Professional images of your products are an extension of your brand’s image and promise to its customers, which is why product photography is important.
In a fiercely competitive market, the visuals you use to communicate with and entice your customers can set you apart from competitors and turn browsers into purchasers.
Human beings are naturally visually orientated. And numerous studies have proven that people remember 80% of what they see and only 20% of what they read.
So if your product isn’t selling, ask yourself: “What do my visuals look like? Are they high-quality professional photographs?”
7 Reasons Why Product Photography Is Important For Business
As more businesses move online or include an online element in their strategies, excellent product photography is becoming more important than ever.
When a customer isn’t able to physically touch and examine a product, a thorough visual representation of your product becomes your customer’s first point of contact with your product.
Customers have come to expect visual engagement from a brand. They want the in-store experience of your product, in a digital space.
So having beautiful, crisp images that a customer can experience from multiple angles and in different settings can satisfy that experiential expectation.
Here are 7 reasons why product photography is good for business.
Builds Your Brand
Your visuals are an extension of your brand identity - colors, tone of the images, filters, etc. Keeping this consistent across all your images while maintaining visual variety helps customers to immediately identify your brand and its products.
Professional images show your customer that your brand is serious about their needs and wants, and is willing to invest in helping them to experience it in the most authentic and complete way possible.
Customers who feel cared for are converted into fans who return for repeat purchases of your product.
Learning photography basics like the rule of thirds is key to capturing quality photos.
Do you know what one of the biggest contributors to product returns is? Photography that doesn’t accurately represent what the product physically looks and feels like in the customer's hands. Research shows that 22% of returns are due to products that look different from how they do in the photos.
Properly proportioned photography removes the fear that customers and buyers have that they will receive something different from what they see in an image. This develops more trust in your brand - one of the key ingredients to customer retention and loyalty.
Tells Your Brand’s Story
Because your images are the visual link to your brand’s identity, product images play a major role in overall brand presence - especially in an online space.
Every image should tell your brand’s story - from composition to coloring, layout to backdrops.
Professional product images are linked to increased sales. If a customer isn’t engaged with your images, they’re less likely to explore the product further. This makes them more likely to leave your website and turn to a competitor instead.
Remember, your images need to convince a customer to buy from your brand without physically seeing or touching a product.
Provides Quick Product Information
Customers have limited time and patience when looking at your product. The old adage “a picture is worth a thousand words” is apt here: a good quality, well-composed, and thoughtfully laid out image can give your customer information on color, size, texture, pattern, quality, and shape at a glance.
Great images are share-worthy because people love to share attractive and enticing photos. This can turn your audience into a marketing crew - sharing information about your brand and products with their network. This in turn widens your audience - growing your potential customer base.
Amplify Your SEO Potential
Using images on your e-commerce site amplifies the opportunities for search engine optimization (SEO). This is because you can use image file names and alt text on your images - and incorporate keywords.
This is a strategic way of maximizing the SEO and discoverability opportunities that images present on your e-commerce site - by including specific information in the metadata of the images to support their SEO.
High SEO pages can be the key to making your business profitable. Even if you’re limited to using an iPhone for photography, prioritizing SEO can keep you competing with the best.
What Makes A Good Product Image
Minimalism And Simplicity
Your product should always be the main focus of your image. Solid and light-colored backgrounds are the best choice, as they allow your product to stand out and be the star of the show. The less clutter and distraction in the picture, the more your product will capture the customer’s attention.
When editing images make sure to brighten the background and remove shadows. But don’t edit the images too much - you want them to remain as close to the “real thing” as possible so you meet your customers’ expectations.
Because your customer can’t physically engage with your product in-store, providing multiple angles of the product - complemented by lifestyle images - allows them to experience the product in as much detail and depth as possible. This enhances the customer experience and drives the desirability of your product.
Studies conducted by shopping gateway Shopify indicate that only 0.52% of customers want to see a single photo. 33.16% Want to see multiple photos, and 60% want to experience a 360-degree view of the product.
Control Over Consistency
Consistency is king when it comes to using images to carry through your brand identity. The same look and feel across your images create a sense of stability and trust in your customers, building on the perception that your brand carries the quality flag high.
As inconsequential as it may seem, the size of your images and the platform they’re used on play an important role in how customers engage with them.
Each website page layout, or social media platform - be it Amazon, LinkedIn, Etsy, or Shopify - has its own size parameters. These parameters affect the viewing optimization across desktop, laptop, tablet, or smartphone media.
Different Types Of Product Photography
There are a variety of types of product photos to incorporate into your repertoire to get maximum impact.
Studio photographs are taken when the product needs to be the hero of the image. These are generally taken in conditions of controlled lighting with professional setups.
If a product has a shine (like a bottle of wine), a dark single-color background is best to bring out the details of the product. These types of product shots are used across platforms such as Etsy and Shopify.
Have a look at Replica Surface’s Sheet Pan Photography Backdrop for a backdrop that’s stylish but plain enough to let your subject stand out.
Packshots are brilliant when you want your image to stand out. It’s the number one layout for product photography, with a simple setup.
Packshots include the packaging of your product. This helps show potential customers what to expect and gives them a better idea of the size of your product. Deciding on what kind of photography you want to commit to determines what photography equipment you need.
White backgrounds are the most versatile backdrops in a product photoshoot. They allow the product to be highlighted and outlined.
Product grouping is when a collection of products are taken together in a photo to give context to sizing. This can consist of a collection of your brand’s own products, or your products placed in a lifestyle setting: for example, a coffee cup being held by an individual enjoying his or her morning coffee.
These are very powerful images that are taken with your product being used in a real-life context. This helps the customer to “experience” the product in a day-to-day setting - like drinking a cup of coffee or wearing an outfit created specifically for fitness.
Sub-styles of lifestyle photography include:
- Tabletop photography
- Flatlay photography
- Hero photography; and
- Model photography
Close-up shots bring your customers “up close and personal” with your product. Showing pattern and texture details, these types of shots can express the more intimate details of your product - bringing your customer closer to the essence of your product.
The quality and professionalism of your product images have a powerful influence on how your customers perceive your brand, and whether they will be converted into paying and return customers.
Images can be used across multiple communication platforms, expanding the reach of your brand and how it connects with your audience.
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