Break Your Bad Image: Boost Ecommerce Conversions With Better Photography and Video
September 1, 2015
Since the turn of the millennium, e-commerce has grown at an alarming rate. E-commerce solutions are now in abundance: Designers, web developers, logistics specialists… you name it, there is a business somewhere catering for every element of the online selling process.
With the introduction of e-commerce tools such as Shopify and Magento, as well as third-party selling platforms like Not On The High Street, Etsy and the mighty Amazon, selling online has never been easier. Thanks to this newfound accessibility, we too often come across a sight online that truly saddens us as photographers: bad (that’s B.A.D.) imagery.
A survey held by Florida-based advertising experts MDG found that 67% of people surveyed class the quality of a product image when buying online “very important” (5 out of 5), whilst 63% of people state that they value the quality of a product image more than product-specific information, and over half of people surveyed value a quality image more than good ratings or reviews.
So why, with figures like these, is bad e-commerce photography still being seen? Here’s a few reasons and some tips on how to avoid compromising your slick operation with bad imagery.
You Get What You Pay For
With the revolution of digital imagery online, the photography market has never been more competitive. Not unlike the web design and logistical areas of e-commerce, photography is much more accessible than it was 20 years ago. This has led to the market being somewhat saturated, allowing business owners to be tempted into paying less by compromising on quality.
To an independent online business, in particular a startup business, a low price is often a key requirement. We, however, are firm believers that a studio’s quality is reflected in their pricing. As the above stats indicate, the initial investment may be greater, but good shots are important to customers and will yield a stronger bottom line in the long run. To quote one of our favourite TV ‘businessmen’: “It’s grade-school tee-ball vs. The New York Yankees”. Whilst we might not be in quite the same business as Walter White, the analogy still stands!
If you see a big difference in price between two potential photography suppliers, look closely at their images and ask the more expensive studio what they offer your business that a cheaper studio might not.
No Creative Input
We love nothing more than taking on a juicy creative brief loaded with requirements pertaining to brand values. Some e-commerce retailers know exactly what they want and what is needed in order to realise their vision. Some, however, are fantastic businesspeople but are not particularly creative. Combine this with a studio that lacks creativity or art direction and the result will be sub-standard imagery.
If you are not confident with art direction, or if you are unsure exactly how to achieve great images that support your brand, speak to your potential photography suppliers and give them the opportunity to make some suggestions. Larger studios will often have an art director and stylist on site, as well as links to other creative specialists. If a studio can come back with a good pitch that speaks to your customer base, you may well have found the photographer for you.
You may find that more expensive studios offer art direction and other creative services on-site.
A Lack Of Experience
Similar to showing the ability to contribute creatively, a studio that can show evidence of previous success with brands similar to your own stands a much clearer chance of helping your e-commerce campaigns succeed. We wouldn’t assume to say a photographer without a strong portfolio wouldn’t be able to produce great images; everybody has to start somewhere, however, for an e-commerce business without the budget to gamble on their suppliers, a photographer with a strong portfolio should be of paramount importance.
Ask your potential photographers to send over examples of their work in your sector. If a studio can back up their ideas with a portfolio that clearly indicates an ability to create imagery in-line with your brand, you can be confident in their ability to deliver more ‘bang for your buck’.
If a studio can back up creative ideas with a strong portfolio, you can be more confident in their ability to deliver.
Have any opinions on photography for e-commerce? Want to share your own experiences? Comment below or tweet us @Prodoto.