Your product can be the best, in the highest category, with the highest quality, and the one that best solves a problem or need. But if the photos 📸 of your store are not attractive, you are not attracting the attention of your customers and you may be losing a lot of sales.
When working in a brick-and-mortar store, your customers can enter and experience the atmosphere, be kindly served, listen to the music, smell the fragrances, touch the products, feel their quality and try them on. They live a complete experience. When your store is online, everything goes through the sense of sight, so you should use this resource to your advantage whenever you can.
👉 The phrase "an image is worth a thousand words" will never be as real as it is for an e-commerce store.
Even if you're not an expert behind the camera, you can take great product photos that will increase your online sales. But it's not just about taking good pictures, it's also about optimizing them afterward.
Do not worry, today we are going to see how to use product photography in your favor 😉
How to take better product pictures with little money
Hiring a professional product photographer to shoot your products is expensive. But the truth is - in most cases - you won't need it. You can take great pictures with your smartphone 📱 or a regular digital camera 📷 too.
Here are a few critical tips on how to take better e-commerce product photos without breaking your budget on outside photographers or expensive equipment.
1) Pay attention to the lighting
Having good light 🔦 is a crucial factor in taking great pictures. And the best is natural light. Using it properly can make your product look the best. And using it wrong can leave unwanted shadows or details, and not do justice to the quality of your product.
2) Create the right environment around
A Christmas sweater alone is not the same as being surrounded by other related products such as ornaments, socks, or a Christmas tree 🎄
Create that feeling of closeness in which your customer can visualize the product in their own everyday situations.
3) Watch out for the background
Setting the scene is not only about adding other products or items, but also about creating a matching background.
Is it an outdoor product? 🛹 Let's take the photo outside.
Is it food? 🍔 Let's put it on a plate or board, and use the diner's angle to take the picture.
Is it apparel? 👗 A solid color background (usually white) will help appreciate the details.
4) Don't forget about usage situations
Nothing identifies a customer with a product more than seeing it in use.
Would you rather see a snowboard alone or with someone using it to go down a slope in the snow? 🏂 Are you more attracted to a wrinkled bathing suit on a table or to someone coming out of the sea? 🏊🏽
Make the customers imagine themselves using your product, and you will have their purchase in your hands.
5) Showcase each product color
If you offer a wide variety of colors for the same product, be sure to display all the options in your store. Also, if your customers order more than one color 🟡🟢🟣, you will be increasing the average order value.
If you have basic knowledge of some image editing software, you don't need to take that many pictures. You can change the color of the product later on your computer.
How to optimize your images
Image optimization is about making sure your images look perfect, both on desktop 🖥️ and mobile 📱and that this does not hinder web performance.
So our goal when optimizing images is to create high-quality images but with the smallest possible size.
Let's look at some useful tips for this in detail 📷
1) Resize your images
As tempting as it may be, don't put the largest image just like that on your web page. This will have a direct impact on your page load time due to the larger file size.
When a prospect lands 🛬 on your site, it can take a while to load everything, depending on the size of your files. The bigger the size, the longer the loading time, as simple as that.
Note: If you're a Shopify merchant, your Shopify theme automatically compresses images, so you'd be avoiding this issue 🙌
In case you still have doubts about whether to do this or not, here are some factors to consider:
Half of the consumers will not wait even 3 seconds for the site to load.
Google takes a website's load time into account as a component of its ranking.
If you can reduce the size of image files and increase the loading speed of your online store, there is a good chance that fewer people will leave as soon as they enter.
2) Use concise and straightforward image names
It's very easy and quick to just upload images on your website and keep the filenames that your camera or phone already assigned them by default. But you are wasting a great opportunity if we talk about SEO. Images also function as search results in Google and other search engines, so using names containing keywords is a tool you cannot waste to position yourself better in the ranking.
For example, you could use a name like IMG032456.jpg, similar to the ones your cell phone will assign. But if you can't even identify what it is yourself, why should your client or Google do it? It would be much more productive for everyone if we named the file Christmas-Phonecase-Iphone13.jpg or something like that.
Put yourself in your customer’s shoes 👟 Would you write IMG032456 in the search engine? No, right?
If you are looking for a product, you’ll use words that can easily identify it. Take advantage of this great tip while setting up your products in your online store.
3) Optimize your alt attributes carefully
Alt attributes are the text alternative to images when a browser can't render them correctly. They are also used for web accessibility. Even when the image is rendered, if you hover over it, you'll see the alternate attribute text.
I've got news for you: The alt attribute also adds SEO value to your website. Adding appropriate alt attributes including relevant keywords to images on your website can help you rank better in search engines. This is a factor that you cannot miss when uploading images to your store ❗
Continuing with the previous example, you could put "Christmas Phone Case Iphone 13".
Here are some basic rules for you to keep in mind when completing the alt attributes:
Describe your images in plain language, just like you did with image file names. Don't try to complicate it pointlessly.
Don't overstuff your alt attributes with keywords (eg alt=”Christmas phone case iphone 13 dog fun best offer with discount").
Do not use alt attributes for decorative images. Search engines can penalize you for over-optimization.
4) Test your images
Optimizing your images, as well as any action we do in e-commerce, can help you increase your sales. We've talked about reducing file sizes and getting search engines to index your images, but it's not all about technical stuff. What if we test images to see which ones convert into more leads and sales?💰
For example, you could test the number of product images per page. Since load times are an issue for some sites, reducing the number of images on a page may increase click-through rates, and of course, sales. Or, the other way around, it’s also possible that providing many images per page will improve the user experience and lead to more sales. The only way to find out what will work best for your market is to TRY IT!
Another thing you can do is test which angles perform best. Our brain reacts better when we see a focused image of food from the diner's view 😋, or when we can see a car 🚗 from inside. You may see an increase in customer loyalty by showcasing the point of view your clients want to see. You could survey your customers to find out what images they liked the most and learn from them.
5) EXTRA TIP! The unique experience of personalization ✨
If you want to provide a completely different experience to your consumers, what better way than personalizing it?
Today it is possible for your customers to create their own products in your store, to their own liking, and to see a live preview of what they are creating while completing their order.
Imagine the engagement that this can generate in your clients 🤩 If the experience in online stores is mostly visual, this is a great strategy to grow your sales to unimaginable levels.
The good news is that you can do this - and so much more - with Customily! If you have a Shopify store you can try it for free now by clicking here. If you are selling on Etsy, you can try it for free here. And if you work with another e-commerce platform, just book a FREE DEMO here and our team will be happy to show you how Customily works 😄
The images that you place on your website are one of the most significant resources you have, do not waste or underestimate them 🤷
Sight is the sense that we use the most, and the only one you can use in your online store, so make the most of it. I assure you that your competition will 😉
I hope these tips have been useful to you, and if you have others to give us, we would love to read you in the comments!