Boost your online sales with high-quality photography

A picture is worth a thousand words, and it’s worth even more than that when it comes to selling your products online.

Your eCommerce business needs to have the same visual appeal as a brick-and-mortar shop. Hours of effort go into the design, flow and product display at a physical store, and shop owners know that an eyecatching window display is what draws customers in.

The same goes for online stores.

Everyone’s judging you: make your photos pop

High quality photography shows your customers that you’re serious about what you do. Shopify, one of the leading online store platforms, says that “quality product images are a key driver of store engagement, conversion and retention, and overall customer lifetime value.”

By tracking customers’ eye movements when first visiting a website, studies have shown that visual elements are what we look at before anything else. Your product descriptions can have a great personality, but if your photos don’t pop, shoppers will just move on.

It’s all about the visuals. First impressions determine whether a customer keeps shopping or not. If your photos and design look thrown together, customers will assume your products are, too.

Consistency is key

When it comes to selling products online, the quality of your photos is even more important than it is for a non-ecommerce website. Your customers want to see what they’re purchasing before they buy it, and if it’s done right, great product photography cuts down on returns. Photos that feature multiple angles — like close-ups of details like zippers and embellishments — and that are high-resolution make your customers confident that they’ll receive exactly what’s being advertised.

Consistency is crucial when it comes to product photography. Your pictures are an extension of your brand, so deciding what background and color palette to use is just as important as the product you’re selling. Anna Guerrero writes on that a company’s “visual voice” should be consistent. She suggests asking yourself what experience you want your customers to have on your website and what kind of emotions you want to invoke. That will influence everything from color scheme to style.

She also recommends applying a filter to all of your photos to give them a unique but consistent look.

It’s what’s on the inside that counts

If your customers can’t find your website, it won’t matter how fantastic your photos are. Your photos should speak the language of Google. Adding alternative text — alt tags — is important. Alt tags are text that you add as you upload the files, and it needs to include keywords and phrases. This will drive additional traffic to your site and help you rank higher on search engines.

Images are crawled for keywords by Google search engine bots, just like the text on your website is. Bots can’t read pictures — only text.

Phrases translate better than keywords. For example, using the keyword “dress” will be less effective than using the phrase “blue knee-length evening dress for formal occasions.”

The more specific, the better. Think like a shopper. If you’re looking for a new set of dishes and want to get ideas before you shop, will you search for “dishes” or “white dishes for everyday use?”

If your product descriptions and alt tags are described correctly, it’s easier for Google to match a shopper to you.

Put it into practice

As an ecommerce business owner, don’t neglect your photos. You may be selling the most incredible product in the world, but you have to put your products in the best light for other people to “get it.” Show them how wonderful your products are, make the photos an extension of your brand, and describe them well for the best response.