Why Are Product Images So Important in eCommerce?
By Donald Fomby · 20th March, 2020
Image source: BoredPanda
Any marketer who is an expert in eCommerce will tell you that product images are among the most important features of your online store.
Just think of it from the customer’s perspective – or imagine yourself when you’re in the role of a customer – what attracts you to particular online stores, their collections, and products? Is it promotional texts, recommendations, and reviews or simply the visual appeal of the site?
Let’s take a look at some of the features of product images that make them valuable in eCommerce and sales.
Speak Directly to the Human Consciousness
There’s no better and direct way to pierce into the human psyche than through visuals. This is why, throughout history, everyone from politicians, ideologists to marketing experts and corporations have used images to communicate to their audience.
So, even though marketers try hard to find words that resonate with their audience and convince customers to buy their product using words, it’s scientifically proven that you are more likely to achieve that result through visual means.
Remember, product images are another mode of visual communication to your potential and existing customers, so make sure that they are consistent and in line with your brand.
Present Your Product Directly and Clearly
Whichever eCommerce industry you might be in, a picture will always go a long way into presenting what you’re selling to potential buyers and existing customers. The famous adage “a picture is worth a thousand words” is really true in this case.
Image source: SlideShare
In some industries, such as fashion or beauty, it can be downright impossible to sell a product without an image. Just imagine buying a pair of shoes based on the verbal description!
Just check out some of the famous fashion online stores like Zara, H&M or ASOS. Not only do they have images attached to every single product they offer, but they usually present multiple images for each of their items. The further you go and the more images you provide to your customer, the bigger the chance they will get the right picture about the product and decide to purchase it.
Combining Words and Text
Digital marketing in the last couple of years has been swept by infographics. The popularity of these images that are a combination of data, graphs and illustrations is no secret: as we mentioned previously, the human brain has a very strong reaction to the visual.
So, how can you leverage this format for your eCommerce business?
Many marketers like to connect some of the primary selling points (attractive features) to the images connected to the product, like this:
Consider the possibility of using the same format in your own online store. This way, you will be able to present some of the major advantages of your product even to those customers who skip the texts altogether and refer directly to the images.
This does not have to be your primary product image (as it’s not as appealing as a clean, studio product photo), but you can include it as one of your slides on the product page. Your customers will thank you.
Direct Impact on Sales
Low-quality images can decrease your sales and profit. This is why big online marketplaces like Amazon and eBay always recommend uploading clear, high-quality product images if you want to draw attention to your products.
Image source: DesignBoom
Let’s take a look at McDonald’s, for example. Remember how many times you got a craving for a Big Mac after seeing a tasty-looking billboard on the side of the road? Now, think about how strong that cravings would be and how many times you would end up at McD’s if they advertised their burgers for what they actually look like.
In your own eCommerce store, the quality of your images is even more important. They don’t only speak about your products, but about your professionalism and reliability as a brand. Why would anyone purchase something from a company that doesn’t go through the effort of taking a good, professional photo of their product?
Image source: 1Digital Agency
Multiple Angles for Better Understanding
The core value of modern online shopping is its practicality. However, the main experience that shoppers cannot get online is the opportunity to physically experience your product (at least not yet).
This is why it’s very important to reduce the impact of this online shopping flaw by adding high-quality photos from many angles so that customers could use all that visual input to form their final purchasing decision. Potential shoppers who get all the information they’re looking for are much closer to finalizing their purchase process.
By portraying your products realistically and truthfully, you will get shoppers who know exactly what they are about to get in the mail. This results in lower return rates, fewer hours in customer support and higher customer satisfaction.
Product Images Increase the Likelihood of Sharing
If you want to fully utilize the power of social media for your eCommerce business, attractive product images are a must-have. This is especially important in networks such as Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest, due to the visual nature of these apps.
A share or like of your product image can work in multiple ways: firstly, it will represent the product and appeal to your customers in a visual way and secondly, this share or like will serve as a recommendation. These types of word-of-mouth recommendations, reviews and suggestions are one of the most powerful weapons of social marketing.
Enter New Markets
If you have been selling in your home market for a while and you feel like your store is ready to expand, you will be faced with a difficult challenge: localization. Even though it seems simple to just translate the entire content of your online store, the issue goes far beyond that. Different cultures have different consuming and shopping habits, different factors that influence their purchasing decisions and different ways of communicating.
This is a very delicate and sensitive process and experts in localization and internationalization such as those you can find at translation companies reviews website, have to be extremely careful when translating an online store into another language.
For example, a copywriting slogan that works wonderfully in your home market might flop when you translate it to Vietnamese or Russian. Your desktop-friendly site might disappoint a culture where the audience primarily has Internet access via phone.
Despite all these difficulties, product images are still the universal language of shopping. Have you ever bought something from an online store you didn’t even understand, just based on the product image? Stats show that this is not such a rare occurrence.
Therefore, if you’re worried about communication with your international customers, just rely on product images to do the talking for you.
We started this article with a simple question; why are product images so important in eCommerce? However, the answer is complex and leads to the conclusion – would there even be eCommerce without product images? The very industry was built on the possibility of digitally viewing products just as you would in a physical store.
All in all, it’s always worth your while for an eCommerce store owner to invest in good product images and bring them to the forefront of your product pages.
Donald Fomby is an experienced and professional writer, blogger, and content marketer with years of experience in the writing and marketing fields. He has conducted content marketing campaigns in various areas or fields with outstanding success. Donald is also a regular writer at LiveInspiredMag and has a social media presence.
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