Product data management is an essential part of every e-commerce store. Your products are the most important and the first thing you need to pay attention to. A substantial aspect of product data that needs to be discussed is product images and how you can market your products through high-quality and well-thought-out pictures.
What grabs the consumer’s attention is always the product image. If the product is not caught in the right lighting or if the image doesn’t represent it in its full capacity, then shoppers are quick to leave kind of like window-shoppers are when they don’t see what they’re looking for on your shop window.
So, here is a quick guide on how to market your products through better images.
Tips On Product Photography
Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash
We contacted a product image photographer for this piece who elaborated on what makes a product picture good, how should the product be positioned when you photograph it, should it be put in any context, what is the perfect lighting and much more.
Todor Vassilev is the founder of Head Frame Sofia and he has 12 years of experience as a photographer behind him.
According to Todor, the best product picture is the one that represents the product the utmost or the one that provokes in customers a certain feeling of what it would be like to use the product. When it comes to the position of the product, Todor gave some really good tips.
“Primarily and in the most common cases, it’s best for the product to be positioned according to the camera so that the product’s proportions are not interrupted. What I mean is that taking a picture from a higher or lower level often leads to a difference in the product’s proportions. After this step is done right, what a photographer should think about is how to make the important aspects of the product stand out - meaning logo, form or any other specific information.”
Now, the lighting is a bit tricky. To all merchants struggling with capturing their products in the right light, here is what you need to consider. Above all everything depends on the surface of the object - glossy or matt. Usually, matt objects are not so engaging when it comes to photography. With them, you mainly need to think about the direction of the light. Side lighting will emphasize the size and the texture of the object and frontal lighting will add up to a flatter image.
But when it comes to glossy objects, you need to consider the form of the source of lighting because it will definitely reflect on the surface of the object. The easiest solution to this problem in most cases is to use a tent for product photography.
We also asked Todor about his opinion on product videos and he said that it’s becoming quite a trend to show product videos instead of product images because they are much more engaging to the visitors. He also says that it’s not a bad idea to use animated gifs. In a pool of visual content, they definitely help to attract the attention of the shoppers.
And lastly, we asked him about whether he thinks it’s better to capture the product in a specific context or if it’s better for it to stand alone. He shared that there actually isn’t a better option because it depends on the product and your purpose. If you want to transfer to your shoppers the feeling of using the product then a product image in a context is the better solution. But on the other hand, if you want to introduce your customers to the craft of your product as it is then it’s better to focus your attention on the product alone.
Google Image Optimization
Other than taking the perfect product pictures and knowing how to set your lighting, you should also take into consideration optimizing your images for Google. This is important because your shoppers can find you just by browsing through Google Images. Once your product image catches their attention, you have them on your website.
First of all, make sure your product images are optimized for delivery in size, scale, format, and DPI. They should be in a smaller size but in hi-resolution. This isn’t so much for Google as it is for the user experience your customers go through.
The perfect scale for an image is 800x800 or 640x640 depending on your web store theme. If you have large scale images, for example, 2000 pixels in width or height, this can result in a very slow loading time. That’s why you must always compress your product images before uploading them to your eCommerce store.
There is no written rule for your images’ resolution but what you should be sure of is knowing where you sell. Do you sell mostly on mobile or desktop? Do your users use MacBooks? Look into these details in order to perform best on all devices. Your images for sure can be too low on DPI. If you search the Internet, you will find that 75 DPI is what you need but this is an information that was accurate years ago.
Nowadays, we would suggest delivering your images in 300 DPI. It’s four times the previous number, much better quality and wherever people are looking at it, no matter if it’s a retina display or not, it will look great.
And when it comes to Google loving your product images, there are a few things you shouldn’t miss doing.
In the first place, write carefully your product names. Make sure you include important keywords inside the name by which your customers can easily find your images. It’s not a written rule but when you take out of your time to carefully go through your images’ names, it shows Google that you care.
Along with that, always add alternative descriptions to your product images that describe what’s in the picture thoroughly. If your users experience a slow loading image or an image that doesn’t load at all, they’d want to know what’s on it even if they can’t see it. It’s not said that Google will rank you lower if you don’t do any of these things but if you don’t have your eCommerce website optimized very well then this will add even more negative points to Google’s report on you.
Successful Examples of Image Marketing
Perhaps you’ve seen what Urban Outfitters is doing on their Instagram page but you haven’t, we have to say that it’s pretty impressive. With Instagram’s new option to circle out the products on an Instagram image and show their price if the users decide to click, brands are acting extremely well on the social media.
Urban Outfitters are posting images that are both put in a context and not. They even have pictures taken at their store and pictures taken at a random house furnished with some of their products, which immediately suggests to the customers how they can use the product and with what they can combine it with. Soak up some inspiration out of them.
It’s also worth mentioning how aware Urban Outfitters are of what their audience will like to see on their news feed on a social media like Instagram itself.
Another great example of product images is ASOS, who have an amazing taste in models and a great opinion on what looks good on them. What we mean by this is that you can always decide whether something will look good on you by the model themselves. And whoever takes their product images definitely knows how to make the people who wear the products feel good wearing them. Every picture is different and brings its own mood. To us, these two websites are the best examples of successful product marketing through awesome pictures. You can also try these 7 applications for successful Instagram outreach.
Paying attention to your product images is a little more time consuming but it’s worth doing because it builds your brand’s personality and it brings you more sales. As our friend Todor said, there is a pool of visual content out there and whatever makes you different is worth trying out.
This is a guest post by Katerina Nikolova, Chief Editor at Unravelled Zone, a blog zone dedicated to helping web merchants overcome their daily challenges by posting articles regarding trending e-commerce topics.
Unravelled Zone is created by Sheetly, which provides web store owners with easy product management in a powerful spreadsheet environment.
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