The #1 Tip For Selling More Products Online


April 4, 2017 By

Cheryl Dykstra


At Sales & Marketing Technologies, we are all about innovation and discovering new digital technologies that can help grow your business. But there’s one simple aspect of marketing that is essential when selling products online – quality product photos.

Did you know that 90 percent of all information our brains process is visual? Our brains process visual information no less than 60,000 times faster than text, which is a major reason we tend to remember 80 percent of what we see, but only 20 percent of what we read.

These stats are very important to keep in mind when you think about trying to sell a product. Even service-based businesses can benefit from quality photos on their website, such as before-and-after photos. And in a time when social media networks revolve around photos and videos, it has never been more important to have quality visual content for your business.

Product Photography 101

No matter how great your product’s features are or how many benefits it offers to consumers, you’ll make very little sales without quality product shots.

There’s a lot of flexibility to be had when deciding the exact aesthetic of your product photos, but there are some things that all great product photos have in common, including:

High quality – It’s so important we’ll say it again. High quality photos are essential. You want your customers to get the clearest picture of your product possible, both literally and figuratively.

Alternate views – Product photos showcasing alternate views are another must-have. Different angles and from different proximities give customers a feel for what the product will be like in person.

Color variation – If your product comes in multiple colors, you’ll want a photo for each possibility. Customers really appreciate when they can see exactly what that product will look like in a specific color, as opposed to having to imagine it themselves and have it show up on their doorstep looking completely different.

Consistency – In order to enhance your brand and give your site a cohesive feel, your product photos should be consistent. Whether you use flash or no flash, have a background or no background, use a model or mannequin; the important part is to apply the same appearance across the board.

In order to get consistent photos, most business owners get their product photos one of three ways:

  1. Use the manufacturer’s images

  2. Hire someone to take your product photos

  3. Take your own product photos

Hiring a Photographer vs. Taking Your Own Product Photos

There are several advantages of hiring a professional to take your product photos.

Pros:

  • You don’t have to pay for expensive, high quality camera equipment

  • You don’t have to spend time learning photography

  • You don’t have to spend time shooting your products and can focus on other aspects of your business

But there are a few negative aspects as well.

Cons:

  • You may not get exactly what you want

  • The cost of a professional photographer can be high

  • Depending on your photographer, you may not own the rights to your product image


Taking your own product photos, on the other hand, can provide the same high quality product photos that hiring a professional can.

Pros:

  • You know your products better than anyone and what exactly to highlight

  • No back-and-forth between you and a third party

  • You’re in complete control of the branding and aesthetic

  • You’ll own full rights to your product photos

Cons:

  • You’ll likely spend a lot of time learning and practicing your photo taking and editing skills

  • You may need to buy a quality camera and camera equipment, like a tripod, lighting and different camera lenses

  • If you don’t invest the proper time and resources, you may end up with product photos that look unprofessional

Quick Tips for Taking Your Own Product Photos

Plan out your shoot – Have a vision for how your photos should look. Decide on your background, angles, lighting prior to starting and you’ll be able to stay consistent throughout.

Use a neutral background – You want your products to stand out in your photos. White is an especially great starting point, since it looks very clean and is easy for beginners to shoot. If you’re running product-listing ads through comparison-shopping engines like Google Shopping, white backgrounds are a requirement.

Pay attention to lighting – It’s a wonder how much good lighting can mean for quality product photos. Bad lighting can ruin an entire shoot even if everything else is perfect. Diffused natural light is your best bet.

For smaller items, a lightbox can make a world of a difference. While there are plenty of inexpensive options available for purchase, you can also make your own fairly easily. Check out this simple video from Skillshare:


Keep it steady – Using a tripod is the easiest way to get clear, focused shots. Another tip would be to set a 2-second delay on your camera. That delay gives your camera time to refocus after you press the button to take the photo.

Take A LOT of photos – Just because it looks like the perfect shot in the moment doesn’t mean it will when you start editing. A good start would be to make sure you have three or four good shots to choose from later.

Also remember to take photos of the different angles, different proximities, and in use if possible. Wide-angle shots will give you more leeway when editing and give you the freedom to add text to them for promotional materials.

Don’t rush editing – If Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom are out of your budget, there are a few free photo-editing services such as Picasa, Gimp, PicMonkey, or Canva. When editing, pay close attention to properly cropping your images, adjusting the brightness and contrast, without going overboard.

For cropping, keep in mind that square, consistently sized product photos look more professional than irregular, rectangular ones. Also, it’s a good idea to always save your unedited photos in the event you make a mistake or you have computer issues. Backups are always handy.

Product photos are an important part of putting your online business at the top – whether they end up on your website or social media, these photos are so important to your business’ success.

If you’re looking for help creating a beautiful, visual website with glamorous product photos, give us a call at (407) 682-2222. We can help get you on the right track to having the best visual content for your business.

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