Many of us have found that, in the world of eCommerce, having good product images is essential (In fact, we talked about images a bit in our recent blog post, Increasing eCommerce Conversion: Product Merchandizing). But knowing how to produce those excellent images—especially if you don’t have a professional photographer on staff—can be a bit of a challenge.
Here are a few tips and tricks that can help you create product images that you can be proud of and that your customers may find compelling:
- Make “clean and sharp” your image mantra. Take care to set up the right environment for shooting the photos: a solid white background, good lighting, no shadows or highlights on the product, and with the product itself taking up at least 80 percent of the image area. There are very good resources online that discuss in detail how to configure a photo shoot. For example, take a look at the “Four Steps of Product Photography” section on this page from Smashing Magazine.
- Resist the impulse to purchase high-end photographic equipment unless you have reasons—other than just your eCommerce site—for wanting pricey cameras and accessories. You can produce excellent photos with basic equipment, and you won’t have to worry about the learning curve you’d have to go through to use the complex equipment.
- Consider providing multiple alternate views of the product, taken from different angles or sides, and showing details of the product that might not be clearly visible in the main image.
- If your eCommerce site allows for it (as Amazon Webstore does), include “swatch” images for products like clothing or other items that come in different colors or finishes. The swatch image is a close-up that gives the customer a clear picture of the texture or color of the item.
- Make sure that the images you post include only the item or items that the customer will be receiving. For example, if you include accessories in the image, they ought to be accessories that come with the product rather than accessories that can be purchased separately.
- It may be tempting to jazz up the images by including borders, text, decorations, or animations. But a crisp, simple photograph is almost always a better option. Anything that distracts, or that obscures the product, may cause your customer to choose to search for the product on a competitor’s site. eCommerce is all about trust; customers need to feel certain that what they see in the product image will be exactly what they find in the package that arrives.
- Once you’ve found an ideal size and resolution for your product images, stick to it. Your site will look more professional if all of the images are the same size and resolution.
- Depending on the type of product you’re selling, it may be helpful to include a product image that shows the relative size of the product. For example, if you’re selling a purse, consider including an image of a hand holding the purse.