A successful ecommerce website is a combination of good website copy, high-quality product images, and seamless checkout flow.
These three together make a successful ecommerce store.
In this article, you’ll be learning about the steps involved in ecommerce photography.
Let’s get started.
Would you trust an ecommerce store that lacks product images or has product images that are not clear, have visible defects?
I wouldn’t either.
High-quality product images from different angles will greatly increase the chances of a sale.
What do you need to get started?
Assuming you plan to click the product photographs on your own, you’ll be needing the following things:
Let me be honest. You don’t need a high-end fancy camera to take pictures of your products. If you have one, it great, if you don’t, no worries.
Latest smartphones also take some amazing pictures and they cost much lesser than DSLR’s and whatnot.
You’ll be needing a good, neutral, preferably white background. It is important to choose the right background as it’ll help you later in the post-processing stage.
Things to keep in mind regarding background:
- Go for a white or light coloured sweep as it transitions seamlessly.
- Avoid sharp edges by giving a curve to the background sweep.
- Posterboard or craft paper will also work. You can mount it on a table.
Lights are an important aspect of a good quality product image. Using natural light is preferred as it gives a soft shadow.
You can set up the table and background near a large window. Direct sunlight should be avoided.
Photo editing software
Adobe has a subscription-based model and the cheapest price starting from $9.99/mo.
You can learn how to use Photoshop from here if you’re new to it.
Ecommerce photography workflow
Now that you have all the essentials of getting started with ecommerce photography, let’s see how the workflow goes.
Organizing your products
The first and foremost thing you need to do is organize/pair your products based on the description, colour, product name, size, associated tags, and any other information. Basically, catalog your products.
To make organizing easier, you can attach a small tag to each of your products. This tag should include basic identifying information you used for cataloging your products.
How will this help?
It’ll help you when you upload products in your backend. This will help you to upload the correct images to the correct products.
Preparing your products for photography
Once you’ve organized all your products, it’s time to prepare them for the photoshoot.
This is a very important step.
You must give adequate time to prepare the products. Not even a single speck of dust should be visible in your product images as it’ll have a negative impact on your sales.
So what all things you need to take care of?
Let’s take a coffee machine example to see what inspections you should make:
- The machine should be clean and shiny.
- There should be no tags or stickers attached to it.
- There shouldn’t be any visible defects such as dents, scratches, etc.
All your products should go through a similar inspection before the photoshoot.
Before you actually start clicking pictures of your products, make sure you have made all the appropriate camera settings.
Settings such as:
- Shutter speed
- Focal Length
- White balance
You can find all these settings on the screen of your camera.
Check out this camera settings guide.
Now that you’ve set your camera, it’s time to shoot.
Keep in mind that you need to shoot as if Photoshop and other image editing softwares do not exist. It if shoot thinking that you’ll fix mistakes in the post-production, you’ll mostly not be happy with the end result.
Once you’ve captured the images, it’s time to edit them. This process of editing the raw images to make them into the final product is called post-production.
Transfer the captured images to your computer. Then, delete the unwanted images and save the images after naming them.
You have two options to proceed. You can either do the post-production yourself or outsource it to an agency.
If you wish to do it yourself, here’s a helpful guide that’ll help you get started.
If you want an agency to do it, there are tons of them that’ll get it done for you in very less turnaround time.
SEO of ecommerce product images
Any ecommerce business owner knows the importance of having high-quality product images on their site. These images replace any substantial doubts in a consumers’ decision to purchase the product.
But your product images have much more potential than just increasing the add-to-cart conversions on your website. They can also help you boost your website’s and product pages’ performance and SEO ranking.
Here are some tips for your product images to optimize them for the search engines –
This is the first and foremost step to your image SEO optimization.
Before you upload the image to your website, make sure you customize the filename in relevance to the product page. Include one of your focus keywords for the page. If your product page is about a pair of shoes you sell, the image could be named something like brand name-shoes.jpg.
The website visitors will never see the filename, but it helps you provide the search engines extra information about what’s on the page and what are the relevant keywords.
Alt-text is again the part of your product page that most visitors won’t be seeing, but search engine crawlers do. You can provide alt text for every product image you upload to your site that will be displayed in place of your image if a browser cannot render the image.
Include your keyword for the product page, and it could also be something descriptive about the image itself.
Having a large file size will slow things down on backend as well as on the front-end of the website. If your product image files are too large, this could increase the page load time on your site. This will have implications both on user experience and SEO. Faster websites are more comfortable to visit for the audience, and they’re also easier for search engines to index.
Image file type
The three common file types for product images are – .jpeg, .png and .gif.
JPEG is one of the most common file formats used because of its smaller file size and is most widely supported. GIF is a bitmap image format and is used for simple art and animations. PNG is the newer alternative to JPEG and GIF. It is a good quality filetype and supports transparent background and has excellent flexibility in using different background colours on your website or product pages.
It is advisable to submit a sitemap to Google for better crawling of your web pages. You can also include images in your sitemap or create a separate image sitemap. An image sitemap leads the search engines to the pictures that might be difficult to find.
Image SEO is relatively easy, and a little extra effort to find the right images and optimize them will give your product pages and extra edge in the search engines.
Creating high-quality product images for your ecommerce store is not that difficult. You just have to keep patience and follow all the steps properly.
For your reference, it takes approximately 2 weeks for an average fashion retailer to prepare the products to be sold online.
Also, once you follow all the above procedures multiple times, you’ll get better and faster at it. After all, amazing product images is a core component for the success of an ecommerce store.