We all know that a picture tells a thousand words, but how important is a 'good' picture? When it comes to e-commerce, SEO best practice, brand image, descriptions, navigation and other elements can all have an impact on your conversion rate optimisation (CRO). However, something as simple as good quality images can have a really big impact. And we mean BIG. Research shows that 87.6% of respondents consider the product image to be the key element of the shopping experience.
So what are the basics and how do they help to convert? Looking at conversions as well as SEO, below are some key things to consider when looking at your e-commerce image best practice.
Optimise images for SEO
In addition to ensuring your images are accessible, attractive and engaging to users, optimising your images can help reduce your page load speed. It’s also an SEO essential.
Here are some pointers to include in your SEO checklist:
Image size - Resize your images depending on the platform ie. social media, website, marketplace
File format - Pick the right file format. PNG, JPEG, GIF and TIFF are popular formats but JPEGs are often used for high colour images.
Image filename - use relevant descriptive keywords and separate them with hyphens. Obviously, file names should make sense to humans as well as search engines. For example, ‘img1244555.png’ could be renamed to ‘Printed-Ruffle-V-Neck-Mini-Slip-Dress.png’
Image captions – the words directly beneath images – may not have a direct impact on SEO, but can add to the user experience, which indirectly can impact SEO.
Use Alt tags - Alt tags are a must when it comes to accessibility for visually impaired users but it also enables search engines to index your content. Again, you can use keywords and a bit more detail but above all make sure it’s relevant and clear.
Use Multiple Images
When it comes to online purchases the customer has a tough decision to make. Which product do I buy (and often who do I buy it from?).
Help the customer with as many relevant images as you can to showcase the product from different angles and with different levels of detail. Showing the usage context of the product in your imagery can also support the process.
Typically retailers should be using between 5 and 8 images but it will depend on the product detail and relevance as to how many you need.
Show your products in the best light
Professionally edited images entice your potential customers and display your product or service in the best possible light, resulting in a higher conversion rate.
It goes without saying that lighting is extremely important for the end result so where possible, shoot your images with professional lighting techniques. If you’ve had to make do with a low budget camera or your photos weren't taken in a professional studio then post-production image editing is your best and most efficient way to improve the image without having to reshoot.
Here are some essential creative retouching tips that can be applied post-production:
Remove backgrounds - props, models or mannequins enables you to focus on the product without distractions and makes a more timeless image.
Smooth creases and edges - if your images include clothing then you can give them that freshly ironed look without an iron in sight!
Minimise distractions - sometimes a model's blemishes, tattoos, freckles and scars can distract attention away from the product so if suitable, you can remove these.
Add shadows - Natural drop shadows and, or reflections add depth to your product and can make your images appear much more professional.
If you’re using marketplaces such as Amazon you can make your product listings stand out by showcasing important features, benefits and dimensions at a glance with infographics.
Using relevant icons and clear typography in your own branding can increase your presence across the platform as well as increasing conversions.
It’s worth noting that Amazon has image requirements and rules such as file size and format which you can find here.
High quality, optimised e-commerce images are a quick and easy way to increase your buyers’ trust and convert your website visitors. Giving the customer all the information they require, whilst making the offering attractive and as quickly and efficiently as possible is always a marketer’s challenge. Images that are functional, attractive and accurate can be one of the most valuable tools for brands in supporting the decision-making process and removing barriers to conversion.
Investing some time and effort into your photography and post-production process can make a big difference to the quality of your images so it’s worth making it a part of your e-commerce strategy.
With a complete range of image editing and retouching services, Edit Seven can support all your needs when it comes to e-commerce images. Get in touch with us today or click here to start your free trial.