How eCommerce Product Photography Costs Be Kept Down

eCommerce Product Photography Costs

Most business owners or management usually think the only way to keep product photography costs to a minimum is to use the cheapest possible photographer and studio setup. These costs are not the only aspects that affect your bottom line 

If you want to run an efficient cost-effective e-commerce business then it’s essential to keep return on investment at the forefront of your thoughts, not just how much you can save. 

So how do we keep eCommerce product photography costs down? ..and at the same time maintain a healthy profit? 

We can use a combination of 3 things to reduce costs and increase profits – 

ECommerce Photography Budgeting 

Product Photography Split Testing 

Create Target Metrics 

Let’s delve deeper into each of these – 

How To Keep eCommerce Product Photography Costs Down & Profits Up

ECommerce Photography Budgeting 

In a busy photo studio budgeting is often overlooked. It may seem obvious to most business owners but the last thing considered by creative types is the cost of something and how much waste is being created.  

Many larger businesses will have contracts in place for different services that they actually never use. It could be that they have photography equipment lying around that is ready put to any use.  

It’s also important to consider budgeting on a micro level where you track the cost involved in each image or product. This may seem a little overwhelming at first as most businesses work on a daily production rate. Tracking images or products on an individual basis will easily allow you to identify products that have little or no margin.  

After all the majority of your products will not be the same, they do not have the same costs associated with them or the same value.  

It’s right all to know the true cost of your product photography and it’s return on investment.  

This is not simply a matter of quantity of images it is after all about quality. Great product images sell.  

Product Photography Split Testing 

Often product photographers will give an opinion on their work, they may feel that some images are better than others. This is only an opinion though and you should not gamble your business decisions on this.  

The only real way of telling if a product image is “good” is to track it through sales and return on investment. After all a good product photo is one that sells.   

Split testing or a/b testing has been around for a number of years in web design and development. Web developers and marketers often use the technique to discover which of two options performs better. This could be discovered in a number of ways including comparing number of clicks, number of views, number of sales etc  

For product photography testing you can create two versions of a product page with differing images. You then send visitors to each page equally and after a set amount of time you evaluate the results. You keep the best performing images and replace the poorest performing once with new versions of the best performing images. This can go on indefinitely, gradually improving your images and return on investment.  

You can also no test different types and styles of images to see which performs best. Once you discover a style that works you can then re-shoot your images in that successful style.  

Split testing is a fail safe way of truly knowing what your customer wants. 

Create Target Metrics 

Despite split testing being very effective method for improving your away, it is important to know that not everything can be split tested.  

It’s also important to know that you can take a while to get meaningful results from Split testing.  

Therefore it’s important to create target metrics in order to see whether process changes have resulted in improvements. We can look at measurable factors that are not directly related to customer choice and sales only.  

Examples of these target metrics can include measuring on time delivery of images to the website, the number of image rejections that are counted and the cost of product photography per product.  

Whilst nothing is better than on calculating the overall return on investment, simple metrics you to see how productive and efficient your product photography studio is. 

Using these 3 different suggestions as a template will give you a definitive reduction in ecommerce photography costs and an increase in ROI. 


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