Convincing product photography is a must for your shops to convert.
We’re really in a time where traditional shopping is pretty problematic and for some sectors it’s nearly impossible in the UK. With so many businesses moving online one of the biggest growth areas for online retail has been seen through Facebook and Instagram Shops. These platforms provide some pretty cool options for any brand – they’re innovative and help keep potential clients from taking the least steps from viewing to buying.
However, the biggest problem they are faced with online selling is being able to convince your audience to buy without them being able to feel or touch your products.
In this blog I’m going to give you some simple advice on how best to tackle that…
I get the same basic questions asked all the time – whether it’s based on selling through sales sites like Etsy or the great new options of Shops on social media. Getting things right for each platform may sound like a total PITA but the reality is that when done right for each one you’ll put your business in a much stronger position to grow.
So let’s look at how those common questions relate to Facebook or Instagram Shops…
📷 How to present your photos from a sizing aspect.
All shop images are shown in a square format, so that’s a 1:1 ratio. Each platform recommends a minimum resolution of 500px x 500px but after some research I’ve discovered it’s best practice to aim for 1024px x 1024px as this gives you greater clarity. You can go bigger still but the maximum file size is 8MB in this area, so be aware of this when choosing and editing your images.
📷 How many photos do you need?
I’d recommend at least 3 but no more than 5. You want to take one of each relevant view, which is generally front and back, and then take some close up shots of the detail or special elements to your products. Maybe the pattern, or a cuff detail on a shirt, or the grain in the wood. Whatever is relevant to that product.
In the example above you can see the front, the back, a shot of the inside and then a more contextual lifestyle shot as the last one.
📷 What about the background?
Choose a background that best ‘fits’ your brand, however make sure it’s simple and doesn’t draw the eye away from the product you are trying to sell. Your background needs to be big enough to cope fully with the product. Simple white or pale colours like light greys or pastels work the best. However stay consistent and have all your images shot on the same background for the physical product shots. There’s nothing more distracting that a shop grid where the front images are all in different settings. It pays to be uniform across all your grid shots as it’s more appealing to your customers eye which in turn raises the chances of engagement and therefore convert to a sale.
📷 Still, Model or both?
If your product is designed to be worn by a person then models help and as Facebook/Instagram actively encourage you to show the product in ‘real life’ even when it’s in a studio situation if that’s your visual marketing choice. It also helps you customer see things like length or how the back sits, how chunky the knit is or how the sleeves sit off the shoulders etc. It also gives them the ability to internally process how they might feel with this product in their lives. However at the time of writing this blog during a global pandemic, gaining access to models can be tricky or not advised. So if you can’t use a real model then consider mannequins. You can work with a blend of model and flat product shots too. If you do, try to lead with a model shot as the initial image – again, remember the consistency in your grid.
📷 What to Avoid?
Cluttered backgrounds, overlay text and watermarks are 3 things I’d instantly says to avoid as they essentially distract from the product too much.
📷 Final Tips
I always suggest that your lifestyle image makes sense and is in context. If you are selling a horse riding top, then putting on a model wearing it in a coffee shop might not help too much, but putting it on a model in a stable yard is perfect. It makes sense to the customers subconscious and they can skip to the part where they consider it’s buying potential. If it’s in the wrong context they’ll just be thinking ‘well thats a bit weird’ and potentially miss out on the best riding top in the marketplace!
I hope these quick tips help you work out a format that suits your brand and products and you can replicate continually to keep brand consistency across these 2 online platforms.
I offer a range of options for business looking for product or service based photography. Why not remove the doubt from whether an image can be used or not and if the image truly suits your own business by gaining your own authentic stock library. Don’t forget the options to have your business images sent through ready sized for social media use!