In eCommerce, photos speak louder than the words on your description, your brand’s home page, or in the customer reviews section. Customers can’t see or feel the product in real life before they buy it, and this is the main reason your product photos need to be an accurate representation of the real thing. Not only that, but the quality of your photos, how they are staged, and how they are post-processed affect customers’ impression of your products—as well as your business as a whole.
Having said that, having great product photos is imperative for any eCommerce brand’s success. To achieve this, the first step is to avoid these common product photo mistakes:
1. Not retouching
Basic retouching should be the bare minimum for product photos—but only if the photos are already high-quality, well-staged, and don’t need further editing. Otherwise, failing to retouch product photos before posting them on your business page will likely decrease the attractiveness of your products and thus affect customers’ impression of your brand as a whole. Worse, if you post poorly taken photos with bad lighting, angle, and color, you could very well be missing out on a lot of potential sales.
With the abundance of photo editing apps and programs today, you can probably do basic retouching yourself. But if your product photos need a higher level of editing or if you want to add creative flair to them, it is highly advisable to hire a professional. The same goes if your products need special editing, such as photo retouching for eCommerce jewelry.
2. Posting too much or too little
There is no magic number for how many photos you should post for each product; it depends on the product itself and how many angles customers need to see before they buy it. For example, if the product is a skincare product, a picture of the back and the front will do. But if the product is something like a piece of furniture, customers would want to see more than just the front and the back; they also want to see what the product looks like from the side, from above, and up close.
When determining the number of angles that you should post, put yourself in the shoes of your customer, then ask yourself: “Which parts of the product do I want to see before I buy it?” Doing this should give you a good idea of how many angles or pictures you should post for each product.
3. Incorporating complicated designs
In the eCommerce world, a good rule of thumb for product photos is to keep the image as simple as possible. This is why most online stores have product photos with only a plain white background. And even when there are props in the photo, they are often minimal, not taking attention away from the product itself.
If you take photos with complicated set-ups or incorporate flashy designs during post-processing, you may take away the focus on what should be the centerpiece of the image: the product. Of course, these strategies may work well if complex designs and props are in line with your brand’s aesthetic—but if this is not the case, stick to simple backdrops, props, designs, and editing.
4. Posting low-quality photos
Posting high-quality product photos is an absolute must for any eCommerce brand. With HD cameras, even on smartphones, there is simply no excuse for posting low-quality photos on your website. Doing so downgrades your brand’s image, and when potential customers try to view your products, they are likely to be put off immediately by the low quality of your photos. After all, they can’t even see the product clearly—so why should they buy it?
“But what about loading times?” you may ask. Yes, high-quality photos tend to load a bit slower, but there are many ways to speed up image loading, even with HD quality.
Here are a few strategies that you can use:
- Resize your images before uploading them to your website
- Use lossless compression to make file sizes slower without losing quality
- Enable browser caching to help your website load faster on visitors’ browsers
- Consider switching to a faster host
Product photos are the most important parts of your eCommerce site. The quality of your photos can mean the difference between a successful sale and a missed opportunity. Not only that, but the number of photos you post, how you edit them, as well as how fast they load can all affect your customers’ buying decisions.