Shopify is known among e-commerce clients for its excellent functionality. Merchants have the capability to build a website and sell their products on this platform. Over a million merchants take advantage of this possibility. Shopify cares about the website design, hosting services, payment integration, and even email marketing, thus offering serious assistance to merchants – taking a huge load off them and solving the most complicated issues. There is only one serious issue left for merchants to become successful sellers, and that is product photography. This Shopify photography guide gives you some hints on the subject.
It is great to be empowered with the set of Shopify tools offered to merchants, but this is not enough for success. The efficiency of e-commerce companies showcasing their products on Shopify depends on the quality of product photography. Therefore, you may need a Shopify photography academy course to learn to do it. The article covers major issues helping to attain the goal. Consider the points covered in it to increase the sales of your company and boost your business growth.
Preparation of a photoshoot
If you decide to arrange a photoshoot on your own without applying to professionals, a careful preparation stage is a must to achieve a better result. Here are some tips you should consider at this stage:
- Apply creative approach
Companies applying creative approaches attain the best result. Excellent ideas can even compensate for low budgets spent on product photos. It is always possible to borrow some ideas from your business rivals. You can be inspired by the way similar products are advertised but present the idea differently in your images. Fresh take is always greatly appreciated.
- Select the arrangement of products and setting for your product photos
The arrangement of products in a photo is very important. Usually, it is necessary to have the product pictured separately on a white background for the main shot. However, you are free to display them how you wish on the additional photos. You can be creative on other scenes and place the products in rainbow order, for instance, or in a row with related products. It can be a selfie image with the product or you can display a person throwing and playing with the product. These are just the ideas you can evolve the way you wish.
Devise the concept first and then come up with the right setting or background to implement it. If you want to select a background that is trendy at the moment, use a gradient, for instance. Alternatively, it can be an outdoor shoot for lifestyle displays.
- Don’t skip the chance to improve your brand recognition
Don’t forget to use the style and colors of your brand to make photos more recognizable. Each offer can be used for the formation of the brand, so product photos can be skillfully used for this purpose as well. If you cope with the task, the photos will only sell but will gradually expand your online presence, thus making your brand more popular with customers.
Each established brand has its image and sticks to it. Let us take, for example, such a brand as Supergoop that uses contrast colors, which are combined with natural faces, or the product photography of Glossier, where the style is noticed at once. The brand mainly uses pink and neutral tones along with flat lays presenting its products casually.
Look for inspiration in their visual presentations, borrow some elements, and create your own style to improve your brand recognition. It is surely recommended to apply to professionals who can provide a guaranteed result. Anyway, product photography styled to your brand image will always look more professional and alluring to customers resulting in better sales.
- Invite models to look more reliable
It is important to decide if you need models for your photo shoot. Though it incurs additional costs, it is worth it. It can inspire confidence in customers even if you sell non-wearable things such as cookware, for instance. Even if you use only the hands of a person in the shot, such product photos are more efficient as people tend to believe them. Try to employ models for non-wearable products as well if you want to increase sales.
- Prepare the props in advance
Think about the props you may need beforehand. Though it is recommended to use a white background for product photography, sometimes it can be a good solution to use colorful backgrounds as well. Or you can decide to show the same product on different backgrounds. Apart from it, you can decide to include lifestyle photos in the set of product shots. Lifestyle photography also contributes to better sales.
A few words should also be said about the use of festive themes in photos. It is always great to create a certain mood in the pictures. When Christmas arrives, employ holiday accessories on product shots to improve sales. Prepare the props for such situations too.
- Improve the look of products before taking photos
The products should look good in a photo shoot. Otherwise, it can be too time-consuming to improve such photographs with the editing software. Clothes should be properly cleaned and ironed to look attractive and arouse a desire to buy the product. Wrinkled clothes don’t look attractive and consumers don’t want to buy messy things. It can take too much time to “iron” clothes with the help of editing software. Isn’t it easier to put them in order first and then take pictures of the products?
- Create the plan for your photoshoot and stick to it
Create the list of shots you want to make beforehand. It’ll define the plan for your photo shoot and will help to make a list of things you may need for it. Photos for a product page can differ from photos for social media, but it is still better to take them all together to economize time and money. The specialists offer to create a list of future shots that can look in the following way:
- Product 1 on a white background;
- Product 2 on a white background;
- Products 1 and 2 are pictured together in a flat lay style;
- Hands of a model holding product 1;
- Hands of a model holding product 2;
- And so on.
Shopify image optimization
It is important to optimize the image properly if you are going to display it on Shopify. The goal is not just to create a high-quality image but to make it searchable as well. Just imagine the tons of products on this resource that are presented beautifully. Your products are going to compete with the products of other merchants and manufacturers. Though visual appeal matters much, there are a lot of technical characteristics you should consider to find a way for your customers.
How is it possible to find the required product on a resource if it wasn’t provided with any characteristics you are looking for? It can take countless hours of searching. Customers browse through product pages looking for the items they need but run across the products of competing companies instead of yours. And it happened just because you failed to optimize product photos. Properly optimized photos are searchable, therefore they sell much better.
How to make products searchable
SEO or search engine optimization can help you to boost your product pages and will take them to the top of the search engine results. You can use Google Analytics to make images searchable. If the product is not searchable enough, it is possible to achieve it with simple actions such as the addition of the alt text description to the images uploaded to the website. The alt text or alternative text is added to each image uploaded to the website. This is a description that you need to provide in a text box. Using this method, you can make the product more descriptive and specific. Thanks to this feature customers can find needed products easier as they appear in searches more often thanks to these simple actions.
