33 Need-To-Know Ways To Improve My eCommerce Website Images

Do you understand how important your product images are to running a successful eCommerce business? A potential customers brain will process images much quicker than text. It is often said that over 60% of a human’s brain is involved in vision. Most potential customers brains are overloaded with messages, visuals allow us to quickly put things in perspective without being overloaded with information.

If you want to stand out from the crowd and increase your conversion rates, the way product images are presented to potential customers has an enormous effect on their purchasing decisions.

So ask yourself, how can i improve my ecommerce website images?

Improve my eCommerce website photography

1 – Create a clear profile or plan for your image

2 – Have products looking their best prior to shooting 

3 – Consistent and even lighting 

4 – Use a flash carefully and selectively

5 – Simplify backgrounds

6 – Your product should stand out from the background

7 – Consider how you want to display the product

8 – Remove unwanted items and distractions

9 – Maximise the product in the shot

10 – Use multiple angles

11 – Take close up shots for areas of detail you want to highlight

12 – Display variants of each product

13 – Show all colors versions

14 – Help judge scale

15 – Use a tripod

16 – Consider picture quality versus file size

17 – Take more shots than are needed

18 – Prepare the image for post production

19 – Consistent shot size

 

Improve my eCommerce website imagery

20 – Web page consistency

21 – Reduce noise

22 – High quality post production

23 – Use shadow or no shadow?

24 – Test your web page on different devices

25 – Optimize your images for the web 

26 – Consider using video to enhance your images

27 – Plan your image layouts

28 – White background or lifestyle shots?

 

Improve my eCommerce website quality

29 – Measure & compare your images

30 – Constantly improve on your existing images

31 – Don’t ‘over Photoshop’

32 – Consistency in everything you do

33 – Place your images with quality brands

 

Improve My eCommerce Website Photography

1 – Create a clear profile or plan for your images

Source: bonmarche.co.uk

Think about your potential market. What sex are they, what is their age, what are their influences etc? All these questions help to build a profile of your perfect customer.

Once we have established a profile we can model our image template on them. For example for showcasing a product, we can add a visual of someone using or wearing the item.

If a particular mood or atmosphere needs to be created for a particular product then we can add certain colours and shades to each image.
UK online retailer Bon Marche do a great job on their image profile. They use a clean white background to display just the product and then when you put the cursor over the image it changes to seeing the item on a model, in context. See above.

 

2 – Have products looking their best prior to shooting 

It is essential to prepare your product fully prior to shooting. Depending on the product you are shooting there are a number of different ways to prepare a product.

Giving the product a quick once over can save you a lot of wasted time later in the process. Remove any dust, hairs and fluff that can be significantly amplified in a product photo.

 

3 – Consistent and even lighting 

Natural light is often the best source of lighting for a product shoot. If you can take your photos outside then great, or even next to an outside window.

Natural lighting is the easiest way to remove shadowing and glare that usually come from a focused light source. If you must use artificial lighting then you must add light from at least 2 sides. You will however discover that artificial lighting can be very tricky to play with. Often photographers spend thousands of dollars on lighting when natural lighting will suffice.

 

4 – Use a flash carefully and selectively

Following on from the point above you should be very selective about how and when you use a flash for your products.A single flash will provide focused light so you will usually need multiple flashes to provide consistent lighting to the product.

 

5 – Simplify backgrounds

You may feel that an attractive background will help when it comes to selling a product. Perhaps you think it will give the product a more quality feel.

When it comes to product shots (photos just of the product). You need to ensure all distractions are removed. See this in the image below

If you are taking lifestyle shots then the background setting is essential. It is still best to keep the background as simple as possible to not distract from the primary purpose – selling a product. If you look at the example below the image is a lifestyle type of shot as it incorporates other clothing items and also a model, but the background does not add any further distractions.

6 – Your product color should stand out from the background color

If you can plan ahead and avoid using the same color product and background then great! Unfortunately this is not always possible. A common combination is using a white product on a white background. If you want your backgrounds to remain consistent then your only option my be to enhance the color on the product using retouching as in the image above.

7 – Consider how you want to display the product

It’s important to consider how you want to display your product from the outset. How will the product fit in with the rest of the products on your site? Will the product be displayed on its own? Do you need to display the product in context?

