Online imagery is one of the most important things that affect sales in the online store. Product photos should give consumers a sense of detail, texture, size, etc., therefore, it is essential to use high-quality product photography that can create a purchase desire. However, merchants often ignore this aspect, uploading free photos as they submit info on product pages on the marketplace, which are incapable of providing the details described above. Such poor decisions bring losses and can be ruinous for your business. With this knowledge in mind, experienced merchants are concerned about the right product shots to prevent bad sales. Let us delve deeper into the subject of professional product photography to determine what photos will work best for your e-commerce activity.
Where to take photos for your website or online store
Whether you run a website, blog, or online store, you need to select visual elements for it. So, the question arises of where to take photos for your posts or product pages to perform better. What should entrepreneurs do to present their products online? Where should they take photos to boost online sales? Let us explore different ways to get product shots that determine the success of your company.
As stated above, merchants use different options that can be used by entrepreneurs running online businesses. Some of them use stock imagery, which is the easiest option. Stock imagery presents generic photos that were created without connection to a specific project. These images are licensed for further use in websites, marketing materials, or packaging for a fee. Merchants and business owners can find numerous stock platforms over the web where they can buy stock imagery.
The other way to get photos for online stores is to make real photos. It can be done by you, a professional eCommerce photographer, or a photography studio. The latter two variants are preferred if you don’t have photography skills and professional photography equipment to perform the task. We are going to cover the benefits and shortcomings of both options.
Stock vs. Real Images: Advantages and Drawbacks
What is easy is not always the best choice. If we take any product tailored for you and made for the mass market, the difference is clear. The individual approach helps to get the product that perfectly suits you, and, consequently, is more effective as you try to achieve your goals. The same refers to e-commerce photography.
Advantages of stock photos
Stock photos that can be easily found online seem to be a suitable option due to the following reasons:
- Speed and convenience
Those who need the solution fast, select this type of visual content. You don’t have time to wait for the pictures.
- Wide selection of photos
The library of stock photos is huge! With 750 billion stock images on the Internet, users, surely, have a selection to choose from. It means that it is possible to find the image to your taste.
- Low price
Stock images are cheap. Many stock photos are under the Creative Common license, meaning that any person can use them for free.
- Effortless solution
With stock images, there is no need to perform tiring, tedious work to prepare the stuff, arrange a photo shoot, and then edit the photo to get a perfect photograph.
Despite the wide selection and affordability of stock images, there is a reverse side of the coin as well, which we are going to cover below.
What drawbacks of stock photos outweigh the benefits?
- Not unique
Since stock images are popular, you can run across the same image on numerous websites. The brand doesn’t look serious, when it doesn’t use unique content.
- License confusion
Many customers are confused over different types of licenses. Though many photos have a Creative Commons license, it can be difficult to understand what photos can be used for free. If you make a mistake, you can be heavily fined.
One of the main reasons for the popularity of stock images is their cheapness. But even a low price is frequently not justified, as these photos don’t say anything to the audience. Made for broad use, such photos are impersonal, hence ineffective.
- Don’t reflect the brand
Stock images are created for further use in the marketing materials, but the images aren’t original. Being universal, these photos can’t represent the unique character of a brand.
- Insincere and artificial
Stock photos lack sincerity, needed for trust. Usually, we see many photos of smiling people. It looks artificial and even ridiculous at times. How often do you laugh alone in the kitchen as you prepare a meal? Men, women, and children look positive in the photos, but the situations don’t look real. Consequently, consumers associate your product with something artificial and not genuine.
All these factors taken together undermine your sales. You could have performed better with real photos made for the occasion.
Why use original photos
- To be unique and highly adaptable
Original photos help the companies to stand out. Only unique photos can make your brand look exclusive. Uniqueness and adaptability of visual content are the main benefits of real images.
The results of the poll among marketers showed that 69% of respondents use free stock photos. 52% of respondents used paid stock photos. But even in this case, your business rivals can use the same imagery. It is impossible to stand out in the market if you provide the same visual content.
- To build trust
Trust building is a primary task for merchants who want to succeed. You can earn trust using real photos of your team, and your office. Giving customers insight into how you work, you establish relations and personalize your business. People like to interact with other people, while the corporate entity is faceless. It is more comfortable for clients to reach out when they know the members of the team. Real images ignite emotions and associations, thus creating connections between the customers and the company. Natural emotions strengthen the bond and make your customers more loyal.
- To preserve reputation
Using stock photos can damage your reputation. You can be surprised to see who else is using the photo. The same imagery can be used, for instance, on a scam website. By the way, scam websites use stock images, as a rule. When the truth comes out, it can be hard to prove that you have nothing in common with scammers. Customers see the same people in photos and connect your brand to fraudsters. Such incidents create undesirable associations and harm your brand.
