Put Your Best Photo Forward; E-Commerce Photography Tips
:: By Jeff Hunt, CEO of Snap36 ::
Any e-retailer knows a picture is worth a thousand words in an e-commerce environment. The quality of your photos directly reflects the quality of your products and ultimately the perception of your brand. Additionally, customers today expect to see multiple images and angles of products before they commit to making purchases online. Ask anyone and they will tell you, given the option, they will always purchase from the site with the best images and interactive experience, as they can visually confirm what they are buying. By taking your efforts a step further and offering more functionality, such as video or 360-degree spin, the ability for shoppers to glean even more details and information on a product can make the difference between conversion and abandonment.
In terms of marketing, great product imagery enhances the user experience, communicates consistency and professionalism, and sets the tone for a business. Here are a few tips that can help ensure your e-commerce imagery performs well.
Make It Professional
The power of the visual elements on a site cannot be underestimated. Look at any well-designed site and you will notice that all of the imagery looks crisp, professional and consistent. First impressions are lasting impressions and you only have one chance to convey the quality of your brand. Whether your photography is in-house or outsourced you want to ensure that you are employing a trained resource who understands the nuances of lighting, perspective, and composition and employs professional quality equipment.
Make It Interactive
In addition to posting photos that frame products in their entirety, the ability for shoppers to zoom in on a product’s details or virtually “pick up” and spin the product around as if they were holding it in their hands can very quickly turn a lukewarm prospect into a full-fledged customer. When trying to sell on a website, static product images can only go so far. Adding 360-degree product photography is the next best thing to an in-store experience, boosting sales, increasing brand awareness, and customer satisfaction, while reducing returns. Additionally, unlike in the past, new technology, workflows and service offerings have made it affordable to incorporate it fully into your e-commerce strategy.
Make It Personal
Creating a 1:1 dialogue with customers can help humanize and localize a brand. Even if you offer global products or services, including imagery on your site that helps profile the people that use your products or the people behind your business can help create a sense of community with your key audiences. For example, Stuffies includes imagery of children actually using their products both on their product information page, as well as on their reviews page. Showing shoppers what your products look like or how they can be used in a real-world setting can go a long way toward creating purchase confidence. The use of lifestyle shots or user-generated content can bring the true feel of your products to your potential clients.
Every e-commerce setting relies on the ability to provide customers with the right amount of information to communicate product and service details in a way that entices shoppers into buying, returning to a site and spreading the word to other prospects. Putting your best photos forward is a critical element to any strategy that will not only help make a sale, but will improve the overall professionalism and functionality of an online business. Shopping has always been as much about the experience as it has about the product itself. Presenting photography that lets visitors truly see and interact with products online will increase trust, break down barriers that may have existed for shoppers to move forward, build brand loyalty and ultimately increase conversions and revenues.