Ecommerce Product Photo Guide

By | Last Updated: 29th May 2019 | This post may contain Affiliate Links

An image says a thousand words and that’s no different when it comes to product pictures on an e-commerce website. After all your customers can’t feel or see the item in person, so your images need to be excellent quality to highlight the products attributes.

Before we dive into the product photos themselves, we need to think about how an ideal product page is designed, typically for high-converting pages the majority of the space at the top of the page will include the product title and the imagery. In many cases this will be a gallery of images showcasing the product from various angles, with a model, and up close.

The product image should be a clear photo on a white background as this showcases the product in the best light. On some websites, you’ll also have the buying functions near to the image, such as add to cart, select boxes for product variations and so on.

product image example

Below or to the side of this you should have your product description, which should describe in detail what the product is, the thought behind its design / construction and how it solves the buyer’s problem.

A great description is not just vital for your product page or your customers, but also great for SEO. A good marketing tip to remember is that most of your customers are looking for a problem to be solved, perhaps it is as simple as a coat that keeps you warm. If that is the case, then you include what materials or manufacturing processes have been used – as well as washing instructions.

Below your description many e-commerce websites will have a customer review section, the ideal place for potential customers to see feedback from previous customers before them. This can be great for building trust and confidence in your company, so use it to your advantage.

OK, let’s now take a closer look at how to create the ideal product photo….

It goes without saying that poorly lit photos can easily put customers off. Not taking the time to shoot decent photos can cost you more time when it comes to editing and unfortunately many customers associate bad photos with a poor-quality product.

You don’t necessarily need a DSLR camera for product photography. Your smartphone will produce photos that have a high enough resolution and an acceptable number of settings to adjust light and aperture conditions.

Remember you should always use a white background or a white backdrop, as this helps to deflect the light evenly so less work is needed to fix contrast in your editing suite.

One of the most important elements of any photo is your lighting. Your lighting should help to illuminate the best features of your product. If you’re taking multiple shots from different angles, you may need to use a lighting kit, so you can move the lights into a favourable position, to get best possible photo.

It’s also recommended to use a tripod to hold your camera. Having a tripod isn’t a requirement, but it will help you take dependable photos quickly for many different products.

Once you have taken your photos, you’ll need to start the editing process on your computer. Typically, most people will use Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator to edit their images, dedicated software such as this can be ideal for adjusting the contrast or lighting settings to improve the quality of your image or recompense the image for any changes in natural lighting.

If you don’t have access to photo editing software such as Adobe, you can use online tools for basic photo editing.

Remember you’ll need to keep the dimensions of the image the same size for all your products, this means they need to be positioned consistently in the right place, there’s nothing worse than browsing through an e-commerce website where the images are different sizes. Creating your images with in a square shape is usually the recommended advice.

After your images are looking ready for your website, you’ll need to save them in the correct format. Let’s look at the options available:

GIFS are low-quality images that are great for icons and profile thumbnails. They also support animation but are not appropriate for large images due to their file size and poor quality.

PNG images are faster files that support less compression which means they will hold the original image quality. They also support grayscale and transparency, but the file size is usually too big for ecommerce websites.

JPG is a method of compression that alters the degree of compression. JPG images can decrease file size by up to 10x without noticeable losses in quality. This makes them great for creating high-quality, low file-size product images. It also means they’ll load much quicker for mobile devices too.

Remember for ecommerce websites, consistency is the key to success. Having consistent images makes searching and comparing products easier and can also produce a uniformed and professional image around your brand – this is why white backgrounds are recommended in most cases.

Professional Marketing Expert with extensive experience within traditional and digital marketing, business and e-commerce. Also proficient with several coding languages, web development and more. Equally this is re-enforced through over ten years of experience plus a UK university degree - educational accomplishments include being awarded prestigious accolades such as Best Dissertation Award and Citation Awards.