The Importance of Including Great Product Images in E-Commerce
More often than not, the basics are overlooked in business; this is none but true when it comes to product images for e-commerce. Low-quality images are quite common due to the amount of effort required in either sourcing or taking photographs of products. This, however, is a fundamental that cannot be overlooked, it is an extremely important factor in the decision-making process of a user purchasing online.
The basics of improving product images
Good quality product images are key to selling your products online, often we forget that the customer has not seen the products we are selling. Product images are a representation of the physical product that the customer will receive.
Below is a good guide for what quality product images should be:
- High quality – product images need to be clear, non-grainy and of an appropriate size. Ideally, your product images should be at least 72 dpi and the original size of the image must be approximately 1000px x 1000px.
- Show the purpose of the product or show it in use – for example, if you are selling clothing it is always best to show the clothing on a human body rather than on a mannequin or as a flat lay. For non-clothing items, it is good to show the product in context – for example, if you sell homewares, the product could be photographed in a living room or office setting. This helps the user envision what the product would look like when it arrives home and helps them understand its size.
- Be consistent – product images need to be consistent and all images need to be approximately the same size on the same colour background. For example, your images should be 5/6 product 1/6 white space. Backgrounds of image should ideally be white, this will make it easy to consistently edit the images.
- Have more than one image – it is important to have more than one image, you need to keep in mind that your clients may have never seen your product before. Make sure you have multiple angles of the product and show close ups of any features. Also, as mentioned above, ensure you include images of the product in context as well as by itself.
It can often be hard or expensive to getting good quality product images. However, there are some ways you can source photography, or with the right environment, take your own. If you are a reseller of goods, it is common practice for your supplier to provide you with quality images. If you have not been provided with any images by your supplier, contact them and they may be able to direct you to their image library or mail you a disc of high-resolution images.
Tips for a home or office shoot
If you are having to go down the route of shooting your own images due to the expense of professional photography or being unable to source from a supplier, the below tips can be helpful with shooting at home or in the office
- Natural light – natural light is important for ensuring the colours of the product are captured correctly. Artificial lighting of the home or office can often make images look too yellow or washed out, so make sure you pick a room with big windows with lots of natural light.
- White walls – it is always best to shoot your images on white walls, this way you to not need to spend time editing to cut out any distracting backgrounds
- No flash – flash is a big no-no for at-home photography. It will change the colour of the product too much and will add shine to any reflective surfaces. It is often too hard to get right and is easier to be avoided altogether.
- Shoot wider than anticipated – this is important as you may think something will look great close up but then when editing the images you realise you haven’t captured enough of the image.
- Always edit your images after – it is important to edit your images after you take any photos. This will allow you to correct any colours, crop any images so they are the right size and similar format as each other
- Save your images for web – this is a must, all images must be saved to 72 dpi and resized to the appropriate size. Programs such as Photoshop, have ‘save for web’ settings to take the guesswork out of saving for web.
- When developing your website store, updating or adding a new product image, ensure you spend time on sourcing and editing great quality images Alternatively, if trying your own at home or office shoot, remember to cover all of the basic above for a better result.
By Kate Faulkner — Project Manager, Nothing But Web.