To see or not to see – the importance of product images in your shop

Images are essential when selling online. Make no mistake ecommerce works because of images, as it is a visually driven world out there, but it’s still shocking to see how badly it can be done sometimes.

Product images are clicked, zoomed, swiped and shared every minute of the day, so make sure your online shop doesn’t make the mistake of not taking them seriously.

We often hear this from clients “well I only had time to get the product up there and i’ll come back when i’m free and take more photos and add them in”. You might as well be saying “I’m happy not to sell the product now just wait for a bit.” A selection of images should be considered a pre-requisite for all products you are trying to shift online. I don’t like to compare local business to the big online retailers, but take eBay as an example of best practice, they have space for up to 12 images for every item you list.

If the shopper sees the item they are about to buy from every angle, then they can be in no doubt about what they will get delivered. The barrier to sale is lifted and the conversion comes closer.

But what makes for a good set of photos?

It’s not just about good lighting but showing the ‘raw product’ unstyled in as many angles as you can, as well as a styled shot. For example a chair in a living room setting and not just with a white background. We always say show both if you can so the product images can reassure and inspire at the same time.

There are some online tools out there to help you get the shot you want, such as Pixelz to help you remove the background from your photos. If you have a small product set that doesn’t change often, then get in a good commercial photographer for a one day shoot, if you don’t have a good camera and lighting area in-house. If you are a reseller, then be more demanding of your supplier and insist they give you access to the marketing images for their products to help you sell them on.

Best Practice

We recently created a website for Buxum Box who sell sturdy aluminium boxes for cycle enthusiasts to pack their bike up in, to take on flights abroad. It’s an investment to buy a Buxum Box as they retail at around £700 each, but if you own a racing bike that costs several thousand you won’t skimp on keeping it in top condition while you travel. Their customers don’t want to put the bike in the hold of a plane for their dream cycling holiday in the Alps, only to find the main frame twisted upon arrived in Geneva!

Buxom knew that the social proofing they needed to overcome any barriers to sale involved really clear and detailed photography of what these boxes can do. They have three bike boxes for sale in their small WooCommerce shop we designed for them, and each box has 16 shots on each product page. They show it open, closed, the wheels, the pull handle, and most importantly, the detailed locking mechanism inside that keeps the bike rigid and secure in transit. They evidence clearly the copy description, yet evidence it so much better than words can ever do.

So take a look at the product shots in your shop and really think – do they answer all the questions and fears that my customer might have about it? If they don’t, then get snapping!