Usually you will find that your industry or niche will have a set way of displaying the products. Take a look at your successful competitors, usually they have invested much time and money into finding the best solution.

8 – Remove unwanted items and distractions

Sometimes if you add items, objects or people to a product image it can actually enhance the product. For example if you add a well known object, that has a positive brand image. It can actually enhance your own products.

Usually though you need to remove anything that takes the focus away from your main product. In the example above there are numerous examples of distractions that will allow a potential customer to form opinions and become distracted from the real focus of buying the product.

A simple one color background will suffice for a product like this with some optional added shadow effect.

9 – Maximise the product in the shot

To a varying degree the product you are trying to sell should be maximized in the image.

In the example above the product has maybe too much free space around it. It gives the feel that the product is a little insignificant? A tighter shot where the product is maximizing the canvas size would be better.

10 – Use multiple angles

Never forget online stores are always at a disadvantage when compared to brick and mortar stores. So it is important to show you product from a number of different angles.

In the example above of a laptop computer potential customers like to view multiple angles to see the asthetics of the product, what connection ports the laptop offers etc.

11 – Take close up shots for areas of detail you want to highlight

As in the previous example of the make-up kit here you can see a shot of a close up. This gives much better detail to the product. It allows the potential customer to get more of a ‘feel’ for the product.

12 – Display variants of each product

Source: yankeecandle.co.uk

Often online stores may have a number of different variants of a product. These variants could be different models, specifications, designs, shapes etc It’s important not to leave anything to the imagination. Always provide images of each different variant if you can.

This will depend greatly on your product and the number of variations obviously. If for example you have hundreds of variations it may not be possible in terms of how you display your products and cost.

13 – Show all colors versions

You should try to show every color version of a product. This is not just to show the colors you offer but also enables potential customers to compare colors side by side. For example you may have 3 different color blues. Having an image of each color available allows a fair comparison.

It’s important to note that color can be very tricky to display correctly on electronic devices. from desktops to laptops, from tablet computers to smartphones colors can be displayed in different tones and difficult to view correctly.

14 – Help judge scale

It may seem obvious that a visitor to your website will immediately understand the size of your product. This is not always the case though. Visitors usually have a preconceived idea of how big an item is. Just think how many times you have purchased a product online and when it has arrived you are shocked or disappointed at it’s size? These size issues can lead to a customer being disappointed in your service. Some scammers actually make products look bigger than they actually are to appear to offer more value.

To eliminate this we need to make sure it is really clear that your product is a certain size through the imagery. A great way to do this is to place a very recognizable object in the image in order to compare – for example a coin. You could also put measurements into the image not just in the description.

15 – Use a tripod

To prevent any movement or shaking its vitally important to keep your device perfectly still when taking product photos. There are many variations of tripods and device holders available. They can be relatively inexpensive.

16 – Consider picture quality versus file size

You want to display your product images in the highest possible quality, but the trade of here is that if you use high resolution (quality) images then when you place the images on your website they will take longer to load. The downsides of a slow web page load is that your potential customers must wait for it to load. Often you will find that people will not wait and can click away or press the dreaded back button. If you want to go in-depth on this subject then this article is very detailed.

The simple answer is to get a balance between quality and resolution.

17 – Take more shots than are needed

You should always take more photos of your product for 2 reasons. The first is that it increases the chance of you getting that perfect shot and the second is that you will not need to come back to take even more pictures at a later date.

18 – Prepare the image for post production

If you plan how you want to take your products photos then you can also incorporate how much post-production work is needed on the raw shots. Lighting, backgrounds, dust removal etc are all things that can be considered when taking your photographs. This will then minimize the number of aspects that need editing or retouching later. This will save on time and cost.

It’s important to consider though the upfront costs also. Do you really need to buy the expensive equipment if you only take product images once a year?

19 – Consistent shot size

Providing consistent size to your product image shots provides a professional appearance to your site, it builds brand confidence.

20 – Consistency on the page

Source: Allsaints.com

Once you have a clear plan of your images you then need to apply this look to all your product images across the website. This will give your site and products a professional appearance, whilst also developing a consistent brand look.
A great example of a consistent template is the UK retailer All Saints. See an example of their product images above.

21 – Reduce noise and increase clarity

In order to reduce clutter and improve the clarity of your product images, you should consider adding white space to the background of the image. This will help the eye of potential customers focus on the most important element, your products.
Another option to consider is to completely remove any borders around the image like the example below.

