of-kind design by a popular designer. Perhaps it’s the fine details and craftsmanship.
These are the ideas you want to capture with a camera with product photography. So, let’s look at the importance of product photography because this is the foundation for a successful ecommerce business.
What is Product Photography?
Product photography is all about accurately and attractively representing your product in an image. These images are used in product catalogs, brochures, as well as online advertising.
When prospective buyers are browsing online, your product photography can influence their buying decision. In a U.S. survey, 83% of responses said that product images are “very” and “extremely” influential.
The images you create for your ecommerce business has the potential to share enough information about your product to engage buyers and close a sale.
In fact, many consumers expect to see product images before making a purchase online. For 60% of U.S. shoppers, Salsify found that they needed to see an average of 3 or 4 images when shopping online.
In recent years, 360-degree product photos have become quite popular. This style of photography captures a product at all angles and allows prospects a chance to rotate the image to see every angle. Some ecommerce business has seen a 30% increase in conversions.
Enhance & Improve Instore Experiences
You should use product photography to enhance the overall experience of your online store. The more information you can provide in an image (or through multiple images) the more confidence you provide for online buyers.
Your product photos make the first impression in just 50 milliseconds.
When customers have higher confidence in their buyer decision they’re less like to return it. In fact, one of the main reasons buyers return products bought online is because the product received looks different than what they expected.
Shopping is always a visual experience. They from the first impression (in 50 milliseconds) of potential buyers and inspire them to make a purchase.
Product photography is important. According to Shopify, more than half of online shoppers think that product photos are more important than product information, ratings, and review.
Importance of Product Photography
Product photos are effective at communicating your products to your customer in ways product copy cannot. Here are a few factors highlighting the importance of product photography:
They boost your brand.
When you capture good product photos, they act as your brand ambassadors. They exemplify your brand and style in a simple and effective way. No matter the style of your brand, professional, fun, contemporary or anything in between, your product photos strengthen your brand’s identity and recognizability. Plas, as mentioned earlier, (quality) product images help to build customer trust in your products and your brand.
They give you competitive advantage.
Imagine if everyone used stock photos for their products. What a boring shopping experience that would be. However, in the real world, online shoppers are bombarded with choices. It can be overwhelming.
With your product photography, ask yourself:
- How do your product images differ from the competition?
- Are your product image attractive, compelling, and high-quality?
- Do your pictures capture every detail needed to build trust?
Once you have those questions answered, you’ll have enticing product images that appeal to your prospective buyers and capture sales as quickly as possible.
They increase likelihood for social sharing.
If you want to make an impact on social media, you’re going to need stunning product photos. Tumblr, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest are some of the best social networks to share your products. If your product images stand out, you can enjoy some buzz and attract new shoppers to your store.
Product Photography Challenges
Some of the challenges of product photography include:
- Representing the product without distortion;
- Capturing the product using good lighting, soft shadows, and no interfering reflections;
- Acquiring a range of products at differing angles while maintaining consistent lightening and shadows for each.
The level of difficulty to capture quality product images increases with:
- Transparent products
- Chrome or highly-reflective products
- Black or white products
Product Photography Best Practices
There is a lot of flexibility and creativity when it comes to capturing product photos. Here are a few things all great product photos include:
You don’t have to hire a professional photographer to capture your product photos but they do have to be high-quality. Potential customers want to see your products clearly. The last thing they want is to make a questionable decision for a product that didn’t capture every detail. So, if you are using a smart phone to take pictures of your products, keep this in mind.
Include multiple views (or 360-degree)
Customers want to see as many pictures as possible to understand what they would be receiving if they buy. Think as if you are recreating the buyer experience into a store. However, since they can’t physically pick it up, they must be able to see it at every angle.
If your store sells dresses, consider taking multiple photos form the front, side, and back to show people the entire experience. Also, get a model to wear the dress to show how it looks when it is put on. In some ecommerce stores, they have multiple models of varying body types wearing clothes to give customers the best idea for how it might fit them.
Include a photo for each color and variation
There’s nothing more frustrating than seeing a product you need but not knowing how it actually looks in the color you want. This might not turn away all online shoppers, those who are making a decision based on this small detail will appreciate the extra effort to capture it.
Now that you know the importance of product photography, here are the tools to do-it-yourself:
- Light Tent
- Digital Camera or Smartphone
- Tripod and/or Gimbal
- Adjustable light sources
- White Umbrella (Optional)
For a complete guide on how to take your own product photos… read this.