I don't care how awesome your products are, if the pictures suck I'm not buying it!
In this post I'm going to give you 6 simple tips to improve your ecommerce product photography. Ecommerce product photography is important. Really important. In an article I posted a few months ago I wrote "Have you ever gone to the mall, walked into a shoe store and purchased a pair of running shoes without trying them on? When shopping in a brick-and-mortar environment, customers can pick a product up, feel its weight, try it on, touch its edges and give it a squeeze. When shopping online, customers aren't able to touch whatever you're selling." That's exactly why product photography is so important in swaying a potential buyers purchase decision. Your images need to give them an experience as close to "real life" as possible. Here are some things to consider:
Keep it simple. You want your product to stand out. It’s easy to be distracted by the background when you have a small product. Shopify store The Glif does this really well. They have a small dark colored product so they chose a plain white background. No distractions. It's clean, simple, and it's also easy to maintain consistency.
Sometimes the look and feel of your store demands images with real-life situations. If you're going for the hip and modern boutique style it's fine to have more complex backgrounds. Shopify store Tycoon Neckwear does this perfectly! They sell fashionable bow-ties for women and their product images mimic their brand style spot on. Notice in the picture below how you can have funky backgrounds and maintain the aesthetics of your site while keeping the focus on the product. Keep in mind, this one image isn't enough by itself. You also need to offer closeup pictures (like the one above) so shoppers can see more detail.
Don't underestimate the importance of lighting. Natural light can be the best choice for some products. It’s soft and imparts color in a way that artificial lighting doesn’t. For some products, especially those with lots of detail, manipulating light sources may be a better option. Here's a clip that shows the dramatic difference in detail level you can get by playing with the light. Don't worry, you don't need to outfit your house or business with an elaborate studio of flashes and reflective screens. It doesn’t have to be expensive or difficult to get great results. A little elbow grease and some easy to find objects can get you a cheap and easy light box. If you're selling small products, like jewelry or something similar, the Foldio Mini Studio might be the prefect solution for you. Or, you can try and build on yourself using the video below. Either way, setting up a light box will help give you control over shadows and crispness in the final image.
If you have trouble viewing this video click here.
Color and Styles
People have difficulty visualizing what something will look like in a different color or texture. You should be showing examples of each option available. If you have sixteen colors and five different textures available, show the product in each option. Shopify store 46NYC does this well! Check out their mens collection and notice that they're showing you every product option visually.
Attention to Detail
Being able to see the product up close and in detail is very important. Beyond simply wanting to get a clear idea of what you're selling, people also want to see that you have nothing to hide. With clothing in particular, it's important to show high-res images to emphasize you're products are made properly and of good quality. You can see below that Shopify store esther makes good use of the zoom function. Any products on her site that aren't zoomable you can click and see a full-size version.
Show and Tell
Make sure that you show anything you mention in a tag line or the product description. For instance, if you describe how many pockets a bag has, show the pockets! And show as many angles as possible. Click on the image below and check out how Dodocase uses product photography - they are geniuses at it! They show every color and have multiple shots of the product in use. The customer gets a good sense of what it looks like in a variety of situations. Showing their product "in action" also lets the customer imagine the product as a part of their life which may lubricate the sale a little bit.
Taking the time to have awesome product pictures on your online store can have a big payoff. Good pictures answer questions and lead to more traffic and more sales.