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How to improve website conversions - Part 2: Product Photography

Welcome to the second part in our series of posts designed to help you improve website conversions. The next aspect of any website we believe is vital to engage a visitor is the quality of imagery; specifically the product photography and lifestyle imagery used. Good photography builds trust.

The importance of product photography

It's virtually impossible to sell any product without a picture today. This study by Brightnorth tells us that:

"Research shows that missing, offset or slow loading images significantly affect conversions, particularly on mobiles and tablets; however, many brands still fail to prioritise image quality."

Argos stocks 1000's of items. They're all displayed with pictures. Take away all the pictures and this is what you get

argos no product images
argos no product images

Would you buy blind, in this way? Rarely would you do this offline, unless you have 100% trust in the seller or are re-purchasing something you've bought previously. This is of course a drastic example and the reality is that the vast majority of sites include product photography. But the quality varies.

According to MDG Advertising:

 “67% of consumers say that the quality of product images is very important in selecting and purchasing a product”.

Every year that passes, creates advances in the quality of digital photography. You can even take great photos and video from your smartphone.

Having that in mind, I am not suggesting you get a film crew and actors to produce a world class advert especially made for the Super bowl Halftime Show. Nor take your products to some far flung location for an exotic shoot. These days it is easier to hire affordable experts such as a professional photographers or people within your immediate network, who can operate a camera or are photography hobbyists. Using a bunch of sources such as tutorials and courses, all the activities can be done in-house, helping you to edit and upload pictures much faster and by yourself.

The main point to remember here is that it’s not just about taking photos, it’s about the quality of these images. A low quality picture can make any product look tacky and cheap:

poor photography good photography
poor photography good photography

There are even options on how you can view them, by adding addons to your website, where you can show how your product looks close up, or in 360 degrees. This doesn’t mean you that you have to add 100s of photos everywhere on your site. The product only needs a few pictures:

  • One overall 'hero' image like the one above and to the right
  • Additional shots from two or three different angles
  • Close ups to highlight key features that make it special
  • A lifestyle shot that shows how the product looks in use (this could also be the hero image)

To get an example here are some images from one of our clients,Rockett St George. They have a hero shot on the far left, some more close up shots and how it looks in use. It's a simple cabinet, but you can see that the door is held closed by a magnet and you get an idea of it's capacity by seeing jars of products in it.

rsg product photography example
rsg product photography example

If you want more tips on how to take a great product shot (albeit a non-lifestyle shot i.e. a shot of just the product and nothing else), then here's a good, detailed guide from the Shopify Blog, which will work well for certain types of products.

This guide from the Wix Blog is also good at providing more general tips which include ways to shoot different types and sizes of product.

If you missed our first article in this series thenclick here to take a peek and read post number 3 in the series here!

photo credit: just a Tikky via photopin(license)