Why are Product Images so Important?
Selling good-quality products doesn’t guarantee success, especially if you sell online. You can have a user-friendly shop, with perfectly optimized content, but if your product images aren’t matching that, there is a very small chance that visitors would stick around. And you know what that means: high churn rates.
How come product images are that important? Think of them as a showcase room. Would you ever enter a room that doesn’t look visually appealing? Whether we like it or not, we do make our first impression based on appearance. Thus, poor-quality product images are highly unlikely to make a great first impression. The human brain processes images in just 13 milliseconds! It means that just a glance at your e-store is enough to make it or break it.
We are visual creatures, yes. But it isn’t only that. When shopping online, buyers lack one important aspect: being able to touch, feel and try products. It is precisely the absence of this that you need to compensate for. And the only way to do that is with high-quality images. Nowadays, not only do visitors want to see multiple photos of a product, but 60% want to have a 360º view of the product. They want to be sure that what they see is what they get.
Regardless of what type of product you are selling, the standard image requirements remain the same.
Standard Image Requirements
You will see that the standard image requirements tell you a lot about product image best practices.
- Size: Most stores don’t allow product images below 500 x 500 pixels. For example, Amazon requires at least 1000 x 1000. Don’t go under 1000x1000 ( more about it in a few moments).
- Format: Common formats are TIFF, JPEG, PNG, and JPG. However, JPG is the most popular one.
- Aspect ratio: Usually the aspect ratio is (1:1), but portrait orientations are usually very common for fashion products.
- Image quality: Images should be with professional lighting and real-life colors.
- Number of images: Use at least 3 images, not duplicated ones.
- Background color: It should be pure white.
- Negative space: Make sure your product takes at least 50% of the frame. 85% would be optimal.
- Image resolution: Most stores allow between 72 and 300 dpi resolution.
- File size: The smaller, the better. It should never come at the expense of image size and resolution. The bigger the file size, the longer the loading time. The longer the loading time, the higher the churn rate. Did you know that a three-second delay in page load speed makes you lose about 20% of visitors?
Now that we’ve covered why product images are so important, let’s put it into practice and see how you can create compelling ones.
Product Image Best Practices
If you take a good look at image requirements, you will notice that these requirements can tell you what you need to pay attention to and consequently, where product image best practices may lie.
1. Make Your Image “Zoomable”
Ensuring that your visitors can zoom in/out your images is essential. Buyers want to get a more detailed view of a product. Remember, that is the only way for them to “feel”. This is where high image resolution steps in. When buyers zoom in on your picture, it shouldn’t become blurry. You should aim for 96dpi. When it comes to image size, 2000 x2000 would be great.
2. Don’t Apply Too Many Filters
There is nothing wrong with editing your photos up to a certain point ( adding shadow, changing lighting, etc.). However, at the end of the day, your product image should match real-life colors. Don't use filters to make the real product unrecognizable once it reaches your customers. This would seriously damage your reputation.
Take a look at the picture below and compare the numbers of the holes on the waffle maker and the waffles. It doesn’t belong to this category 100%, but it will get our message across.
3. Choose Neutral Background Color
It goes without saying that the background is very important. Be careful how you combine colors. Most people like to play it safe so they tend to choose colors that blend (too much). We wouldn’t advise this. The background should enhance and intensify your product. And there is little chance you can do that if everything blends in. That’s why we suggest using a neutral background, such as pure white.
Its advantage is that it gives your product a nice and clean look and it helps its colors pop. In addition, the white or neutral background doesn’t take away the attention from the product.
4. Show Your Product from Different Angles
Since we already mentioned that you should have at least 3 product images, show them from different angles: front, back, top, bottom, etc. Bear in mind that this is the only way your buyers can “feel” the product. This way they can see some features that remain invisible if you only have a one-view image. In addition, you can put a product image in such a way to indicate scale: how small or big it is in real life. Nowadays, lots of viewers love a 360-degree product view. It makes a product come to life.
5. Show Different Variants of Your Product
You might be surprised how often this aspect is neglected. Apart from showing your product from different angles, you should always display every other version of your product. This primarily refers to different colors or sizes. You can’t expect your buyer to visualize what an extra-large crimson T-shirt might be. These are very subjective terms and probably each of us has our version of extra large and crimson in our heads. This is a value-add that doesn’t cost anything extra but makes a huge difference for your buyer. In other words, you increase your chance of selling the product. Having variant images is definitely a great addition to your product images.
6. Use Lifestyle Product Images
This is probably one of the best practices because it really gives life to your product. It puts it in a real-life context which makes it much easier for buyers to identify with. When people see your product in use, it is easier for them to envision themselves doing the same. You can look at it as a story-telling tool. Lifestyle product images don’t have to portray people. It could be any kind of scene that puts your product in real-life surroundings.
Benefits are multifold:
- You get to create a narrative around your product. The more people can see themselves using your product, the more they would like to buy it.
- You trigger the emotional response in your audience. By creating a real-life environment with a great storyline surrounding the product, you will be able to evoke people’s feelings. Contrary to common belief, people make decisions based on their emotional reactions. If you manage to create a scene that will evoke a certain emotion, you are already “pushing” your customer one step closer to purchase.
- You also make it easier for buyers to see the real scale of things. We’ve already mentioned that. Being able to see the actual size of the product puts things into a different perspective.
The good thing is that you don’t need a huge budget for it. You can of course go big and hire models and professional photographers, but you can also choose from so many stock images and mockups and customize them to your needs.
7. Stay Consistent
Although you may sell a variety of products, it is important that you maintain your style and design for your product images and stick to them. You can use the same background, lighting, shadowing, image placement, orientation, page loading time, etc. This goes beyond pure product images. We aren’t suggesting that you shouldn’t make any minor changes, but try to stay consistent. Buyers, especially online, like the feeling of stability, familiarity, and safety. Being consistent is pretty much the synonym for these feelings. You will get that extra recognition: the moment people see a product image, they will link it to you. Maintaining quality and consistency could be one of the factors that sets you apart from your competitors.
If you’ve never done any image editing or Photoshopping, the prospect of it must look daunting. All these measures, rules, and terms you’ve never heard before. You’re in luck because there are platforms that help you just with that.
Here at Glorify, we take big pride in our features and templates that are actually tailored having eCommerce store owners in mind. Our Glorify mockup tool is extremely user-friendly, and it doesn’t require any design knowledge. It is very intuitive and provides tips and guidance all the way. In a matter of minutes, you can create high-quality product images by applying the tips we’ve written about. And not only high-quality product images, but the ones that convert!
Let us take you on a small tour so you can see it for yourself.
Step 1: Choose Your Template
If we talk about product images, the feature that you would probably use often is Hero Image.
Once you click on it, you will see our template library which is getting larger every week. Feel free to explore it till you find your best fit.
Step 2: Let’s Get Creative
Now that you’ve chosen your product image it is time to get creative. Now the fun begins. You will see our assets panel on the right where you can choose from many photos, shapes, forms, etc. On the right you will see our editing panel with features you can apply to your image: layers and shadows, removing and/or editing the background, changing colors to fit your brand colors, etc. The list is infinite.
Once you’ve finished with your design you can save it or share it with your team.
We do know that images speak louder than words, but videos speak even louder. Check our video tutorial where you can see the whole process in more detail ( you can start from minute 2 if you want to skip the intro).
Some Final Thoughts
Visuals are one of the most effective marketing and ad tools. They are great for storytelling and closing the gap between you and buyers.
Choosing the right tools to implement product images already helps tremendously.
With Glorify the additional benefit is that it is super user-friendly. You don’t need to take our word for it, try it yourself.