Photography for eCommerce

It’s not easy to pivot your brick-and-mortar business to reach shoppers online, but often it’s an important stream of income for business owners to pursue — especially during times when it’s not an option to have in-store experiences that help boost revenue or your doors are closed because of the current initiative to flatten the curve.
Just as shoppers lead with their eyes as they enter your store, the same is true when they shop your eCommerce site. That’s what makes product photography crucial; pictures will be the first and best impression customers get when looking to make a purchase on your website. These images will also be shared far and wide, from website content to social media, and even paid ads.

Create a Plan

Look around your store. Think about how customers shop, where they tend to go the most, how you’ve grouped your items together in display cases, and which if your items are best sellers. Develop a scalable, replicable strategy and think about how you’ll combine photo types, what color palettes you’ll use, and how you’ll keep photo composition consistent. This consistency will help tie in your in-store marketing and branding to offer a seamless shopping experience for those who are used to making purchases in person.

Choose The Right Photo Format

As part of your plan, you’ll need to figure out which photos you’ll use and where — product photography isn’t one-size-fits-all. There’s a bit of psychology behind how online shoppers respond to images, and it’s important to choose the right format.
Product Only: This is a ubiquitous approach for eCommerce. These shots feature just the product with blank, preferably white background. When these photos are high-definition, they can help visualize all of the important details of items. 
Lifestyle: Photos that give your product context help to tell a story. These are great shots to show off on social media or blog posts and can display the scale, use, and fit of products that you don’t get with product-only shots. 
Social Media: Flex your creative muscles when it comes to taking products for social media, but it’s important to remember that each platform has its own target audience and optimized image size and dimensions. 
Paid Advertising: If you’re using pay-per-click advertising as part of your marketing strategy, you’ll need to carefully curate images you include in these ads. Here, too, each platform has different requirements, and what works on Google won’t work on Facebook.
Website: From the home page to landing pages, and even category headers, using lifestyle photos on your website can help add cohesion to your branding and work to redirect traffic to your most popular items in order to increase conversions.

Remember the Basics

You don’t need to be a professional photographer to get amazing images. With a few reminders of photography best practices, you’ll be a shutterbug in no time — even if you’re just using a smartphone.

  1. Use a tripod: This isn’t negotiable. Regardless of what you use to take pictures, attaching your camera or smartphone to a tripod for stabilization ensures you get a clear, crisp shot and settings will be easy to access if you need to zoom in or widen the shot.
  2. Get the lighting right: If you already have high-quality glass cases with lighting, this will be easy. In fact, that’s a great way to get product shots and will show customers shopping online what the object looks like in a store setting.

Attack all angles: Since you can’t take items out of the case for customers to handle and inspect, your photos need to include shots from different angles — the more, the better. Don’t skip out on the close-ups either.

Tie It All Together

After taking the time to help your products look their best online, make sure you do the same in your store. If you haven’t yet already invested in glass display cases for your merchandise, now is a good time to consider it. You’ll want to match the quality of your eCommerce site with an in-store experience of the same caliber.
When you’re ready to tackle online retail, get in touch with our team. We have been uncovering unique ways to stimulate retail sales for our clients’ products for over 40 years. We act as a strategic partner to some of the world’s leading retail brands, and as a multi-faceted merchandising company, we help maximize the visual impact of your product.