The world has seen all kinds of developments in ecommerce since online shopping was created years ago.
With increasing numbers of online shoppers these days, it’s important to treat your ecommerce website with the same attention you would show a physical shop.
According to Statista, online sales around the world reached $4.28 trillion (USD) in 2020 and are expected to rise to over $5.4 trillion (USD) by 2022.
Whether you’re starting up a new shopping site or looking to transform the pages you already have, photographs are essential to your sales strategy. Ecommerce customers want to see spectacular images, as they’ll depend on them to determine whether they want to purchase your product or shop elsewhere.
As an ecommerce business owner, it’s good to understand just how important these images are to your business as a whole. In addition, you’ll want to know where you can get quality photos to help your store shine.
This article begins by walking you through the types of images your website needs right now. It then offers some helpful pointers on finding top-notch images to attract new and returning customers!
What kinds of images do you need for your ecommerce website?
If you’ve ever visited a new website and found the pages noticeably empty of anything but words, you most likely moved on rather quickly. Like most people, your eyes are probably immediately drawn to pictures and colors.
In fact, a single picture can be worth much more than paragraphs of written product descriptions!
As you get started with your site, you’ll need to focus on numerous types of images. However, the most important ones and those that you should post as quickly as possible are those for each product page.
Note that you’ll want to consider several best practices for your ecommerce images. For instance, they should be taken from all angles to properly view the products. They should also be high-resolution photographs to allow customers to zoom in on details.
Next, you should use images that provide the truest representation of the overall color of the product. Finally, be sure that your photographs aren’t so large that they take too long to load.
While product images are certainly the most important photographs, you’ll also need to obtain other images for use across your site.
For example, you’ll want a variety of lifestyle images to be used across your pages, including on the home page and contact page. These photographs may also be used in banners and headers on product category pages.
Keep in mind that you may need additional photographs for your online marketing. Consider the types and quantities of photographs you’ll need for posting on your social media accounts.
In addition, ensure that you have high-quality images to use when you send customer emails and for online advertisements and other marketing needs!
Why are images important in ecommerce?
While even brick-and-mortar stores need images for advertising, high-quality photographs become even more important for ecommerce sites. Unlike those shopping in person, online shoppers can’t see the product for themselves.
They’ll therefore need to rely on your photos and your descriptions to help them decide whether your product is right for them.
Even if you have a product image for each of your store’s products, this may not be enough to convince customers to drop money on them. Images must be taken from all angles, showing tops, bottoms, and sides of products when appropriate to create the best representation of them.
What’s more, only high-resolution photographs are appropriate for your store. Grainy or blurry photographs might show the product inadequately, and they might also project the wrong image of your brand.
Pixelz refers to a study described in the Internet Retail Conference Exhibition’s 2012 report, which examined the importance of different website features for online shoppers. It noted that 75% of online customers stated that high-quality product images were the most important website feature for ecommerce stores.
In addition, 66% of people said that alternate views of products were highly important, and 61% declared that zoom features on images were vital.
Of course, images are also important to customers who want to scan through a site quickly. They use your photographs to make snap decisions about what they want. Most people are not willing to read through hundreds of words to make a decision.
Finally, images from your website and social networks can be shared with others. You want these photos to look professional, as they have the potential to reach a wide range of people who could become future customers.
How can you obtain images for your ecommerce website?
Now that you’re hopefully convinced of how crucial high-quality images are for your brand, you may be wondering where you can find them.
Perhaps you don’t consider yourself to be a skilled photographer. Maybe you’re worried about the amount of money it would cost to purchase the number of images you need.
While you may need to budget some funds for photography, you may be surprised at how little it can cost, depending on the method you choose. In some instances, free stock images may be all you need on certain pages.
The following suggestions will help you to locate the perfect images for your online store!
1. Obtain images from manufacturers
Your first option is generally quite economical and might be able to take care of a majority of the images you need.
If you’re purchasing your products directly from a manufacturer, the vendor may be more than happy to provide you with plenty of quality photographs. This can be a win-win situation for both of you.
Manufacturers are often able to provide you with these images free of charge. However, you may need to pay an extra fee if there’s a person modeling the product in the photo.
Furthermore, if other online stores sell the same product as you, you’ll likely be using identical images, so they’ll lack individuality.
2. Take the photographs yourself
If you can’t obtain manufacturer photographs or if you’re selling handmade products, you’ll need to consider other options. If you have a great camera and know how to use digital editing software, why not try taking the photos yourself?
Should you choose this option, you’ll need to focus on several key factors for each image.
First, be sure to take photos that are large enough. They should ideally be at least 800 pixels vertically or horizontally, which will allow customers to zoom into the product.
Second, consider your background. Lifestyle images for headers and social media can have a variety of backgrounds to catch the eye of viewers. However, product photographs should have a plain white background to set off the item and not detract from any of the item’s features.
Finally, include at least three to four angles for each product. This will give customers a better idea of the size and styling of the item to assist them in seeing if it suits their needs.
3. Use a freelance photographer
If photography isn’t your strong suit or you’re not satisfied with the images that you’ve already taken, you’ll want to outsource your work to a professional.
The most cost-effective option is to locate a freelance photographer in your area. Make sure that you select somebody who’ll have the time to work with you and provide the exact photos that you’re looking for.
Most freelance photographers are more than happy to work closely with you and to take your concerns into account. You may discover that they’re willing to work for a reduced fee if you give them a discount to use on your website or give them one of your products.
4. Hire a professional agency
Of course, you could also consider hiring a professional photography agency. Note that you may not be able to have as much control over the look of these images as you would with a freelance photographer.
Nevertheless, you may find that these professionals work far more quickly and produce a more highly polished look than a freelancer could.
This is because product images are often all that they photograph. This means that they’ll know exactly how to set up your products for the best look. Furthermore, they’ll be able to get you the size and quality of images you need without requiring much from you.
5. Utilize free stock image websites
Although free stock image websites won’t have photographs of your products, they can be extremely useful for other images that you need. This might include images for banners, emails, social networks, and online marketing.
Some of today’s best options for websites offering free stock images include Kaboompics, Pixabay, Unsplash, Pexels, and others.
With stock images, you won’t have to pay any royalties to use them. However, keep in mind that these should only be used to add depth to your ecommerce site and should never be used for product photos.
There’s no question that competition is fierce in online sales today. Without enough high-quality images to use on your website and for your marketing, it might be more difficult for you to connect with customers, attract new traffic, and increase sales.
The investment of time and money into proper images now may seem high. However, it’s relatively minor compared to the benefits it can bring and the positive effect it can have on the future of your business!