How to use product photos to increase your conversion rate

May 17, 2018

There are conversion-killers living on your product pages right now. They sneak in and tell potential buyers to run the other way.

They grab everyone looking at the page by the collar and shout at them “go buy it from any website other than this one!”

Those conversion-killers are bad product photos, and they will fight against everything you do to increase your sales. 

Why are product photos so important?

Images are the first and biggest impression you get to make on a visitor. They're the fastest way to convey your personality, your product quality, and your professionalism.

If visitors don’t like what they see, they leave. If visitors do like what they see, you keep them engaged. They read your product descriptions, learn more about your business, and hopefully move closer to a purchase.

Is there really a big difference?

Yes!

social proof increases conversions

GoodUI ran a test that showed adding social proof in the form of user photos increased conversions from 6.6% to 8.1%.

enlarging product photos

This case study by A/B testing giant VWO shows a 9% jump in sales just from slightly enlarged product images on collection pages.

ConversionXL recognizes the importance of product photos too.

From awareness to purchase to retargeting, photos are important in every step of marketing and conversions.

Anyone selling products will have a lot of uses for photos, and what kind of photos you use will depend on where on the site (or in your larger marketing effort) they’re placed.

For example: Home pages should make heavier use of contextual and collection images to drive an overall feeling and let customers know that they're a part of your tribe. Collection pages should focus on creating an atmosphere and a sense that all the products in the images belong together.

Screen Shot 2018-05-15 at 1.06.59 PM

Since the individual product pages are the most important salesman, and are incredibly easy to get wrong, let’s focus on them for a moment.

You should: 

Use high quality photos

First, photos have to look good. You want to avoid overly dark or washed out images, shadows, and distracting backgrounds.

Screen Shot 2018-05-17 at 9.18.44 AM

Good photos get attention and drive further interest. Bad photos drive bounce rates.

  • Resolution should be high- somewhere between 1000 to 1600 pixels.
  • Backgrounds should be clean and free of negative influences.
    • Clean, well-lit, white background.
    • Appropriate setting that shows off the product in context and gives a sense of scale
  • Lighting should be clean and complete with no shadows. Natural light is easy and inexpensive!
  • Great photos can be taken with an iPhone, high-end Android, or consumer digital cameras. Make sure your settings are correct, and stabilize your camera to avoid shake.

Make sure photos are relevant to buyers

Next up, you need to make sure that your photos are relevant to the people giving you money.

  • Show off details and areas of interaction. Zippers, openings, switches, screens. Anything that customers care about.
  • If you use models or contextual backgrounds, make them relevant to the interests or your highest-converting buyers. You want to create a mental image for the viewer.
  • Show off all the angles and parts of the product. Buyers want a complete picture of the product, its materials, and quality. The more expensive the product, the more important this is.

Focus on the one thing you’re selling

Product-in-use photos are fine here, but the focus should always remain on the core item that page is focused on.

 Amazon product pages are laser-focused: 

large product photos

 

  • Use either clean white backgrounds or clean, narrow-focused context shots. This page should not look like a Craigslist ad.
  • Show the parts that matter
    • Someone buying electronics wants to see inputs, outputs, and interfaces.
    • Someone buying a bag or backpack wants to see what the inside looks like.
    • Show the details. I want to see the zipper. I want to see the stitching. Zoomed. Up close.
  • Make sure your images convey a positive sense of the product. If they don’t, the rest of the page isn’t getting a look.

Make the page itself worth looking at

Design is putting things in the right place. With products, that place is front-and-center.

The layout of the page should allow images to shine, catch all the glorious attention, and make anyone who views the page interested in pricing and descriptions.

  • Make all your images the same size. 1600x1600px square is great. This keeps everything uniform, well-formatted, and easy to browse.
  • Put the images up front. Either centered on the page or towards the left-hand side of the browser window. Heat mapping shows these placements usually get the most eyeball attention.
  • Make the photos easy to browse, select, and zoom.
  • Let everything breathe. White space is your friend. You won’t lose anyone’s attention if your description is more than ½ inch away from your add to cart button. You will lose their interest if your page is overcrowded. 

    Screen Shot 2018-05-15 at 11.12.33 AM

 

Anatomy of an amazing product page

  1. Header is clean and the navigation is simple and product-focused
  2. Pricing and social proof element up front.
  3. Large, clear image takes center stage.
  4. Large variety of images that show detail, scale, and use.
  5. Relevant video content.
  6. Quick and easy information that is important to buyers.
  7. Great, well-written, informal product description.
  8. These are the only images on the page that aren’t the focus product. They are upsells that are often bought with it.
  9. Lots and lots of social proof.

A picture is worth 1000 words

Let’s review some key lessons before you get to work beautifying your site.

  1. Product photos matter. Good ones will increase sales, bad ones will kill them.
  2. You DON'T have to spend thousands on a photographer, but you DO have to give your photos time and attention.
  3. The two most important things are to make your photos high-quality and relevant
  4. What kind of photos you use should be decided by the context of the page/email/marketing asset.
  5. You have to design your pages so that product images are the main attraction. They will catch attention and cause viewers to notice everything else.

Do you want flawless, easy product photos that sell? Pixc helps create product pages that stand out with beautiful images. Check out Pixc’s free trial today to get your first image in under 24 hours. 

 

Topics: Partner Post

Guest Post: Rachel Jacobs

Written by Guest Post: Rachel Jacobs

A lover of all things content and growth, Rachel spends most of her time planning new content, fine-tuning growth strategies and tweaking email campaigns.

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