Improving sales and increasing conversion rates are about much more than just websites and user experiences. Done right, product photos can be equally compelling and persuasive.
The old adage “a picture is worth a thousand words” takes on a whole new meaning online, especially since you can’t try before you buy with an online merchant. With that in mind, several companies have stepped up to do more than just post pictures of their inventory.
They’ve gone out of their way to make product photos so appealing and so practical that people virtually “see themselves” with the item. Here’s how they do it, and what you can learn from them.
Imagery + Urgency + Exclusivity = Success
Say what you will about the quality of Beats by Dre headphones, they’ve got their target market eating right out of their hand. This article by ShopIgniter goes into greater detail on how they do it, but suffice it to say that the Beats marketing team has created a buzzworthy event using product photos.
Not only do they showcase the design of the headphones themselves, but they pair them up with players and superstars worshipped by fans everywhere, so even an ordinary person can feel like they’re making a patriotic statement while emulating their idols both on the field and off.
At nearly $350 each, and with only 100 pairs available, this promotion was done solely through Facebook. Pictures of celebrities using the product combined with a counter showing how few items were left to create a compelling promotion that pushed all your “buy now” buttons.
Key Takeaway: People always want what they can’t have and are willing to pay a premium to get it.
Make your product look desirable by adding a splash of endorsement from key players in your niche. Then, crank the urgency up a few notches by making a select edition available only at certain locations where people are sure to line up (whether it’s Facebook or a retail store).
Get the Inside Scoop
Poketo, a modern art shop that highlights unique or renewed pieces once profiled custom bags made from discarded street banners in Korea. Each one was hand-crafted and one of a kind, but it was how they chose to showcase the bags that truly got my attention.
Most photos of bags—whether casual totes or expensive purses—will show you the item from nearly every angle except the inside. Or if they do show you the inside, it’s flattened, and you have no real idea how much stuff will fit in there.
Poketo approached this a bit differently by showing just how much would fit in one of these bags—and from the looks of it, they could probably hold a small truck! The photo proves they’re roomy enough for several books, a camera, a phone, a number of pens and other must-haves.
No words needed. Showing the inside left no guesswork on the part of the customer.
Another example of excellent product photography comes from Keen, which doesn’t just stop at showing you its shoes from different angles, but also how the shoes look with both dark and medium wash jeans:
Key Takeaway: Look for ways to go beyond the typical product photo to show how well it fits into the customer’s life and lifestyle. If you can show the customer actually using the product, so much the better.
Setting is Everything
Car commercials love to remind us that the right brand of automobile will take all our worries away and give us the unbridled freedom of the open road. The right setting around a product sends just as much of a message as the product itself. Case in point: Which would you rather buy?
A jumble of products thrown together in a pile?
Or something that actually speaks to you through its design and photography? If you love the idea of romantic, vintage style coupled with the masterful craft of herbal goodness, Royal Botanicals is ready to whisk you away on an alluring journey:
By emphasizing the setting along with the product, Royal Botanicals seeks to capture the imagination of bygone days when small amber apothecary bottles meant carefully extracted, quality goods.
Key Takeaway: The settings you place your product in can have just as much of an impact on sales as the image of the product itself. Create an experience, not just a commodity.
Zoom in on the Details
You might already know Harry and David as purveyors of fine fruits, but when it comes to fine details, they know how to make your mouth water in this department, too.
By using the product zoom feature, they not only capture the setting of entertainment and indulgence, but also allow the user to get a closer look at the quality of their goods. Seemingly no pixel is out of place, giving customers a visual treat while waiting for their order to arrive.
And while we’re on the topic of details, some products, such as Van’s StreeThing, do the zooming for you, giving you a much closer inspection of how well-made their shoes are.
When what you wear is just as much about workmanship and quality as making a statement, the design of the product isn’t the “sole” consideration.
Key Takeaway: Leverage the zoom to create a close-up that sets your product apart from the pack. By demonstrating the quality of work and the detail that goes into each step, you’re creating a visual recognition that the customer’s money is well-spent with you.
Now it’s Your Turn
What are some of your favorite product photography shots? Share your thoughts below in the comments!