22 – High quality post production

Do you need to edit your images after you have taken your photographs? This is a very difficult question to answer. It depends greatly on how you have setup your photography, how the images look on the screen, your budget, the amount of time you have etc.

One thing that is clear is that if you plan to outsource your image editing then you need to use a service that quickly provides high quality work consistently and at a reasonable cost.

 

23 – Use shadow or no shadow?

Again this is a product by product decision. Shadows sometimes have a massive effect on a product whilst other times they can have a negative effect and make the product look fake or unreal.

The main benefit of using shadowing is that it is very quick to apply and provides a more professional look to an image. The key aspect though is consistency across all your product images. If you decide to go with shadows be sure that all your products use the same style and look.

 

24 – Test your web page on different devices

Since the arrival of smartphones and tablet computers the number of different ways that images are displayed has increased significantly. Even the differences between images displayed on different tablet brands is huge. It’s important to test the way your images look on all the main types of device currently available, and also stay up to date with thee latest changes in device.  

Source: fionahutchinson.co.uk

25 – Optimize your images for the web 

Source: google.com

Optimizing your images for the web involves improving the look of your images to the search engines. This is a very different thing to improving the look for your customers.

Search engines such as Google rely on certain aspects to help rank your website, webpages and images within a webpage. These include the filesize of your images, the label or alt tags of your images and also whether the images are applicable to the subject matter.

26 – Consider using video to enhance your images

Video will always struggle to replace images on eCommerce websites. The main reason is images in terms of information are much quicker to digest. A quick glance is enough for an image, whilst for a video a person needs to view the thumbnail, click the play button and then actually watch the content.

Video can however be an important backup tool to reinforce the benefits of a product and it’s use.

 

27 – Plan your image layouts

Deciding on an image layout is an important aspect to consider. You need to take your time when considering this as your layout should be replicated across your entire site.

28 – White background or lifestyle shots?

There is no right or wrong answer to this question. It entirely depends on the product you are trying to sell.

In fact often a combination of both images is the best option. A plain background will allow the customer to focus on the product solely. A lifestyle shot will allow the product to be seen in context.

29 – Measure & compare your images

The simplest way to measure and compare your images performance is A/B testing. This is a test of 2 images under the same conditions. For example you run image A on your site for 2 weeks then run image B on your site for 2 weeks and compare the results. All other other aspects such as text need to be consistent. The most successful image you keep and then replace the least successful image. You then start the test over, constantly comparing and refining.

30 – Constantly improve on your existing images

When you identify issues or measurements that can be improved upon then you need to make the changes as soon as possible. Constantly improving on the data you discover in tip number 29 will take you that step closer to creating a perfectly optimized site.

You should never rest on your laurels when it comes to improving your product images. You should constantly look to improve.

Use different backgrounds, layouts, lighting, shadows etc The combinations are virtually endless.

31 – Don’t ‘Over Photoshop’

Be careful to not use image editing techniques too much. This will make you products look artificial. Initial photography processes and planning will give you a solid foundation to add any editing later.

32 – Consistency in everything you do

Consistency is key to everything you do on your website. From the size of your images to the background used in each image everything should be consistent. Even if you do not quite get things right in your product photography you should ensure that your image editing maintains the consistency.

 

33 – Place your images with quality brands

If possible you should try to feed off other brands existing authority. Never do this unless you have the brands permission of course. A modern way of doing this is through working with social media influencers to suggest or recommend your product.

 

Bonus Tip – Objectively Measure Your Product Images And Their Performance

How do you externally measure the performance of a product image? Analytics. This may sound complicated but it’s simply a case of monitoring the number of visits to a product page and the conversion rate of these visits into buyers.
There are many options available in terms of analytics on the market. Google provides a completely free Analytics tool that can be used to calculate product specific conversion rates.

 

About Pixelbyhand

 

We are a professional product photo editing service. We work with businesses across the globe perfecting their images for eCommerce websites.

If you run an online business and would like to improve on your current product images then complete the simple form below. (We will only use your email to contact you directly regarding any inquiry you make. We promise to never send you spam or any unwanted mail).

 

 

LET’S GET STARTED TODAY. IT’S FREE!

Send us a selection of your current images and we will show you how we can improve them.
All our sample images are completely Free.