Ecommerce Photography and Videos
These days, everybody with a smartphone is a photographer. Photography is used by everyone but there is so much more that goes into photography. Photography is a form of art that is not easy to learn, but if you know the technicalities and how to make use of them you can at least know what to look out for when managing an Ecommerce photo shoot. Ecommerce brings with it a lot of specific requirements for a photo shoot. It’s one of the most important aspects of any online shop, simply because it is the main thing that your potential customer see first. With good product photography for your Ecommerce shop, a product can be sold to anyone. The main idea is to make the picture immediately grab the attention from people browsing your site and make them want to buy it. This article points out the main things of any Ecommere photo (and possibly video shoot as well) shoot and will help you in planning your own:
The right picture will not only make the viewer be attracted into buying the item that you are presenting, but also answer all the questions he or she might have about the physical or functional aspects of it. Ecommerce photography needs to take into account that your customers cannot physically see and feel your product. With the right photos we want to create trust and communicate to people viewing your images. For example, for fashion ecommerce shops, it is very important to show the back view of products just as much as the front view, otherwise you can expect a lot of inquiries coming in about that. that comes into the mind of the customer, just by looking at the picture. There are several steps to take into account, let’s start with mastering page anatomy:
First up is quality of photos and videos. This is very important of course to get right and a high level of quality from your photo shoot. The photos should be crisp, clear and have correct colors. On so many different computer and monitor setups colors for example can look different on every monitor. You should make sure that it appears as it is in real life. Or you might risk getting returns and complaints from your customers.
One thing to note is that if you have the budget to do a lot of post production of the images, then a lot of the magic will happen at this stage: Colors can be corrected, strengthened, products like jewelry can be retouched so that the gems stand out (most jewelry Ecommerce shops will post process their images as jewelry tends to not look very sharp without it). So plan ahead if you will do post processing or if your photos will be used without or with very little processing after the shoot.
Product Descriptions to complement the photos:
Another aspect is to use the product description to complement the photos. Describe as clearly as possible the aspects and features of each product and if certain features are difficult to make out on the photos, explain them in detail in the product description.
Product Videos, Yes or No:
You also need to decide if you want or require videos of your products in addition to photos. The difference between a picture and a video, is that a video can be used to give a deeper understanding to the customer. It is also a means to create deeper trust between your customers and you. A video can show things much cleared when it comes to usage of a product for example. Many fashion Ecommerce shops for example these days use videos to showcase each item on a model. It just gives you a little better idea on how the item will look in reality. When we do a photo shoot for Ecommerce, the added cost for creating videos in addition to photos only is reasonable. When you want to add videos at a later stage it will cost you more again so it is advisable to make the decision on if you need videos or not in the beginning.
The next important aspect are product reviews. They can help to reassure your customers about products. Now reviews on any Ecommerce page are good but they will also point out any weak offerings on your side. This can backfire as well but in general it gives customers more knowledge about your products and also you can use them to find out about any problems with your products that you might not know about. Especially with large Ecommerce shops, you cannot know about every single item. Reviews are not something you will have when just starting out, they take time to built but once you get some traction, reviews will increase as well. Don’t worry too much about them in the beginning.
Last aspect is your pricing. Show taxes and any other added cost clearly to your customers. Do not make them search for it or see any bad surprises at checkout phase that makes them angry and leave. Pricing all depends on the quality of your products and the presentation. The latter includes outstanding Ecommerce product photography. Not everything comes down to price or being the cheapest, with a proper presentation and product photos you can stand out from the competition.
What background to use, post processing to do and models to use?
Next, you have to decide how to photograph your images and what kind of background to use. To give you an example: Fashion Ecommerce shops can either display their products by themselves, cut out and with a plain background like a grey or white.
But some Ecommerce fashion shops will have photos that show their clothing on models instead, even the accessories sometimes. So what is better? Although most shops that have the budgets for it tend to show clothing on models these days, it really is only possible to know what is better when you have tested both types of photos over a longer period and have hard statistics to back up one type of photo or the other as creating more sales.
Another aspect is simply budget. For smaller companies, they just cannot afford to hire models for their Ecommerce photo shoots in Bangkok or Thailand and it is probably not even recommendable to do that. Often, companies tend to spend too much initially on the design and the photos as well. It is easy to get stuck with thinking that everything has to be perfect. But design is not all that creates sales. There are many other factors and you have to find a way to get nice product photos but also in accordance with what you can afford.
So the best way in the fashion example would to get photos of your products in front of a white background. You can take it a step further and do some post processing by cutting out the products and placing them on a perfectly white background in addition to some color correction. This will make your items stand out more. We can set up any kind of process and we customize this for every case, type of product and budget.
How many product shots for your Ecommerce store:
Next, and a very important question that also affects the budget you need, is how many pictures of each product you actually need, what angles to use, what sides to photograph the product from etc. What about different colors of the same product? Do you need to photograph all of them? Could you possibly photograph once color and retouch the others? It really depends on what type of product it is and your budget as well to a lesser degree. Sometimes, a front shot is all you need to make your customers buy from your Ecommerce shop but for a fashion shop for example, you will almost certainly need more to give your customers sufficient information about the product.
Technical aspects of your Ecommerce photo shoot:
Next up is the technical aspect of Ecommerce photography. What format do you want to use on your site and how large to make your images. When shooting a photo, it will be many Megabtyes large. We then need to process it to a smaller size. This means we need to make compromises between quality and size. Make it too large and the product pages load too long, a fatal mistake. Make it too small and the photos look pixely and do not attract enough. This can be tested initially and then refined after the first photo shoot.
The latter is a very important point. Ecommerce photography is a process as well. After every shoot we will keep optimizing further to reach the desired goal of having Ecommerce photography that helps selling your products.