When shopping for products online, customers want to see exactly what they will receive when they make a purchase. In a physical store, shoppers are able to hold products and examine each and every detail in person. Online, product photos and descriptions are the only two ways for them to decide if particular products are worth purchasing.
For this reason, publishing multiple, high quality images of each of your products is critical to the success of your online business. In fact, according to eBay, each professional product image that is added to a particular listing increases sellers’ percentage of making a sale by 2%.
In this article, we will explain some of the key components of successful apparel, accessory and footwear product photography so that you can harness each listing’s full selling potential. Specifically, we will explain several successful key practices in product photography, as well as some unique considerations for different product categories.
What are the Key Components of Successful Product Images?
Creating a variety of high quality product images is critical to engage your customers and generate sales. Regardless of the product category, you need to make sure that the following elements of your product images are fully optimized: size and resolution, alignment/consistency, background and color accuracy.
Size and Resolution
A small photo is not an effective sales tool. It’s important to ensure your high resolution images are sized properly and are optimized for the web. As a general rule of thumb, your online product images should be at least 1600 pixels on the longest side so that 1) you will be able to utilize a zoom functionality on your site and 2) your images will be large enough to be accepted on all major online marketplaces.
Alignment and Consistency
To improve the professional appeal of your product pages and provide your customers with better shopping experiences, you should ensure that each included image is aligned perfectly with the rest. Publishing clean and consistent category pages will build trust with your customers and portray your company as a reputable retailer. You may choose to align your images to the top, center or bottom –– just be sure to select one method and use it for all of your product imagery.
A clean, plain background is another important factor to consider when creating product images. For most products, a plain white background is most suitable. At the same time, using a white background for your Bigcommerce store will also allow you to use the same images on many online marketplaces. We recommend using the same background for all your products to add consistency and a clean, professional look to your site.
Product color is another important aspect of shopping online. Make sure your images show the products’ true colors so that customers see exactly what they will receive if they purchase the product. It’s important to know that different computer screens and web browsers often utilize different color profiles, which means that every screen and browser interprets colors a little bit differently. To overcome this problem, convert your JPEG files to the sRGB color profile.
When shopping for accessories online, customers want to see exactly what they will be getting when they make a purchase. It doesn’t matter if it is a purse, a scarf or another accessory, customers want to be able to visualize products as if they had them in their own hands. Showing color, size and product details are all extremely important.
Be sure to include the following angles in each product listing: front, back, 45 degrees, left side, right side, and details (buckles, zippers, straps on, straps off, bottom, inside, unzipped, open, logos, etc).
Front and Back
Left and Right
Fashion apparel encompasses a wide range of styles and details and it’s important to showcase the unique features of your products. Before shooting, make sure to examine each product to identify details such as cuffs, bead work, buttons or elegant stitching that you want to display on your product listing page. Customers want to see everything.
Below are some of the recommended angles for photographing dresses, in particular:
Front and Back, Left and Right
If you’d like to take your apparel images to the next level, consider using a 3D mannequin effect that will allow you show the shape of your product while eliminating distractions.
There are a number of different ways to create flattering images of shoes. Why? Because shoes tend to look great from a variety of angles and they often sport a great deal of detail.
Make sure to check off those basic, tried-and-true angles, first during your product photoshoot. The first “main” image in every listing is essential because it allows the customer to get a solid view of each product right from the start.
For this reason, we recommend that you start by creating the horizontal, left and right views of the shoe before you do anything else. After that, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get creative. Don’t be afraid to experiment. Zoom in close to feature details like bows, fabric, jewels and leather, and make sure to try new angles. Remember, the more product image variations you include in each listing, the more likely you are to increase conversions.
Below are several examples of product image angles for footwear.
Left and Right
Front and Back
Top and Bottom
Taking Things a Step Further
Once you have created beautiful, high quality imagery for your product listings, you’ll need to spend time writing appealing product descriptions and utilizing SEO, among other things. There are two other website and product listing features that you should consider as well: 3D product representations and “complete the look” functionality.
Product Videos and 360º Spins
In addition to deciding which angles to include in your listings, you will also need to determine the best way to display apparel, accessory and footwear products as if they were being worn.
This technique is especially useful in encouraging online shoppers to imagine wearing products themselves. A great way to do this is to include a video, 3D spin or animated gif along with every product, which can help customers to better visualize and understand products. Here are a few excellent examples of product gifs and videos from Zalando, Net-A-Porter, and ASOS:
360 Video Screen Capture
Complete the Look
Incorporating a “Complete the Look” feature on your ecommerce website is also a smart way to increase your sales in other product categories. This feature would allow customers to pair other merchandise with products they are currently considering to create outfits and styles. This not only makes shopping that much easier for your customers, but it is also a great marketing technique that will allow you to seamlessly promote additional products and increase conversions. Here are a few examples courtesy of Net-A-Porter and Mango:
“How To Wear It” by Net-A-Porter
“Complete Your Outfit” by Mango
As you can see, there are many different ways to photograph and showcase your apparel, accessory and footwear products. The bottom line is to remember that it’s always best to display as many high quality images per listing as possible. This will give customers a sense of security and confidence when purchasing products from your online store and reduce product returns. Winning your customers’ trust through product photography is one of the most important elements of growing any ecommerce business.