This is a guest post from John Davis. John is the marketing director at removebackground.com.
Remove Background is a professional eCommerce photography and image editing service for online retailers, photographers and designers. They offer high quality background removal and image enhancement solutions to internet retailers, bloggers, designers, photographers, and webmasters to help increase sales through beautiful product images.
Running an eCommerce business is entirely different from conventional and local businesses. With the help of technology and the Internet, business ventures can now travel far and wide through eCommerce. Entrepreneurs are able to transact with customers across countries and even continents. But what makes an eCommerce site successful?
According to Topo, visuals play a huge role in marketing your products; the clearer and higher-quality the images are, the easier it is for your products and services to be scrutinized by potential customers and to overcome their hesitance to purchase when they can’t touch or see the product in person.
When a conversion depends on a customer understanding the details of a product or service, images can play a critical role.
So, how exactly do high-quality images boost your eCommerce business?
Images represent your products as a 2D version of the tangible product. As expected, being able to view the product (even through a photo) is one way to help customers decide whether to purchase the product or not. This means that the quality of the photos you present in your ads or on product pages subconsciously affects the customer’s decision regarding purchase.
Here are three ways a good quality image can affect your store and sales.
High quality photos overcome the “touch and feel” barrier. According to Practical eCommerce, a customer is three times as likely to make a purchase if the photo sample of the product is of good quality. It helps a customer overcome the common touch and feel barrier that comes with selling online products.
If the photo sample of the product is high-quality, it gives customers a closer look of the actual product and helps them decide whether the product quality is something they like. In many cases, products with high-quality images have higher sales rate than products with low quality images.
A product image with color inaccuracy is one of the main reasons that customers return their products. After all, images are the only thing that helps customers makes a decision. In order to diminish returns of merchandise and boost your revenue, you can provide the best possible product images up front.
Professional eCommerce photography definitely impacts conversions and aids in lowering the number of customer returns, as customer can view images as close as possible to the real product color.
This is another “touch and feel barrier” that a customer can easily move from when you have good quality images. High-quality images are less likely to pixelate when zoomed in and will allow customers to closely analyze the details of the product.
Most customers are precise when scrutinizing a product before purchase. Thus, a good quality photo can give the customer an easier close up of the product.
Website images are not there for no reason or to just “look pretty”. Each image uploaded in eCommerce websites should be strategically chosen as this can make or break your sales. Studies show that images can be used as a social trigger, especially if these images can capture the interest of the viewer.
A great example is from User Interface Engineering:
T-Mobile’s site is filled with many pictures of spokes-celebrity, Catherine Zeta Jones. However, as we watched phone shoppers work through the site, they showed increasing frustration each time her picture appeared, instead of images that might be more informative.
One older shopper, interested in buying a phone with easy-to-press large buttons, became frustrated when she couldn’t discern the button size in any of the pictures. When she spotted Catherine Zeta Jones holding a phone she liked, she became exasperated. “She’s a very pretty woman,” the shopper told us, “I just wish I could see her buttons.”
When you are selling a product and you put up a sample image, a high-quality image of the product, you can easily capture a consumer’s interest when they are browsing through the website. More importantly, if you can show the product in action and allow it to answer consumer questions, you can help customers pull the trigger on purchases. Thus, good quality images are more likely to capture the interest of potential consumers and sales for you.
Any experienced photographer will tell you that it is not so much of the subject, but the quality of how you take the photo that matters. That said, you must need the right basic tools to start up your own photography and to ensure that they come out with the best representation of your products. The following are things to remember when taking a product photo:
- Camera: The camera is the most important component with photography, for obvious reasons. A common misconception for most is that you must have a high-end and expensive camera to product good photos. Wrong. You need a camera, yes, but any camera will do as long as you know how to take a good photo.
- Lights: Lights play a huge role in photography, because it is the one responsible for enhancing and showing the beauty of your products. For photography, the more natural light you can use, the better. However, you will find that photo shoots will sometimes need to be indoors, thus good quality lighting is important.
- Photo editor: Before you upload your photos to your website, you might want to run it through your editor first and make a few enhancements – nothing big to alter the entire image. This can make your images sharper and clearer. You can also edit the background of the photo online to emphasize the subject in the photo.
Another item to consider when using high-quality images to present your products online is that you should not stick to one image alone. Consumers would want to have different views through different angles. Kissmetrics advocates for taking images from several angles so customers get a better idea of what the product is like:
So the goal is to make the visitor feel as if they know exactly what it is like to touch and hold the product. This is especially true for clothing and any kind of mechanical tool.
Include different views of your products – top, bottom, side, front and back – to allow customers to analyze them further.
Search engine optimization does not only work with word triggers. Photo triggers can also optimize your search traffic when you use high quality images. Customers who go through search engines to look for products that you sell will easily be led to your website with the help of high-quality images from the search results.
You can also use components, such as the image name to boost SEO. Yoast has more tips on optimizing image SEO like this.
Promoting new products, especially via an eCommerce site, can be a challenge to any entrepreneur. Clients and consumers rely on getting an accurate idea of what a product will be like before deciding to purchase. If you have high-quality images of your products posted on your website and on the product pages, you can boost your sales and improve your eCommerce business.