Today, an ecommerce website with quality images helps to reassure visitors of the professionalism and efficiency of the merchant. This is why the photos posted on your online store must be captivating!
It’s more enjoyable for a visitor to navigate on a merchant site with stunning photos rather than one with austere or old-fashioned photos... The conversion will benefit you!
But how do you locate high-quality royalty-free images that don’t cost a dime on the web?
How do you find the perfect photos for your ecommerce website?
To procure ecommerce images that match your brand identity, free photo banks will surely suit your desires when creating your online store! It’s crucial to choose your visuals well to attract internet users and make their navigation fluid and enjoyable.
To make it easier for you to look for stock photos on the various free image banks and get what you’re looking for, simply enter keywords in the search bar of the sites. If the content that appears doesn’t meet your expectations, enter a synonym or a more general word instead.
Some libraries give access to their collection only by registration, which doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to pay to access the extensive amount of content!
For those who like photo-editing software, depending on the image bank, you can find vector images or PSD formats to transform the image, enhance it, and adapt it perfectly to your needs, for free.
If you have the budget to buy images on the web, you can visit sites such as Fotolia, Stocklib, and Shutterstock. These sites contain many professional photos of varying sizes, which you can use freely once you’ve credited the author. Please note that you’ll need to register and subscribe to these services before downloading and then add the attribution as soon as you use a photo.
How do you know if an image is free of rights?
To make sure that you don't make a mistake, it’s better to do your research on image banks. These libraries list a selection of content bequeathed or sold by photographers, illustrators; also, some sites are specialized in collecting images and videos in the public domain.
On all these banks on the internet, you’ll find the specificities of each of the millions of pictures, each visual, determined either by the website itself or by the creator of the image.
You must then check that the image meets the criteria of commercial use limits, public domain, geographical or medium restrictions (example: possible on a website but not in a television campaign), and if you’re authorized to modify the visual.
In your marketing plan, to get images from social media accounts, beware: the most optimal shots are often taken by photographers. So, if you use a picture from an account without their permission, the author is likely to ask you to remove the picture or pay them an image fee. Furthemore, the size and quality of the screen capture pictures aren’t always the best...
The same goes for influencers’ visuals: you shouldn’t use them on your online store or for your ads. However, if you want to use a visual on your social networks as “inspiration,” you can, as long as you tag and quote the influencer and their photographer. This can be a good step to add into your marketing plan!
What do image rights mean?
Depending on your needs, image rights will vary.
For example, you can simply take a royalty-free photo and publish it on a non-commercial site without modifying or retouching it. If this is the case for you, you can simply use an image under a Creative Commons (CC) license. For these free images, it’s required that you mention the author’s name.
If you’re looking for a photo to sell a product on your online store, you should opt for an image with the Creative Commons BY or Creative Commons Zero license.
With the CC BY option, it’s important to cite the author. On the other hand, the CC0 version doesn’t require any mention. This license is one of the most flexible. In this list of free image banks, many photos are under the CC BY or CC0 license and are in the public domain to facilitate your image quest.
Where do you locate free stock photos with no royalties?
As we’ve seen, there are dozens of libraries of visuals that can help you in your approach. And it’s not just a question of choosing photographs: many banks also offer millions of vector images, illustrations, drawings, infographics, or logos corresponding to popular smartphone applications, for example.
There are other techniques to get free images, especially via Google. Be careful: not everything is okay to take on this search engine. Even on others, for that matter! The “photos” section is not entirely a commercial image bank! To access the free files of the platform, you’ll have to pay attention to all the details...
How do you find royalty-free images to download for free on Google?
In addition to these numerous sites gathering royalty-free images and photos, you can discover some gems with Google’s image search. To access this catalog, nothing could be easier. When you search on Google, click on “Images,” then “Tools,” “Usage rights,” and finally “Creative Commons licenses.”
With this advanced search for no-charge royalty-free images, you should discover many photos that come from various sites. Whether you need a landscape photo to represent the world of your online store, to showcase your products, or to illustrate your blog posts, you can find hundreds of images available for commercial use, depending on the keywords you enter.
To download an image and retrieve it from your computer, left click and choose “Save Image As.”
You can also click on the link that appears next to the usable photo. Chances are, you’ll end up on a free photo website where you can download it in several formats and in HD.
Good news: you can do this for every photo!
Free photographs or illustrations: make good use of them
Before giving you the keys to your future hunt for free stock photos, you should keep a few things in mind about using no-cost images.
As all professionals resort to the use of these image libraries, especially those at the top of the rankings, many media articles, blogs, or even presentations of specialized sites are illustrated with the same visuals.
For example, when a major news story is published, the editorial content of national media will include the information. The visual is often taken from a free-photo platform when this news evokes a social event. The user will have the same information processed by several sites, but in addition, an identical visual depending on the navigation pages!
Within the framework of web sales, you must establish a clear graphic charter in order to evaluate your visual needs and to avoid “looking” like your competitors. In addition, you may prefer to use more confidential, lesser known image banks to obtain the visuals that will make the difference.
