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When I first started selling online I didn’t realise the importance of having quality photos and just how much they can affect sales. I was too focused on creating my products and getting them in my store as quickly as possible so people could buy them. Those sales didn’t come as expected, and I soon realised my photos were the problem.

23 April 2021

5 Reasons Quality Photos are Important for Online Selling

When I first started selling online I didn’t realise the importance of having quality photos and just how much they can affect sales. I was too focused on creating my products and getting them in my store as quickly as possible so people could buy them. Those sales didn’t come as expected, and I soon realised my photos were the problem. I quickly learnt that high quality photos are crucial for online selling. Here are some of the reasons why:-

When I first started selling online I didn’t realise the importance of having quality photos and just how much they can affect sales. I was too focused on creating my products and getting them in my store as quickly as possible so people could buy them. Those sales didn’t come as expected, and I soon realised my photos were the problem.

1. To give customers the information they need

Photos are the only way for online customers to see what they’re getting, so it’s important they are clear and show your product as accurately as possible.

One photo can give a lot of information at a glance, for example, colour, size, texture, who it's for, what it's made of, unique features and much more. Product descriptions are useful for that too, but it's your photos that customers will see first.

Having good quality photos allows the buyer to instantly see if your product is what they're after and if it's worth clicking for a closer look. If your images are dark, not in focus or leave them wondering about an important aspect, such as colour or size, they’re likely to scroll right past and you’ve missed the opportunity of a sale.

Quality product images are important for providing potential customers with the information they need about your product.

2. To show quality and gain trust

If something costs more people often think it’s better quality than a similar, cheaper product. It can be the same with photos. Buyers often associate poor quality photos with poor quality products, and vice versa. Often, if an online shopper is comparing two similar products, they’ll likely go with the one that has the better photos, not only because it's more appealing, but because they can more clearly see what they're buying.

Before someone buys from you, they need to feel a certain level of trust with your product or brand. One way to build that trust is by having clear and accurate product photos. When a shopper can clearly see your product and know exactly what they're getting, it helps them to feel more comfortable and confident that they’re making the right decision choosing your product over someone elses.

The quality of your product images gives potential buyers an impression of the quality of your product, and impacts their trust in your brand.

3. To help stand out and attract customers

We live in a very visual world where we are constantly bombarded with images competing for our attention. What type of image do you think is going to make you stand out and get noticed more – one that is light, bright, attractive and clearly shows the product, or one that is dull, cluttered and leaves you wondering what is even for sale? If you’re not sure, take notice of what you’re drawn to next time you’re scrolling online.

High quality product imagery attracts buyers’ attention in image-saturated search results and turns scrollers into clickers.

4. To increase the chances of getting featured or shared

If you want the opportunity to have your products featured in blogs, Madeit marketing channels, and other publications, whether they be online or in print, you need to have quality photos. For a start, your products are more likely to get noticed and chosen by editors and bloggers if they're attractive to begin with because they'll stand out and grab their attention. But, even if your product is exactly what they're looking for, timeframes are often tight so photos that need to be "fixed up" before they can be used are often not considered.

When it comes to sharing images on social media, it goes without saying that a beautiful, eye-catching photo is more likely to be shared than one that is not. As more people see your product the chances of a sale increases, so it's always a good idea to make sure your photos are share-worthy to maximise that opportunity. You never know when a photo is going to be shared, and who knows, perhaps yours might be the next one to go viral!

Regardless of your product, editors and bloggers are unlikely to feature your brand – and you’re less likely to be shared across social media – unless you have great quality images

5. To minimize customer complaints and returns

As I mentioned earlier, the only way customers can see what they’re buying is through your photos. Yes, there’s a product description, but they don’t always read that. One of the easiest ways to minimise the chances of customer complaints and returns is to have clear, well lit photos that aren't dull or blurred and accurately represent the product you’re selling.

Colour can sometimes be a little tricky due to variations in screen settings, but it’s important to get it as accurate as you can. Incorrect white balance and colour casts can easily change how the actual colour of a product looks and therefore mispresent it.

It’s equally important to use appropriate styling to accurately show your product. The last thing you want is someone being disappointed, returning your gorgeous creation or leaving a bad review because it looks much bigger, smaller or otherwise different to what they saw in your photos.

Great product images help set clear customer expectations of your product, and reduce the risk of returns and customer complaints that cost your business money and goodwill.

Learning how to take good quality product photos takes time, knowledge and practice, but I believe it's something everyone can do. You've put a lot of time and effort into creating your products, and you know how good they look, so why not have beautiful photos so potential buyers can see that too.

If you'd like to improve your product photos but don't know where to start, or perhaps just need a helping hand, you might be interested in my Product Photography at Home – Natural Light and Product Photography at Home – Styling Secrets eGuides. They've been written especially for handmade sellers in an easy-to-understand format and are a step-by-step guide to transforming your photos using natural light and simple, but effective styling. They also contain information on common mistakes and how to fix them, as well as plenty of tips and numerous example photos for guidance.

I hope you've found this post helpful, and if you have any questions, feel free to contact me at vicki@vickielle.com.au and I'll be happy to answer them.



Words by:
Photographer & Maker, Vicki Elle
Photographer & Maker,

Vicki Elle

Vicki Elle is a Brisbane based photographer who specialises in styled photography for handmade and creative brands. Vicki’s goal is to help store owners save time and eliminate frustration with their brand photography. She’s been a business owner for over 20 years and had her own handmade business for 5 years, so she understands the importance of quality, engaging images to promote a brand. You can find out more about Vicki and what she has to offer by visiting her Madeit Store, website, or following her on Instagram, on Facebook, or on Pinterest.

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