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15 Product Images Best Practices for eCommerce Success

ecommerce best practices for images

As an online retail business, the images of your products hold significant importance on your digital storefront—whether it’s your own website or through an online marketplace like Amazon, Etsy, and so on. High-quality product photos can potentially make or break a deal, so it’s crucial to invest enough time to ensure that your images are as striking as possible.

The online retail business works the same way as your typical brick-and-mortar store. Customers would want to experience your product before they make a purchase. This is where your product images come in—they are essentially the online equivalent of letting customers handle and examine your products in person. No matter how good your product is, if the photos are not good, customers will not buy it.

In this guide, we will enumerate the 15 best practices to follow for eCommerce success, focusing on product photography. We’ll also provide details on how photo editing services for eCommerce can help you make the most of your images.

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What Makes a Good Product Image?

Generally speaking, a good product image is that which helps the customer make an informed decision about a purchase. It should be clear, well-lit, and show the product from multiple angles.

Additionally, the image should be free of any distractions or clutter, and should accurately represent the product—customers should not be surprised when they receive their purchase and find that it looks different than what they were expecting.

eCommerce Product Images Best Practices


  • Use high-quality product images

This should be a no-brainer, but it’s worth repeating— customers want to see high-quality, clear images of your products. Use a high-resolution camera, and make sure that the photos are well-lit and in focus. Blurry, dark, or otherwise poor-quality images will reflect poorly on your business and will likely deter potential customers from making a purchase.

  • Less is more: Focus should always be on the product

When it comes to product photos, less is definitely more. Ideally, your images should only show the products that you offer. If there is a need for props, the focus should still be on the product, not on the props.

This is because customers should be able to see the product as clearly as possible, without any distractions. If they have to search for the product in the photo, they are likely to get frustrated and move on to another store.

  • Use realistic colors and smooth edges

For customers to get an accurate idea of what your product looks like, it is important to use realistic colors in your product photos. This means that you should not enhance the colors in your photos or use filters—the goal is to show the product as it actually looks. Otherwise, you’ll get tons of negative feedback or refund requests saying ‘item not as described’. This may get you flagged, especially if you’re selling on Amazon and other similar sites.

Additionally, all edges in the photo should be smooth. This means that you should avoid using photos with jagged or pixelated edges, as they will not look professional and will likely deter potential customers.

  • The product should fill 85% or more of the image frame

This is another one that should be obvious—you want your product photos to focus on the product, not on the background or anything else. This means that the product should fill 85% or more of the image frame.

If the photo is too cluttered or has too much empty space, it will be difficult for customers to focus on the product. Additionally, it will make your products look small and unimportant.

  • Use a Plain Background

A plain background like white or light grey is best for product photos, making the product stand out and look clean. Avoid using busy patterns or dark colors, as they can be distracting and make the product difficult to see.

If you have a lot of products that need to be photographed, it may be helpful to invest in a light box, which will help create a consistent look for all of your product photos.

  • Use Large Images on the Product Page

Customers want to be able to see your products clearly, so it is important to use large images on the product page. The image should be at least 1000px by 1000px, but larger is better.

If you have a lot of images for a single product (for example, if you’re selling clothing and need to show different views of the product), you can use an image carousel. Just make sure that the images are high quality and load quickly, or you’ll lose potential customers.

  • Use a model shot in your supplementary images

Adding a human element like a model also makes a difference, especially if you sell apparel. People want to see how the product looks on a real person, so they can get an idea of fit and style. Just make sure that the model is wearing something that is representative of your target customer.

  • Include Product Details in the Image

Including important product details like size, color, or other variations in the image itself can be helpful, especially if you have a lot of products that come in different colors or sizes. This way, customers can see the details without having to click through all the images.

  • Main Image should Show your Product’s Front View

The main image should be of the product’s front view, as this is what customers will see first. You want to capture their attention and give them a clear idea of what the product looks like.

Also, not every customer likes to zoom in or try to see the item from multiple angles. These customers who have a clear idea of what they want to purchase or have already seen your products through your marketing campaigns. Making your product’s front view your main image will save them time and make their shopping experience more enjoyable.

  • Allow Customers to Zoom a Product Image

This is especially important if you sell products like jewelry or other small items, as customers will want to see the details up close. If your images are low quality or don’t allow for zooming, you’ll likely lose potential customers.