As far as social networks are concerned, you can certainly use royalty-free images. However, put yourself in the user’s shoes: would you order a product or request a service on a platform where the photographs are all standardized?
Better to let your imagination speak to create your own visuals, unless you can retouch the free photos to make them your own? Be warm and welcoming rather than formal and distant!
What is the best place to get free stock photos?
There are many websites that are real gold mines of free files, with or without registration! WiziShop has selected the top image banks and platforms for you that will make all e-tailers happy! And don’t forget: even if the visuals don’t require attribution, mentioning the author is always a good idea for the creator.
Pixabay is a vast image bank, gathering many free images and videos that you can use anywhere and as you wish! Many categories are provided. Whether it’s photos about food, animals, architecture, beauty, or even textures and backgrounds, a wide choice is offered to you.
Unsplash offers a large collection of free, high-resolution photos. To discover them, go directly to the website or subscribe to their newsletter. It allows you to receive 10 new images, every 10 days, directly in your mailbox. All the pictures published on Unsplash are under the CC0 license. This means that they’re free, for personal and commercial use, without any attribution required.
From a variety of free image sources, Pexels highlights carefully selected photos to bring you the greatest results. All photos are also licensed under the “Creative Commons Zero” license. With its search functionality, you’ll be able to easily find the optimal free photo for your online store!
Negative Space offers a lot of colorful and quality images! Every week, 20 new pictures are posted on the website. You can also follow them on Facebook and Twitter, to keep up with the new additions.
With new photos added daily, Picjumbo offers a wide selection of stunning images on a variety of themes. Photographer Vicktor also offers unique paid packages for bloggers, designers and agencies (starting at $10 per month), as well as a rather handy Photoshop and Sketch plugin for $7.99.
Through this website, the generosity of photographers is spreading quickly. Daniel Nanescu feeds, in great part, this sublime bank of free images. He shares with you a large collection of high-quality digital photographs.
With new photos added weekly, Gratisography features high-resolution photos under the CC0 license. All images are taken by Ryan McGuire, a captivating visual artist based in Ithaca, New York. The photos here are quite eccentric. That’s why this image bank is so charming and appealing.
On Barnimages, you can find photographs taken by two Latvian friends, Igor Trepeshchenok and Roman Drits. Together, they launched their platform in 2015. All their photos are poetic and tell a story of nature, places, and elements.
They’re ideal for a blog around travel, lifestyle, or anything that revolves around environmental issues.
Karolina posts all her photos on this platform, which has become the preferred image resource for lifestyle, food, and design bloggers around the world. The minimalism of her pictures and the treatment of the light are remarkable. The plus: you can hunt for images by dominant colors, a real plus to always maintain visual coherence for your store!
Here, the pictures that you’ll find are all free to download, edit and use for any personal or business project, as StockSnap uses the CC0 license. New images are added every day, and it’s easy to explore the library of stunning visuals via the different categories or the search bar.
A goldmine for all food, fashion, beauty, and lifestyle content! For a blog or to present inspirations, this platform will be perfect. The images are of very good quality. If you don’t have the technical means to produce sleek, stylish, professional images, Styled Stock is the platform for you!
Technology, cities, travel, architecture... Many fields are represented on this very well-constructed image bank. A very large number of visual productions and different styles of images make this library rich.
Small drawings, photographs, images of news, even celebrities: this atypical bank gathers visuals from sources of yesterday and today. Visuals from old movies, illustrations of today, or vintage photos are listed on Devostock.
On Stockvault, visuals are added every day by a community of expert artists. Each visual is categorized according to one of the three possible licenses on the platform. A real treasure trove!
The plus: other platforms associated and themed according to the type of visual proposed. Stockvault offers a parallel space dedicated to illustrations and vector or isometric images, ideal for your banners and headers.
Classified by precise categories, the hundreds of thousands of visuals are accessible and free. Please note that photographs don’t need to be attributed as long as they aren’t used for editorial purposes.
Don’t hesitate to get lost in the thousands of pages of free photographs and illustrations!
Architecture, landscapes, nature, animals... All these areas are treated with a vintage filter, very aesthetic. Here, you’ll find new images, all very high quality, which change, visuals captured by professional photographers and remarkable framing! A real pleasure for the eyes!
On Skitterphoto, all visuals are from the public domain. The retouching of the shots is done with care. The images are intriguing and can easily pique the viewer's curiosity. In any case, you'll be on the way to differentiation by choosing these shots!
Public Domain Pictures
PNG, JPG, with or without background: all the search results proposed on Public Domain Pictures offer images in various formats. Photo, drawing, illustration, and other image ideas are provided in several versions, and some elements are even personalized according to specific themes, like for Christmas for example!
Image banks: last tip
This non-exhaustive list of commercial image banks will allow you to fill in your blank pages on your website, free of charge. Once you’ve uploaded your visuals, don’t forget this last rule to ensure maximum reactivity: your pictures, illustrations, and drawings must not exceed the size of 100 KB. Compress all your visuals for an optimal approach and an ultra-optimized site!