When you’re selling products online, pictures matter. Your ecommerce product photography will often decide whether or not someone buys, so you need to do it right.
Why Proper Ecommerce Product Photography Is Crucial?
While there are a lot of advantages to shopping online, one of the big disadvantages is that your customer can’t get the full product experience, i.e. touch-n-feel like offline store. In most cases ecommerce only engages one of the five senses—sight. Ideally, people can see the product photos. But they can’t feel the texture, smell the leather, hear the crinkle or even taste the spices. They can’t hold a product in their hands and engage more of their senses.
Ecommerce is most often limited to the sole sense of sight. So you better nail the visuals. Successful ecommerce product photography must do everything possible to capture a product visually and hint at the other five senses.
Ideally, you should get a professional photographer to perform that well-calculated magic in your product photography. However, if you’re working on a tight budget, or if you happen to be handy with the camera, you can definitely DIY (do-it-yourself) so long as you read the following tips first.
Here are 10 tips to make your ecommerce product photography better:
What kind of background are you using? For most products, the “infinity curve” is an ideal way to have blank whiteness in the background with no horizon. You can build your own, use some post-shoot editing magic or a service.
Invest in the right tools. You need a good camera, quality lights and basics like a tripod. Product photos can be a do-it-yourself job, but you can’t rely on ambient light or a point-and-shoot camera (though you’d be surprised what some smart phone cameras can do). This post on taking gorgeous product photos has some good tips on tools.
While a blank background is ideal to show off your product, it doesn’t give any context. Sometimes it’s helpful to see a product in comparison to its surroundings, especially if it’s something where size matters. You can emphasize how tiny a laptop is by putting it in context. A refrigerator is always shown stocked with food (how much can it hold?). Find ways to give that visual context.
Then there are products that are best seen in action. Clothes look best on a model. A smart phone case is shown on a smart phone. Show people what the product does. Some companies often show their products alone but also being carried by a model. And not just one model, but two, so you can see the product on different body sizes.
How you set up the product matters. First, take care of the product itself. Clothes should be ironed. Anything with a reflective surface should be wiped down and shined. Make sure everything is perfect. Then are there ways to communicate the context or show the product in action that will help? Luxury items are often shown on people in tuxedos or ball gowns. Grills are often pictured with flames licking succulent cuts of meat and a shish kebab of veggies for color.
Show multiple angles so buyers can see all the glorious details of your product. Since buyers are not able to touch-n-feel the item, they need to be sure that they are fully convinced by looking at the item’s multiple angles in high definition with zooming facility.
How does a product make people feel? That can be hard to communicate with a simple product photo on a white background. Some advertising shots might be valuable here. Netflix/Amazon shows a family on the couch watching TV together. Apple’s old iPod ads showed silhouettes dancing. The product was there, but the emphasis was on the emotion.
For a professional ecommerce site you must have consistency across your photos. All products should be shot on the same backgrounds (or at least backgrounds that feel the same), with the same lighting and the same cropping. Not only does it make the store look more polished and professional, but it helps in comparing products.
Offer appropriate size photos. You should have thumbnails of all your images for category or storefront pages. You should have larger versions for the product page, and then offer an even larger version to give customers a close-up view. Make sure that large version is as high resolution as possible (for view on slick Retina devices) and as large as possible. People get annoyed when the “large version” isn’t that large or they arrear to be distorted.
When uploading images on Tomlibo, ensure that they are well optimized (for faster loading without compromise on the quality) and the size must not exceed 2MB.
Dimension of images should not be less than 1000 in pixels.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video must be a whole dictionary. Go a step further and offer a video of your product to really show customers the whole deal. If you’ve got a more complicated product with moving parts or pieces, this can be huge.
There are plenty of help or assistance available on YouTube regarding ecommerce product photography...spend some time looking at some videos as you will get good idea of how to do this by yourself.
If you create stunning product photography that adheres to strict image guidelines, then your customers will not only thank you for providing them with wonderful and consistent shopping experiences, but they’ll also probably share your page and products on social media. You know what that means!
Quick Summary of Photography Guidelines:
- Shoot against a white seamless sweep
- Slight shadows for visual grounding
- Shoot against white seamless sweep
- Provide image with space around subject
- Include clipping path with a tolerance of zero
Silhouette subject matter
Minimum 1000 pixels
Resolution – 72dpi
JPG, JPEG, JPE