We’re e-commerce photography specialists and work with online retailers in every state across Australia
Think about the last time you saw a photo of a product and thought… I WANT ONE!
This is the power of having the right product photos on your e-commerce website and the opportunity you have to stand out.
With a single photo you can tick a lot of boxes in your customers minds and answer a ton of questions in just a few seconds. This is exactly the goal when it comes to selling online – communicate and build trust as quickly as possible.
After building & operating 3 successful e-commerce websites (spanning over 20 years) and now photographing thousands of products for our ecom clients, we have an excellent feel for what sells products online.
The anatomy of a successful e-commerce product page
Let’s look at what information customers have on a typical e-commerce store to help them decide whether to purchase the product or not.
- Photos – High quality product photo(s) that show the customer exactly what they are buying. Photos should be crisp and clear so every detail is seen. Colours should also be accurate as all this leads to a confident customer who knows that what they are looking at is what they will get.
- Words – A solid written description explaining how your product will benefit the customer. Remember, some people like to read and just as importantly the search engines definitely like to read when it comes to knowing what that page is about.
- Video – A tool that can provide you with a deeper level of communication and help build trust with your potential buyers. A video on a product page could be FAQs, a demonstration, setup guide, testimonials etc.
- Reviews – Real feedback from real people who have purchased and used your product
- Price – Show the full price, including GST or VAT. There should be no surprises when a customer “adds to cart” and checks out.
It is important to put ALL of your effort into maximizing points 1 to 4 above, so people don’t choose to purchase from you based purely on price. There will always be someone out there willing to sell a similar product for a cheaper price. Setting yourself up to compete on price it the quickest way out of business.
If you’re just launching a new business, video might be a bit out of reach to begin with. Not to worry, if you have outstanding photos, super helpful and informative descriptions and ideally some customer reviews… you will be ahead of the pack in this competitive market place.
Use the above points as a checklist for your website. Go through each product page and rate how they perform for each point. You may easily find some quick wins to upgrade your customer experience.
The exciting thing is, your time will be well spent. The next set of eyeballs that look at your product page(s), will have a better experience. Nice!
Best photography style for e-commerce websites
There are no across-the-board rules you need to follow for your product photos.
The one thing for sure is… crisp product photos on pure white backgrounds are the safest way to go and are extremely versatile. They are easy to load into any e-commerce website but are equally easy for your graphic or website developer to use in other marketing applications.
When it comes to “white background” images, there are a couple of other options to consider… Often adding a nice natural shadow or reflection can really help give your product photos that extra polish.
Whether to go shadow or reflection usually depends on the product and the angle we are photographing it. We are happy to recommend what will look best for your products.
How much to spend on e-commerce photography
It’s an all-too-common story we hear where businesses spend all of their budget on the design and development of their website. This leaves no resources for the high quality product photography needed to entice potential customers to buy.
This is a serious problem as although the look and functionality of your site is super important, it’s only half the picture.
Be sure to factor this in when planning your online business.
Having no budget for photography forces you to either DIY or find a cheap photographer. Both risky options and will likely cost you sales.
Saying that, there is a time for DIY and a time to pay a professional. Read more below.
“Initially making the decision to take professional photos for my website was a scary decision for me, and one that I had mulled over for quite some time. Being a new business owner with a small set up budget it was difficult to determine if this was the right decision for my business based solely on cost versus reward. Prior to talking to Matt I had contacted various product photographers however none seemed to be the right fit and I was considering taking my own photos. I am so glad I contacted Perth Product Photography as after discussing my ideas and what we could achieve I was convinced that professional photos were the only option to ensure that my site looked professional and that my products stood out from all others with their own uniqueness. I love the finished products, which are well and truly over and above what my expectations were and I can’t wait to shoot our next range of seasonal hampers.”
Simply Beautiful Gifts
DIY or hire a professional?
This is a “return on investment” question.
If you make unique hand-made products that are one-off items and retail for $10… there just isn’t enough margin in your products to afford to pay a professional. In this case your time is best spent either learning how to take the best photos you can yourself, or developing higher margin products.
If you sell a “generic” product where you can photograph it once and then sell multiple units of that product, you get a much higher return on investment. Take the time to do it once and do it right and you will see the results in your ongoing sales.
What breaks our heart is seeing businesses buy a bunch of photography equipment and try to do it themselves, but still achieve results that are well below their customers expectations (it doesn’t help seeing e-commerce photography kits all over eBay and other sites which sell the promise of “it’s easy”).
The reality is, to master any skill it’s 10,000 hours. That’s what you pay for when you hire the right photographer. Yes they have all the equipment needed to make your products shine, but more importantly they’ve done the time… and you have instant access to that skill.
As a business owner you always need to put your time and attention in the areas that make the biggest difference. Honestly, doing your own product photography isn’t the best use of your time. Play to your strengths.
So back to return on investment…
We have clients whose products we photographed 5 years ago and they are still selling strong today. Now that is return on investment and money well invested.
Why photography is so powerful – Podcast
Photography is one of the few “silver bullets” when it comes to marketing online.In some cases, changing from stock photography to professionally taken photography can double or triple your sales and conversion rate.
Matt recently spoke to Ed & Brendan from the Business Marketing Show about photography and why it really is such a powerful online marketing tool.
In the episode we discuss…
- The importance and power of photography from a marketing perspective
- Some of the basics around e-commerce, website and commercial photography
- why DIYing your own photography can be a mistake
Click the play button to listen to the mp3 podcast or right click here and choose “Save As” to download the mp3 file
How many photos of each product you need
As many as it takes to answer all of your customer’s questions and leave them confident enough to “Add To Cart”.
A bottle of wine for example… one photo is plenty. There’s the bottle, there’s the label, job done.
An electronic gadget… perhaps customers will need to see both the front and back of the product to see the plugs and features it may have.
Shoes… do your customers need to see inside the shoe, the sole, the heel, the laces? Perhaps a few photos may be needed here.
Just because your e-commerce website allows you to upload 5 photos per product, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to take 5 photos of each product.
It’s all about the customer here… what do they need to see? Give it to them.
Website friendly photos
There is no point having the most perfect photo if it takes 5 seconds to load… and your customers leave after 3 seconds!
It is important that your photos look great AND load fast. We optimize all images supplied to you so they have the perfect balance between image quality and file size.
The photo on the left is 1.4mb in size. The photo on the right is 0.18mb in size. They look the same right?? However the photo on the right loads over 10 times faster on your website than the photo on the left.
This is a BIG DEAL when it comes to having a website that looks beautiful and is enjoyable for your customers to navigate through and buy from.
What format will you supply my photos in?
Every photo is supplied to you in 2 formats:
1. Low Resolution JPGS – these are 72dpi and optimized for web. This means they are perfect for anything on a computer screen – website, email newsletter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Amazon etc
2. High Resolution JPGS – these are full resolution 300dpi versions. This means they are perfect for printing on any medium – brochure, catalogue, billboard, banner for your shop wall, window prints etc
If you require transparent backgrounds and layered Photoshop (psd) files, we can happily supply you with those too.
This means you have the right files to use for any application. Your website developers and graphic designers will love you!