Better product images in your Online Shop: How to sell more

Product pictures in the online shop: Tips
Author: Haydar Yuece // 10min

The advantages of online shopping are obvious: with just a few clicks, we buy everything our hearts desire – whether we are on the train or at home on the sofa. A clear disadvantage, however, is that we only see the products on the screen. This can raise a number of unanswered questions that contribute to a high abandonment rate: What is the quality like? What is the exact colour of the product? What do the materials used look like?

This is exactly where product images come into action. They convince your visitors where information in text form is not sufficient. In order not to scare away potential customers with poor product images, we have 9 tips for creating convincing and optimised product images.

Product images – the heart of the product page

Since we cannot hold the products in our hands and touch them when shopping online, information in text form is usually not enough for us – no matter how detailed it may be. Pictures, on the other hand, offer an optimal solution to give us a better impression of the products and also to show the visual characteristics in the product presentation. The power of images lies in human nature: images arouse emotions and influence us more than any text. With powerful and qualitative product images, you thus have a direct influence on the purchase decision.

This is also suggested by studies: 67% of respondents consciously state that product images in e-commerce are very important for the purchase decision. More than half of the respondents also state that product images are more important than product-specific information, long product descriptions and reviews.

product images for online shop

Image quality: Poor product images result in high costs

It is clear to every online merchant that product images are decisive for the purchase and thus indispensable for the success of the online shop. But also the quality and exact presentation of the product photos should not be underestimated. Investing in good product images that are relevant to the visitor is worthwhile, especially since inadequate or too few product images entail unnecessary costs that can easily be avoided.

a. Higher Return Rate

The buyer makes his purchase decision with the help of the product images on the product page. If the products are not shown well enough in the images, they can quickly be returned. This in turn leads to further costs, which you prevent with high-quality product images.

More tips on how to avoid returns.

b. Bad reviews

If the product image is not true to the original, the buyer will inevitably be disappointed. After all, they have invested time and money and placed their trust in you. Bad reviews on the product page, on your social media channels and independent review sites are thus pre-programmed.

More tips on how to get positive customer reviews in your online shop.

c. Higher service costs

In case of insufficient product images (e.g. missing image with exact measurements for sofas) your company’s service costs will increase. Your service staff will be confronted with enquiries that could be prevented with a single image.

Learn more about proactive customer service in e-commerce.

9 tips for better product images

To convince your visitors of the product and avoid the costs of poor product images, we have 9 tips for you. Of course, the generally known rules such as no blurred and out-of-focus pictures apply to all product images.


1. Provide product-specific images

The product images are oriented towards the respective products and not the other way around. Accordingly, each product category has its own sensible image motifs. For example, if it is a sofa, the product images should always include a detailed shot of the material used – especially since this is a cost-intensive product. A product image with the various relevant dimensions (width, height, depth as well as seat width, seat height and seat depth) also gives a better visual impression than any text. For beauty products, on the other hand, a product image with dimensions is of course less useful.


2. Show the product in everyday use

As buyers, we like to imagine how the product looks in everyday use. No matter how much we like a product, there is always other furniture and all kinds of personal stuff in the living room. Buyers know this and they want to know how the product harmonises with other furniture and colours, for example. There are no limits to creativity with pictures that show products in daily use. Use these images to evoke emotions by staging the products perfectly.

Sofas can be shown with a coffee table, a rug and cushions. But smaller products can also be presented in everyday use on the product images. For example, shaving foam can be applied to a model’s face or an e-scooter can be shown in use on the street.


3. Highlight the product by cropping it

To direct the focus on the actual product, cropped product images help. This creates a neutral-looking image that is free of any distraction and is particularly advantageous for cost-intensive products, as the buyer has to make a rather rational purchase decision. In addition, the prospective buyer does not have to search for a long time until he recognises the actual product in the picture. To stay with our example: A coffee table and a carpet in front of the sofa do give an impression of how the product might look in use. On the other hand, the potential buyer will rarely have the same furniture as in the product picture.

Cropping product images solves this problem and supports the rational purchase decision as an additional product image. Numerous free tools are available for cropping images. Alternatively, online merchants can work with a photo box, which is available in all conceivable sizes.


4. Show the product from different angles

When shopping online, we cannot hold the product in our hands and turn around or walk around the product. But there is a simple solution for such cases: simply show the product from different angles and take away any uncertainty from your potential buyers. It is obvious that especially the front area of the sofa is of interest. But what about the sides or even the back?

If you want to go one step further, provide 360° images so that your visitors can examine the respective products from all angles. This not only provides a perfect overview of the product, but also creates interaction between shop and visitor. However, software and equipment for such images are more complicated to use, which means you need more time or incur higher costs for professional product photographers.


5. The lighting is what counts

One of the most important elements is the right lighting – this applies not only to product photography, but to all photography. Light and shadow evoke emotions and determine the appearance of the products depicted. The light you use when photographing also determines how much time you need for post-production afterwards. Therefore, it is worthwhile to research and think about this in advance. In the meantime, you can find numerous tutorials for product lighting on the internet.

  • Decide between two light sources: natural light and artificial light
  • Avoid flash light, as it is highly reflective and creates a rather cold atmosphere
  • Avoid casting shadows by illuminating or use them selectively
  • Stay with one light source for the sake of consistency


6. Provide the zoom function for product images

The zoom function for product images gives us the opportunity to check the quality of the materials used and the workmanship. If, on the other hand, no zoom function is integrated in your online shop, it will be far more difficult to gain the trust of visitors in your shop and products. You have nothing to hide: so give your visitors a closer look at the products.

Every shop system offers inexpensive plug-ins if your theme does not already provide an integrated zoom function.


7. Pay attention to image size, file size and file format

Image size, file size and file format of the product images determine the image quality and the loading time of the product pages. Both factors are important for a user-friendly user experience design of your online shop. Therefore, a middle ground must be found between high resolution and small image file size. In general, the larger the image, the larger the image file. It is important that online merchants keep to uniformity, otherwise it will quickly look unprofessional.

  • If you decide to use the zoom function, the image must have at least 1000 pixels per page (1000×1000)
  • The file size should never be more than 1 MB, as the loading time increases and Google penalises you in the ranking
  • JPG as a file format has the advantage that the product photos have a relatively low file size
  • PNG as file format has the advantage that the product photos have a higher quality and are suitable for zooming


8. Think about a concept for your product photography

Before you literally start shooting wildly, you need a concept. Once it is in place, it can be applied to all product images or product categories. This is why it is worth investing time at this point. If you already have an established online shop with a certain product range, you should stick to the existing concept for individual images that you add and only make a few changes. Alternatively, you should consider refreshing the entirety of your product images with a new concept.

  • Choice of lighting
  • Choice of background
  • Number of images per product (varies by product category, but at least 3)
  • Order of images on the product page
  • Hiring a professional product photographer
  • Use of 360° images or different viewing angles
  • Equipment such as camera and tripod
  • etc.


9. As always, it’s the mix that counts

Before buying, we want to take a close look at the product. Accordingly, in addition to the different perspectives, several photo motifs are needed in the product presentation. A mix of cropped pictures, product pictures in everyday use, pictures with the product dimensions as well as different angles give the best possible overview and convince prospective buyers.

Increase your sales with good product images!

Good product images not only ensure an optimised shopping experience, but also have a direct impact on your sales. Make the most of product presentation opportunities and don’t allow questions to arise among prospective customers. After implementing our 9 tips for better product images, you will quickly see sales increase.

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