February 7, 2019 The Recipe for Consistent, High-Quality Product Images
Many retailers wonder how to design a successful eCommerce strategy that makes them increase visitors and sales. They focus on the home page design, on how to optimize categories, but they too often forget the visuals and high-quality product images at a product page level.
Paying attention to product images and optimizing them is as important as designing a beautiful online storefront.
Humans are visual creatures. In fact, 90% of the information we perceive is visual and we are able to retain over 2,000 images with really high accuracy. That is why, when it comes to buying products, the first thing we do is see how they look.
In a survey performed by BigCommerce and Square, consumers believe the top drawback of online shopping is not being able to try on or touch an item before actually buying it. And the only thing that can compensate for lacking the sense of touch is top-class product images.
Visual content communicates in a much faster and compelling way. In order to get information from a paragraph, we need to read it thoroughly and extract the information we need. However, images, being the first thing we see when we land on a product page, can actually convey much more information in a fraction of a second.
How good images translate into better UX
Images can convey trust, they can inspire, they can tell stories, they can make you feel sad or energetic. That is why the moment where a visitor takes a look at your store images is essential. In fact, pages with relevant images receive 94% more views on average.
Users rely on the visual features they see on a product page to decide whether it is what they were looking for. No matter the kind of item or even the service, the better your product photography is, the more likely a visitor is to spend time looking at it, click on it and finally convert.
Then, it is also important that your images show exactly what the product looks like. As a matter of fact, 22% of online product returns are due to the “product looking different than in pictures”. So if you want to avoid a high return rate, you probably want to keep that in mind.
However, the quality of the image is only one of the many aspects to take into account. For instance, using high-quality, but heavy images that are not optimized for specific devices could also break the customer experience.
Ingredients of compelling product images
Images with a white background ensure better focus on the item and reduce any possible distractions. Therefore, replacing the background of eCommerce product images for a white background can improve views and conversions.
Displaying well-defined images is key in eCommerce environments. Make sure your images don’t lose quality due to high compression, pixelation, or blurriness. Sometimes analyzing every image is costly, that’s why some new AI-based tools allow you to automatically detect these defects according to your store standards.
80% of internet users have a smartphone and they use it for shopping. Make sure your images are responsive and their size adapts to smaller devices, as heavy or wrong-sized images could lower the page speed or prevent images from fitting into smaller screens.
Size and dimensions
This is one of the main challenges within the eCommerce field, as images need to have enough quality to show what the product looks like, but at the same time be light enough so as to keep page speed high.
Depending on the situation, different images formats might be necessary. While PNG files usually have better quality, they are also heavier. JPEG files let you define the level of compression, although it will lose some quality. Some eCommerce platforms automatically resize images according to the different needs.
Customers want to see what they are purchasing. That’s what they like the least about online shopping. Showcasing different shots of the item from different angles and perspectives will convey trust and allow you to highlight specific features. Long shots displaying the item in context might give an idea of how it would look in a real-life scenario. Medium-distance shots will show the item itself, while close-up pictures will reveal the product details and convince an e-store visitor to proceed to the purchase. Nowadays you can automatically check all product views are correctly displayed using Artificial Intelligence.
Make sure product images are the first thing visitors see when looking at a product page and that they don’t have to scroll down for that. Don’t forget to check whether the product takes up enough space within the image and that the item is not too tiny.
How retailers and marketplaces can achieve consistency
One could think that achieving consistent image quality comes at a high labor cost. If we take into account that brands and marketplaces upload thousands of products every week and that in some cases they receive images from different providers, analyzing every single product images might appear as a tedious and time-consuming task.
However, Artificial Intelligence can help retailers make that task much easier by automatically analyzing every single one of them and pointing out every defect. Then, the eCommerce team will be able to take control, if needed, and validate them through an interface.
The tool can detect from blurriness to uneven backgrounds to wrong-sized images or pictures where the product appears too small. This helps retailers to showcase products in a much homogenous way while making product image management easier.