Researchers confirm that photos have the ability to affect a person’s mood. You may not notice that since it happens subconsciously. Use the scientific findings to your advantage. There is such a notion as the picture superiority effect, which reveals the significance of visual information. According to this theory, images are more likely to be remembered than words. Marketing studies always demonstrate figures proving this concept.
What are the drawbacks of original photos?
If original photos are so good, why do merchants still continue to use free stock images? There are two main reasons for it:
- It is time-consuming to create real photos
It can take longer for a merchant to create product photos when the assortment is huge and new positions are added all the time. Just imagine how much you should do to arrange the photoshoot, even if it is white background product photography. You should prepare the equipment, invite different specialists, find a location, props, etc. The work is not over even after the photo session, since there is also a necessity for post-production editing. Apply to a photographer who can care about all these things to avoid extra anxiety, and get a high-quality result. Ecommerce product photography services can relieve the burden you. There are specific nuances for clothing product photography, beauty product photography, etc. only professionals are aware of. The end result exceeds the expectation, as a rule. The rate of conversion is higher when you use original imagery.
- Real photos are expensive
It can seem costly for you to apply to a photographer to make real photos. However, these expenses are definitely worth taking since the profit received from the right positioning of products and the brand, exceeds the amount your company incurs to use the services of a highly qualified photographer. With the right approach, you can earn much more, so the expenditures are easily compensated. High-quality photos are extremely effective and can bring financial success to your company.
- Original photos are good for search engines
Real photos are highly appreciated by search engines and have higher SEO value due to the unique EXIF data of each image. Also, such photos relate perfectly to the text, so it is easier to convert a target audience. As a result, visitors spend more time on the web page which also affects the ranking of your website in the search engine.
What images are best for your online store
If you need stock photos, you can easily find them in a searchable gallery and then purchase the most suitable ones. It is possible to buy photos per image or buy a subscription that gives access to the service. Customers like that they get immediate access to visual content. So, the option can help you when you are short of time and look for an immediate solution. It can also be a solution if you are pressed for resources and can’t invest at the moment. However, as was stated above, you shouldn’t expect awesome results, using the visuals available for all.
Despite all the benefits, you shouldn’t perceive this option as a final solution. Using stock photos, you reduce your revenues. Such photos can’t present the originality that is necessary for brand building. Consequently, your enterprise doesn’t stand out when you use the visual content created for universal use. Real photos are always unique and can reflect your brand properly. Real photos are irreplaceable if you need to build a brand. Let us take Amazon product photography that seems so simple. How do you expect to stand out in the ocean of similar products? However, even products-on-white photography can look exceptional, and professionals know how to arrange that.
If it happens that you don’t have original photos but need to upload images urgently, it is recommended to use this variant temporarily and substitute these photos with the real ones as soon as possible. Using free pictures that are available for all, you lose your chance to find a good client. Your website looks common and doesn’t provide useful information. It means that you fell flat during your online presentation. If the presentation is not impressive, visitors can conclude that there is nothing interesting about your service. Such companies blend in among others and are quickly forgotten. It is strange to see how businessmen spend tons of money on traffic, not paying attention to the image of the company. There will be no growth without brand building. Real photos can help to shape it.
Some more things to consider:
Let us summarize the basic tips on using visual content
- The impact of imagery on purchase decisions is great. We know how to make consumers buy your product and are ready to share this knowledge with you.
- When your visitors see photos that can be found on other websites as well, it ruins the reputation of your company. It takes much time to build trust with your customers, but it’s enough to make just a small mistake to drown your company.
- The visual content is effective when it is made specifically for your brand. Only unique pictures can show your values and reflect your brand’s character. Visuals help to show the main concept of your company.
- Website traffic is costly nowadays, but you coped with this task if people keep on coming to you. Don’t lose your visitors, and convert them into real customers. If you want to look attractive, use real photos on your website.
- Stock photos usually leave people indifferent, while we need to arouse emotions to make them involved. Don’t be lazy. If you want customers to trust your company, you need to be more creative! Create real photos to look reliable.
Why it is more beneficial for you to use real photos
If you are an entrepreneur, you have chosen a challenging path that requires huge resources to be ahead of your rivals. This is a constant competition where all aspects are important. Some goals are achieved easier than others, while others require over-commitment. When you display the same product shot that is used by other brands as well, it looks strange. You won’t earn credit if you offer a product in this way. The reputation of your brand suffers. All this taken together decreases your sales, but the problem can be easily solved with real photos. Don’t risk the future and prosperity of your company. Attract the attention of your audience with creative product photography that contributes to the formation of your brand. Real photos with live models are especially efficient.
Why apply to an eCommerce photography studio?
It is a pretty complicated ordeal to take photos of products you sell, so it is better to outsource the task and hire a highly-professional photographer. This is the best way to avoid a sterile stock photo aura that makes you look insincere. Lack of authentic representation is a part of a huge problem, but we can easily solve it for you. Show that you are a reliable partner that deserves to be trusted with stunning, professional photos made by our photo studio!