The zoom feature also helps onlookers convert to a customer. For example, they might have seen your website through a search ad or social media, but they want to take a closer look at your product before purchasing it. By zooming in, they can better understand the quality and craftsmanship, which will help them decide.

  • Use Multiple Angles for Supplementary Images

While the main image should be of the product’s front view, you can use multiple angles for your supplementary images. This will give customers a better idea of what the product looks like and how it can be worn or used.

For example, if you’re selling a dress, you might want to include a photo of the back of the dress as well as a photo of the model wearing it.

  • Include a Close-Up in Your Image Carousel

A close-up photo is also important, as it allows customers to see the details of the product. This is especially important for products like jewelry or cosmetics, where customers want to see the quality of the materials.

  • Use Variant Images for Product Attributes

If your product has different color options, it’s important to use variant images to show customers what the product looks like in each color. This is much easier than describing the colors in the product description, and it will help customers decide which product they want to buy.

Similarly, if you’re selling a clothing item that comes in different sizes, you should use variant images to show how the item looks in each size.

  • Avoid Adding Too Much Text

As the old saying goes, too much of anything is bad. The same is true for text on product photos. Adding too much text can be distracting and make the product difficult to see. It’s important to strike a balance between providing enough information and keeping the photo clean and simple.

If you do need to add text to the photo, make sure it is legible and easy to read. Otherwise, customers will just get frustrated and move on to another product.

  • The following are some general guidelines for adding text to photos:
  • Use a simple, sans serif font
  • Make the text large enough to read easily
  • Use a high contrast color for the text (black on white is usually best)
  • Keep the text short and to the point
  • Product Images should Provide a Sense of Scale

This is crucial, especially for accessories like jewelry or watches, as these pieces are often difficult to judge the size of. In these cases, providing a sense of scale is helpful by including a photo of the product next to a ruler or other object. This will give customers a better idea of what to expect when they receive the product.

Additional Tip: Always Edit Your Product Photos

Photo editing is an important part of creating high-quality product images. Even if you think the photo is perfect, there’s always room for improvement.

Image editing is the process of improving the quality of a photo, as well as making small changes to the photo to make it more visually appealing. This can be anything from removing distractions in the background to increasing the brightness of the photo.

There are many different software programs that can be used for image editing, but Adobe Photoshop is by far the most popular. If you’re not familiar with Photoshop, there are plenty of tutorials available online that can help you get started.

However, if you’re a bit short on time and internal resources, you can always choose to outsource photo editing services for eCommerce businesses. At Pixel by Hand, our creative editors can help you transform a plain product photo into an eye-catching image that will help you sell more products.

product image editing

How Many Product Images Should You Have?

While there is no magic number, having at least three product images for each product is generally recommended. This will give customers a good sense of what the product looks like without being overwhelming. In some cases, like Amazon sellers, they can upload up to 9 images (1 main image + 8 supporting images). This can be helpful if you want to show different angles or variations of the product.

If you have multiple color options or sizes, you should include images for each option. And if you’re selling a complex product, like a piece of furniture, you might want to consider having even more images to show all the different features.

The bottom line is that you should include enough product images to give customers a good sense of what they’re buying, without being overwhelming.

How Do I Make Sure my Product Images are Good Quality?

Apart from resolution, other criteria for a good quality product image include:

  • It should be able to grab the shopper’s attention
  • It should dramatically increase your click-through rate
  • It should drive sales while reducing cart abandonment
  • It should reduce the number of returns or exchanges
  • It should enhance the overall customer journey and shopping experience
  • It should boost customer trust and retention
  • It should showcase key attributes of your products

Think of it this way: put yourself in your customers’ shoes. If you were to see your product images, would it encourage you to buy the product? Would you want to visit the store’s website if you’ve seen your photo on social media? Would you be able to find what you’re looking for if you saw the image in a search engine like Google or on Amazon?

Your product images should answer all of these questions with a resounding “yes!” If not, then it’s time to reevaluate your product photo.

On the other hand, we do understand that most budding online retailers often have a restricted budget for product photography. This is where professional photo editing services can help you.

Image editing services like Pixel by Hand are an affordable and convenient way to enhance your product photos without breaking the bank. Our creative editors have years of experience in eCommerce product photography and can help you create beautiful product images that will grab attention, drive sales, and reduce returns.

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Get started with a Free Trial of our product photo retouching service or if you have any questions simply click Ask A Question to get started.

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