The importance of image orientation
It is important to decide on the image orientation for the store. There should be the same aspect ratio that also contributes to enhanced buyer experience. Which format is the most suitable for your goals? Select among the following types of image orientation: square, landscape, or portrait.
If squire image orientation suits almost any product, hence is good for online stores selling versatile products, the large products should be better presented in landscape images. It refers mainly to tools, furniture, appliances, or other big items. However, for such products as jewelry, apparel, and shoes, portrait orientation is preferable.
Image compression for smaller size
Apply image compression to reduce the size of the image without losing its quality. There are numerous tools to help you with it. The load time won’t suffer if you perform image compression correctly. You should learn to minimize the size as much as possible without loss of quality.
Tips for Shopify image optimization
Here are some tips for those who want to optimize images for Shopify:
- Measure the product page speed
It is not clear at once that you are losing customers due to large loading times. The conversion directly depends on it. There is such a tool as Speed Booster that can help you with it. The load time should be as small as possible because it affects the conversion, i.e. the sales volume and the prosperity of your business.
According to the study, visitors expect to open product pages within a couple of seconds after they enter the page. It may sound impossible, but this is achievable. It is possible to control and retain a consistent fast load speed without effort.
- Work over image naming
Though figures are often used for naming graphic files, we don’t recommend this. Figures are usually used by default. Descriptive names would be best for product photos. It is clear and makes the products searchable via Google image searches. If you want your commodities to appear in Google image searches, provide the name for their graphic files. Use the most common name for your product, how customers call it when looking for it on the web. The following formula can work very well for specifying a name for your product – “-[color]-[occasion]-[trademark].jpg”.
This is a simple way to direct traffic to your website if you include the words used by potential clients when they search for a particular item and want to buy it.
- Select the format
Shopify accepts only two graphic formats for product photos, which are JPEG and PNG. PNG is a preferred format since it features better quality. It is larger than a JPEG.
Images living in CSS should be PNG. It concerns all images including logos and banners. You should also understand that Shopify converts all images you upload to WebP format. This is a special file type developed by Google that can make images crisper and smaller compared to images in other formats. It is also good that the images are seen by visitors even if their computers don’t support this format. In this case, they see JPEG and PNG files.
- Reduce the images
Shopify performs its own compression, but only to some degree. The main goal for the resource is to make images 70 KB or less. The size of the image should be 800×800. Such size is necessary for the zoom feature that should display the picture without blurring. This is a minimal size, while the largest threshold is 4472×4472. Such a big size is required for zooming in case the product features a delicate texture. It enables visitors to get a super close image of the item in order to see the fabric of the product, without hurting the quality. Alternatively, merchants can select the medium size, which is 2048×2048. It is necessary to select the tools for it that are suitable for Shopify.
- Add alt img tags
Alt img tags are highly functional as they serve as descriptors of the image being attached to it. As was mentioned above, their main goal is the accessibility of the images and ease of search. Include the information about the color, size, use, and material to the alt img tags.
Few people know that Google considers alt img tags to make a judgment about you. It is recommended to use them for information purposes, but not for SEO, advertising, or promotion. Otherwise, a penalty can follow, so your product will be removed from the Google image search. It should just describe what is displayed on the picture and shouldn’t contain popular google entries.
- Define the metrics
It is important to consider the metrics that represent the figures demonstrating the state of affairs in your business. This is how you find out the number of visitors to your website and the number of those who become customers.
Useful instruments for Shopify
There are a lot of product photography apps that can help you improve the results at every stage of your e-commerce business. All tools and apps given in this section are compatible with Shopify.
As for photo editing apps, we highly recommend such programs as Pixc, Adobe Lightroom, Pixlr, Gimp, PhotoScape X, Adobe Photoshop, or Portrait Professional for simple photo editing needs. The novices can try out Seashore, a free image editor with basic editing tools. Some of them include automated tools to speed up the tedious photo-editing process, such as Pixc or BeFunky for batch editing. Apart from being graphic editors, BeFunky and Canva are good for the creation of marketing materials.
Consider the following apps as well to alleviate the image optimization process:
- TINYIMG is the app used for the compression of images without loss of quality. The app is available for free, though it has a premium plan option as well.
- You can also try the ALT TEXT app that can help you to create alt texts for images easily. Users say that it’s very useful for the promotion of products. Besides, the app can economize time considerably.
- The app SEO SUITE can be good assistance for search engine optimization as it helps to find the best keywords to name files and write SEO-optimized descriptions that contribute to your promotion in Google searches.
- PAGE SPEED IMAGE OPTIMIZER is one of the most expensive apps on the list, though the fee of 19 USD can easily compensate for the result achieved with it. The fee is taken only for the full-featured version, and there is a limited free version for users who want to increase the load speed of product pages in the online shop.
If you need some other Shopify photography app, you can easily find a large selection of tools online.
Apply to Shopify photography studio for high-quality product photos. We can also advise you on how to upload your photographs to Shopify to make them highly efficient and help your products sell well. Image optimization is a magical way to show the way to your product pages and improve sales. If it seems too complicated to deal with this issue, we are always ready to help you. Contact us for more details.