The importance of quality product photography in ecommerce

Fri, 27/11/2015 - 00:00

Online shopping is becoming more and more the norm and it’s not hard to see why. Not only can you find almost everything you need with a simple search, it’s time efficient and often cost effective.

We need to keep one thing in mind though: online shopping doesn’t completely replace traditional shopping (well, not yet).

The reason being, consumers want to check out a product from all angles and get a real look and feel for what they’re buying.

While I could go on and on about how to improve the experience of online shopping, my focus today is product photography and how it can help ecommerce brands market their products better, making the buying decision easier.

Although we can’t give users the complete product experience online, we can certainly get creative with how we present products to help users explore them in a similar way they would have when visiting a physical shop.

The first step to taming the beast

I can’t stress enough the importance of using good product shots instead of images from the supplier. Open one of the products and have your creative department or a suitable agency photograph them. Also important is making sure all product shots are consistent with the style and tone of your brand, for instance when it comes to sample light/studio setups, using the same grade and so forth.

Taking it further

People can be a little unimaginative or lazy to be honest and can’t always see the benefit of a certain product. This is why we need to show them the possible ‘creative’ ways they could potentially use the product.

I introduce to you the mood shot...

By taking the product from a very popular high-key, white background look most eCommerce websites use, we integrate it into a scene or environment as one could use the product. Let’s take an oddly shaped plate as an example.

We take the oddly shaped plate that otherwise might have been overlooked and pack it with delicious food, showing the user how they could use the plate at home.

If we left this oddly shaped plate on a white background, people might look at the product and think, when will I ever use that? By showing them a mood shot, we get them thinking beyond just the plate, and more about what’s possible with it.

Allow the user to explore

We drastically increase the presentation of the product at this stage, but we also creatively add something that simulates what people would do when visiting a shop. In other words, the ability to explore.

360 degree photography entails a series of real photographs taken at fixed intervals around the object, which are stitched together using computer software to create a single interactive image. When loaded to a website, the image can auto rotate, while the visitor can freeze or rotate the image to any angle.

By shooting images in 360, it also gives the brand and designers creative freedom when choosing images for campaigns or product shots. Seeing that you have multiple images, you’ll never find yourself in the position where you actually needed the product’s image at a different angle.

Repurpose assets

When product images are shot correctly and are of high quality, you can re-use these images across a spectrum of different channels. Just looking at the possibilities by shooting a product image in 360 should give you a small insight of the possibilities.


It really is true that an image says a thousand words. The creative team here at Rogerwilco is always experimenting with different ways of presenting the user with beautiful images that not only look good, but also allow the user to explore and interact with the products.

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