While our region still has the e-market in its developing stages (with all the problems that come from generally underdeveloped markets and the lack of legislation that would be stimulating for trading on the Internet), the rest of the world prides on it being just a regular part of people’s everyday life. Half of people, to be exact – for instance, the US is the country of “digital customers” whose number of those same buyers rose from 136.9 million in 2010 to over 170 million in 2014.
Today, customers across the Internet are bombarded with millions of high quality photographs. This is nothing to be surprised about as online sales often come down to the way we visually perceive the product, with the good photos often being crucial in the decision making process whether to buy a product online or not. However, what seems to be the case is that the online buying activities don’t often feature images of high enough a quality to appeal to the customer and make him/her buy the product.
How to get excellent photos for your online store?
Such an important task would ideally mean hiring a professional photographer. Unfortunately, the fact is that many small businesses have a number of other additional costs and paying for professional photographs isn’t really something they can afford. This is why you should master the second best trait of having amazing photos for your page – learning what the most important features and characteristics expected in high-quality photo products for e – shops are; furthermore, you should master the art of taking the photographs yourself as better as possible so they resemble a professional shot. You don’t necessarily need to enrol in a professional course as the internet features a wide variety of online tutorials that may help you master the basic “tricks” and “hacks” that make a good photo. One of our favourite sites for you to start your online photo school and not get confused with all the instructions is definitely the School of digital photography, which has a million and a half of followers.
Do I necessarily need all the super expensive equipment?
Living in the era of smartphones makes it easy for everyone who is looking to snap a good quality photo without having to own a professional camera. Smartphones can make an effective and a good photo, especially if you snap it in the daylight. Phones with Android and IOS operating system have a number of applications at their disposal and these will help you make a better photo that’s easily edited later.
- However, the best would be to have a camera that makes a good picture in a variety of situations. There is a big difference between professional and amateur photo equipment, no dispute there but it usually comes down to the difference in price. Manufacturers are releasing new models of amateur photo equipment every few months, making these just as reliable to make great shots at a fraction of the cost you’d spend on buying professional photo equipment.
- We’d recommend that you choose the so-called DSLR cameras with a lens that does not cost more than 600 – 700 Euros (this being an optimal price for a cheaper DSLR). A camera like this is quite enough for an e-commerce platform that features frequent addition of new products and their variations. Also, cameras with a built-in lens, a so-called compact apparatus can also produce beautiful macros and product details.
One shot is not enough
The biggest difference between digital and regular shopping is that in digital shopping the buyer doesn’t get to deal with, i.e. question the physical characteristics of your product. As you’re probably well-informed on the process of online shopping by now you realize that no matter how good the offer, the purchase alone won’t happen unless the customer is visually captivated. The product has to be captured from different angles so that the potential buyer has an idea of the whole product in mind.
If you post more than one photo of the product, you are already ahead of the game as you are potentially eliminating customers’ doubts that may lead to their dropping of the purchase. So, before you upload any images, you must have answers to some questions.
- What are the size and dimension of the product in relation to the functionality?
- Does the product come with any other accessories?
- Does the product require installation/assembly?
- How does it look from all angles?
The last question listed is probably the most important. Large companies often feature a window with software that enables viewing the product in 360 degree-range to make sure that the customer won’t give up on the purchase because he/she did not see the product from all angles.
Background, light and the environment
The product, i.e. the way it’s photographed should look as if it were from real life. Designers tend to make backgrounds resemble “endless curves,” giving away the impression that the product is floating in an endless white space.
This can be done relatively easily at home, like with the one pictured. See the full manual.
This trick is mostly used because then the potential buyer can take their time to inspect the product with nothing distracting him/her from examining the product and the potentially purchasing it.
It is always better to use the natural light when taking the photos of your product, especially if you aren’t particularly skilled with using the lighting in the studio. While the use of the “soft box” for lighting can be very exciting, it can make your rookie mistakes even more visible which will make the photos far less appealing.
Try shooting both the product you are selling and its environment in such a way that it virtually places that product in real life. If, say, you are selling jewelry, it is always better to photograph it with someone wearing it, although you will additionally put up the photo of the product itself as well. This is a great trick to help the customer envision the way that product will look on them if they buy it.
The power is in the details
Like with every other attractive advertising, you want your customers to see those beautiful properties that highlight the quality of your products. This means that you will often use a small depth of field when shooting or one of the macro functions already built-in into the camera. These functions are truly focusing on texture, material and product details, and may display them attractively to make the product look worth buying.
Edit before posting/putting up on your page
Even the professionals aren’t that confident to only make a shot and immediately post it. After you’ve snapped the photo, it’s important to be able to adjust the brightness, colors and sharpness to give the product its justice. The most commonly used tool for editing is Photoshop, but the market offers a free software that can be of great use.
Photos sell and that’s a great thing. Sure, you may as well turn the whole experience into a lifelong pursuit for the perfect photo, but in reality – all it takes is following the basic advice and making your road to a successful sell much easier.
Photos will certainly be a very important part of your website intended for a sale. Still, restrain yourself from doing a few things, such as:
Posting photos that are too large
Unless you are selling photographic services, don’t put up photos that are too large; this will not only look sloppy but it will also slow down the loading of the page. In fact, those amazing photographs you’ve taken won’t be of much use if the customer leaves your page annoyed because the site wouldn’t load in ages. Think about it!