So you decided to start your own eCommerce business. You spent what seems to be an eternity on creating your product line. You found ideal packaging and figured out all the logistics. Your financial plan is ready and has been checked ten times. Your online store design is finished and looks awesome.
There's one little thing left to do – to show to the whole other world your brand-new products, and make sure they love it. When you have invested that much in production, you know how carefully you crafted your product and how great it is. But for the rest of the world – you still have to showcase your products right, so they can understand it too.
That’s when product photography enters the game. We did our research and now we’re ready to tell you everything we’ve learned.
Every small business has a lot of elements to focus on. If you’re just getting started, you have to compete with much more mature brands. Why do you need to think about product photography from the start?
Your brand image consists of every small detail: online store design, website copy, how smooth your website runs. Still, do not underestimate the impact product shots have on your audience. More than 90% of shoppers declared that their last purchase decision was affected by the quality of the product shots. And we have 5 more solid reasons why you should care about your product photography from the very beginning:
You have 6 seconds to make an impression and create ‘love at first sight’ before your audience gets distracted
- You’ll look professional and established even when you have just started
When you’re just getting started, it’s super-important to establish trust to your brand.
We as buyers expect professional product photography from every brand we decide to buy from. It’s saying to us, if the brand cares to invest in photographs to make them top-notch, they probably invest as much in the quality of their products.
Blurry or pixelated shots are an amateur’s touch, which could ruin all the work you have done. When you have 10 similar products, and product shots of them are taken at slightly different angles, photos are lit differently, shadows or colors are not the same – this inconsistency impacts the overall image.
High-resolution images, and consistency between them, make any brand look solid and worthy of your customer’s trust.
2. Catch your audience attention with your photos outside of your online store
Can you recall how long YouTube ads need to play for before you can skip them and get to your video? 6 seconds.
This didn’t come out of nowhere – 6 seconds is actually how long our attention spans now last. You have 6 seconds to make an impression and create “love at the first sight” before they get distracted.
While your potential customers are scrolling their Facebook feed, searching for something on Amazon, or spending time on Instagram, you have to catch their attention with your post or your ad.
We all consume tons of visual information every day. To not get overloaded, the brain trains itself to skip the unnecessary. Our businesses’ task is to still win the attention. Creative, matching your audience aesthetics product shots, make people stop scrolling and say “Wow!”.
48% of surveyed online shoppers returned at least 1 item last year
3. Showcase your products, as in real life
What would you do before buying anything offline?
Touch it, feel the material in your hands. Examine the product from every angle. Take a closer look at stitches – for apparel, or at any decorative elements. Check if the color is right for you: will this shirt go with your jeans? Will this teapot look great with your kitchen tile?Product photography is your all-in-one tool to make this happen for your customers online. Use a close up to show the fabrics or details. 2-5 shots at different angles. Color-accurate pictures to show the color. Voila!
4. Turn your visitors into buyers
Customers form their first impression in the first 50 milliseconds. Use your photographs to add to this first impression, not to steal from it.
Average ecommerce website conversion is about 3%, differing from category to category. You can use your images to increase this number:
- Use larger product photographs
- Use more angles per product, at least 2-3
- Consider using 360-degree photography
Additionally, imagery creates stronger emotional connections, and you have all the stats to make sure – product photography deserves your focus.
5. Lower your return rates
A clear returns policy is something that is already set as a basic expectation from the brand. If the brand does not provide this – it will affect sales. 48% of surveyed online shoppers returned at least 1 item last year. How to not let loss in sales and extra costs on returns hurt your small business?
You can use your product shots to lower possible returns. One of the top reasons for returns is the expectation-reality difference: when the item your customer purchased is a different color, look, or quality from what they have expected.
Use your photo to show as much of your product as possible: take a close-up photo to show the texture and make your photography colour-accurate to show the right color. Educate your clients on all the details about your product to set the right expectations and bring them joy, not disappointment.
You can follow all these recommendations even if you are DIYing your photographs or asking a friend to help you with it. If you aim for a more professional approach – feel free to contact Squareshot, they have worked with 600+ brands over the years, and they will be happy to help with all your needs. For help with returns management or shipping for your ecommerce store, reach out to eShipper.
Author: Liz Kasian, Marketing Manager at Squareshot. Loves inventive marketing, well-crafted content, and simple design. Squareshot is a product photography service, where she is responsible for marketing and analytics.