This blog post is a guest post by our friends over at ClipItQuick.com. They are experts in product photography and have agreed to share some of this information with our readers at Multichannel Insights.
It’s easy to overlook the importance of product photos when selling online. Whether you’re selling on your own website or via an online marketplace such as Amazon or eBay, it’s crucial that your product photos stand out from the competition and allow buyers to see your product in vivid detail almost as if it were in their own hands.
Without further ado, here are our top three tips for boosting sales through improving your product imagery:
Add as many product photos as you can
A recent eBay study showed that on average, a product listing with two pictures is 7% more likely to sell, and a further 3% more likely to sell with each additional picture that is added to a listing. In most categories eBay allows sellers to add up to 12 images to a listing free of charge meaning you can increase your likelihood of selling by almost 40%. If you’re not taking full advantage of this offer then you may well be missing out on sales.
Including multiple shots of your product from different angles will really help your buyers to better visualise your product, almost as if they were handling it in a physical store. Sadly there is a growing trend for sellers to source their product images via Google image search; legality and copyright issues aside, this is a risky approach since you will end up advertising your product with the same images as your competition. Remember that your customers are savvy and will inevitably shop around for the best deal so having unique, quality product photos will likely win you the sale. This is especially important where there’s no discernable price or service difference between you or your competition.
If you’re struggling for ideas for more product images to add to your listing then it’s time to start thinking like a customer. Ask yourself what would I want to know about this product? Are there details that could be highlighted with a closeup or other angles? In terms of clothing this would typically be a label or logo. Try to imagine what you would inspect if you were buying the same product in a store and then take pictures of those elements so your customers can inspect them in the same way.
Bottom line? Take your own product photos, and shoot multiple angles. Want to know more? We’ve identified 5 reasons ways adding more images to your listings will improve your sales on our blog.
Selling on Amazon or eBay? Check their product image guidelines first.
Both eBay and Amazon have recently introduced product image quality guidelines for marketplace sellers aimed at improving the presentation of their sellers’ products in order to boost sales. We strongly recommend that you take time to read through these guidelines before you begin photographing your products or editing the captured images. If your images don’t meet marketplace guidelines then you’ll be unable to list your product for sale.
Whilst these guidelines may sometimes feel frustrating or restrictive, the reality is that everything recommended has been put in place to maintain a professional look and feel across the Amazon and eBay websites. You will ultimately reap the rewards by complying with these guidelines through increased sales and, if you also sell via your own online store or other marketplaces such as Rakuten or Etsy then you’ll also end up with some fantastic quality product images that you can use to promote your products via these outlets too.
Two important points to highlight from the eBay and Amazon product image guidelines are minimum image sizes and image background colour.
Minimum Image Size
eBay’s minimum image size is 500 pixels along the longest edge, although they strongly recommend 1,600 pixels where possible. Meanwhile Amazon’s minimum is 1,280 pixels. Large images like this allow customers to zoom in and see detail more easily, and are particularly beneficial if your customer is viewing your images on a high definition retina display which are increasingly supplied in computers, tablets and smartphones. With this in mind 1,600 pixels is a good starting point for images that you intend to list on Amazon and eBay.
It’s also worth remembering that as technology develops and screen resolutions continue to increase those minimum image sizes are only likely to increase, so shooting high resolution images now may well help protect you against future image quality guideline changes.
Both Amazon and eBay recommend photographing products against a “plain white or neutral backdrop” (as discussed in the first point on eBay’s Photo Tips page).
Amazon’s guidelines actually insist that the background of your main product image “must be pure white”. How do you achieve a pure white background? This is where image background removal can help, as discussed in further detail below.
Image background removal
Our final recommendation for improving sales through improving your product imagery is image background removal. Image background removal is the process of digitally isolating a product (cutting it out in laymans terms!) and placing it against a completely plain white or neutral background.
Online marketplaces recommend image background removal for a very valid reason; it makes your business look more professional and by virtue helps to increase sales. Cutting out a product image and placing it against a neutral background means there are no distractions in the background such as a busy warehouse, messy front room or office! It also brings your product to the fore and makes it pop off the page.
Removing the background from your product images not only benefits you but also the online marketplace through increased commission volumes. More sales = more commissions for the marketplace.
The professionalism of image background removal shouldn’t be underestimated. The more professional you look online the more likely customers are to buy from you because they are reassured that you’re a reputable and reliable retailer. It’s similar to making sure your product description is clear and doesn’t contain any spelling mistakes.
Take a moment to think about where you do your online shopping? Bestbuy? Target? Guitar Center? Walmart? …to name just a few! What do all these sites and their product imagery have in common? You guessed it… product images set against white backgrounds.
If you’re interested in image background removal for your own products there are lots of free image editing software packages you can use if you want to learn how to edit your imagery yourself. Or you can outsource the work to a specialist editing service such as ClipItQuick.com.
ClipItQuick.com specialise in image background removal for online retailers including eBay and Amazon marketplace sellers. Our service is based upon many years of combined experience in online retail, product photography and image editing. You can trial the ClipItQuick.com photo background removal service free of charge by visiting www.clipitquick.com.