The look and feel of any online store or e-commerce site can be said to be captivating only if the images of the products and services sold are visually attractive and enhances the sale of the product or service. In fact, we come across many online sites across industry segments that have a wide range of products but very limited display or a poor one at that. In the absence of physical touch and feel experience that a prospective buyer has in a physical retail store, any unanswered questions about the product will only culminate in lost sales.
Here's where the importance of product pages to any and every e-commerce site is underscored. The product images or product photographs provide the 'final push' in a prospective buyer becoming a customer.
After all, images speak louder than words and pictures can do the actual selling because even a casual visitor to a site is influenced by product photographs especially if they are displayed in a manner that is convincing and provides answers to many questions – eg what are sizes , shapes, colors, dimensions, fabric or material, durability etc., depending upon the category of product.
Some of the aspects that are important in product photography can be summed up as:
1. Display in environment best suited- these are especially useful for products such as shoes, all-weather fabric or material etc. as the buyer gets an actual view of the product not only in a studio setting but in actual usage. Artificial lighting and indoor setup may not be suitable for all products. For outdoor products and items, showing them in the natural environment enhances their appeal.
2. Alternative images – multiple image shots of products and angled images can convey a wealth of information such as:
- Sense of scale etc.
Such images also convey to the viewer that the site is taking care to ensure that the buyer has all the information at hand to help them in the purchase process.
3. Attention to detail – this is a key attribute to sell quality items where branding, special features, weave of fabric or material need to be highlighted. They are particularly useful as a descriptive measure to highlight unique qualities of pieces of art and craft where the focus is on qualities such as tradition, craftsmanship etc. Such attention to detail also develops trust between seller and buyer.
4. As-is – for a website that trades in fashion and clothing, display of items on mannequins are not as appealing as on a 'live body'. Nowadays, clothing merchandisers take great pains to display images of models wearing clothing to aid customers choose their fit and size, along with details of the model's height, body weight and garment size as reference. This has worked out extremely well especially for large sized women who feel adhere or shy to walk into a retail store and find a dress or clothing item that fits their size.
Images are no doubt appealing and the key to the success of an e-commerce site is good product photography with a keen sense of detail to help the process of online purchases.