The only way for consumers to really know about your products is to read descriptions and look at images. Product images are a very important component of online retail because they speak more than words. They activate the imagination and provide consumers with illustrations of how the product actually looks and functions.
Pictures are the first thing online shoppers look at. Then comes the product titles and descriptions. If the image is not attractive enough your products will be ignored! Similarly, the quality of your product is assed based on the visuals you provide. If the consumer cannot make out the pattern of the clothes you are selling they will look somewhere else and ignore your listings.
With product images lacking clarity, there are high chances of returned orders. To avoid inconvenience to the consumer and to optimize your chances of making sales online, marketplace have certain universal guidelines for product images.
Product image guidelines Online Marketplace sellers should not ignore!
Multichannel online retail a common practice today, but problems arise when each marketplace has different rules. To avoid confusion and unnecessary work you can follow these standard guidelines when taking pictures of your products:
Number of images
The number of images required at the time of listing will depend on the type of product you’re selling. For example, a simple water bottle may require only one image. However, a sofa will need multiple snapshots from different angles for consumers to understand it better.
Product images also depend on the dimensions of a product. In case of shoes, you must provide a 45 degree image, an image of the side of the shoe, the top of the shoe and the sole of the shoe. The front and back view of the shoe is not compulsory. But providing these images will help people visualize your product better. You can also provide a picture of models using the shoe for further illustration.
Ideally 8 product images is the optimal number. However this number may increase or decrease based on the physical features of your product.
Images of product features
When looking at product images consumers are looking for the special features your product has. If your product has special features, like these:
- Backpacks with special compartments
- Laptops with detachable screens
- Hairdryers with additional pieces
You have to show then in the form of pictures.
Most online shoppers may not read about the special features in the product description and highlights. They may consider products solely based on the visuals provided. By demonstrating the specialized features of your product through images you can broaden your chances of being noticed by online consumers.
The purpose of online product images is to showcase your products. This is why 80% of the image should include your product. The margins on all sides should be equal. According to most marketplace guidelines, a white background is a standard requirement for most products. The minimum pixels should be 1001and 7dpi. High definition images are more attractive, so ensure you maintain image quality for all products and every image.
Avoid adding watermarks, logos, borders or designs
Some marketplaces may allow the use of watermarks some may not. Since you will be selling on multiple marketplaces here are a couple of things that should not appear in your images. Try to avoid shadows. Natural ones are fine but enhanced shadows should be avoided altogether.
The white background should be clear, this means no usage of watermarks, logos, text or other designs in the background of your product or even over your product. Also avoid the use of borders for your images. If you want to showcase your brand logo, it should be present on the actual product not added to the image. Make sure images are not blurred or distorted by bright light or camera flashes.
Consequences of not following image guidelines
If you do not meet the marketplace image criteria, your products will not be listed. As a result you will need to go through the process all over again and take pictures of your products once more. If you use a professional to capture images of your products make sure you meet the basic guidelines the first time around.
Secondly, low quality images, small images, limited number of images may force online shoppers to avoid your products. Those who do buy from you may return the products on account of the product not matching the image or not meeting expectations.
The more people can see the better they will understand your products. You can try the following tips to improve the visual experience for online shoppers:
- Zoomed-in images
The minimum 1001 pixel images provided will have zoom-in options on the marketplaces. But you can provide a separate zoomed in shot of the product for better view of the product material, design or quality workmanship.
- Use mannequins or models (for earrings, bags, clothes)
It is much easier to judge the length, breadth and height of a product when actually worn or in use. Wherever possible, like apparel and accessories, have a shot of a mannequin or model trying on the product. It will also help consumers determine how the given product is best used.
- Mood shots
Mood shots are those product images with attractive backgrounds that add to the appeal of the product. These kind of images are very common for bed sheets, furniture and home décor items. At the same time a zoomed in image will help consumers determine whether or not the product suits their lifestyle.
- Model poses
Models are used in product images because they help a consumer understand what the product looks like when actually worn. They improve the look of the product too. Make sure the images you obtain with models are attractive and not stiff and uncomfortable. Also the model’s poses need to highlight the features of the product in the image.
It is always advisable to use professional services when taking product images. However, there are some instances where you can take professional looking photographs of your products, all by yourself. Whichever way you decide to go you need to remember product images are directly connected to your identity as an online seller and your ecommerce sales. The kind of product pictures you take can boost sales or decrease them. So if you stick to these basic guidelines you will be able to get your product images right!