The #1 Mistake Businesses Make with eCommerce Photography, and How to Fix it!
We are in the era of image domination.
Humans engage with images in a way text alone simply cannot compete. In fact:
- 63% of consumers said good images are more important than product descriptions
- 53% of consumers found images more important than ratings or reviews.
- 60% of consumers are more likely to consider a business whose images appear in local search results.
- And people who shop on their phones say images are the most important feature.
Point blank, because the majority of purchases are transacted on mobile, each and every image is now your storefront. That’s right, every single image you produce is acting as your brick and mortar!
This means the moment your consumer’s eyes land on your image the clock starts on your chance to impress, create trust, and convert.
And because the average person’s attention span is a mere 8 SECONDS, this perception of trust must be garnered almost instantaneously. No pressure, right?
I’ve got some good news for you! Grabbing your customer’s attention is actually easier than it sounds! According to a study by WebDam, the human brain processes visual data 60,000 times faster than text!
Therefore, the trick simply becomes providing just the right visual triggers to instantaneously promote a sense of trust strong enough to convert into a sale.
Now keep in mind your mind does this all the time. For instance, when you go on vacation and look for a place to eat you immediately begin taking in many disparate pieces of information: are the menus sticky, does it smell good, are there lots of customers, does it look clean? Essentially, your mind furiously assesses and analyzes whether the place is trustworthy. Most often you aren’t even conscious of the precise information that triggers your final decision: the combination of the straight rows of tables, the meticulously tucked in chairs, the symmetrically laid out silverware, the neatly folded napkins. Each of these separate data points works together to tip the scales in favor of trusting enough to hand over your hard-earned dollars.
It is the same biological hard-wiring at play in e-commerce. Except in this instance, the instantaneous trigger is consistency.
While it is well known that in eCommerce Visual Content is definitely King, Consistency is Queen, the silent, steady driving force behind Visual Content’s power.
When shopping in person the trust factor is largely removed and orderliness takes a backseat. You hand over your money and you walk away with a product you’ve seen and touched. Online, however, overcoming the anxiety of sharing personal credit card information online is a challenge. This is where orderliness and consistency come into play. They work in tandem to surmount the trust barrier.
Think of it this way, the moment your customer opens the “door” to your restaurant their subconscious assessment begins. The very second their eyes land on your image and they begin scrolling through your site, they unconsciously begin to take in:
- The consistency of the backgrounds amongst the images as they scroll
- The consistency of the colors amongst various views of a single product
- The consistency of the model or product within the frame when scrolling amongst views and images
- The consistency of the coloring and lighting between the models’ faces and legs, or the top and bottom of a product
- The consistency of the model to retain the same skin and lighting throughout the site
- The consistency of the visible details, particularly within the lighter and darker areas of the product
- The consistency of the crops
- The availability of numerous angles, details view and zoom in features
Notice the dominant role Consistency occupies here. She’s Queen for a reason.
Each of these elements work together to foster a feeling of immediate credibility. When done right, they provide a subconscious sense of orderliness, which promotes a feeling of calm and trust.
Hoping the small image size on mobile will let you off the hook? Think again. With advance zoom features a prerequisite these days and astonishingly advanced mobile screens, perfect imagery matters more than ever.
“Ok, I get it!”, you are probably telling yourself. So how do you achieve this cocoon of uniformity and trust?
FOUR TIPS TO HELP YOU ACHIEVE CONSISTENT HIGH-QUALITY IMAGERY
If the responsibility of editing and creating image uniformity rests solely on your shoulders, you are the gatekeeper to building trust with your e-commerce business. Here are three tips that can help!
Tip #1 - Be sure to create a photography style guide for your brand.
Sometimes smaller brands overlook the need to create a style guide. You have one person doing all the post production so it is easier to keep your look uniform. However, hopefully a year from now your company has quadrupled in size! Now you see the headache this begins to create.
Think too if you are working with multiple clients how much easier it will be to pull up the specific style guide you’ve created for them when you begin to work on a new project. This will help you clearly differentiate between each of your clients.
The more staff you have and the more clients you begin to work with the happier you will be to create a guide everyone can reference! It takes small variations in look and feel to begin to create that “messy presence” on your website that begins to erode trust in your customers.
With your style guide be sure to provide everyone on your post production team with the following: cropping specifications, background reference, skin balancing reference, and reference for the level of retouching on skin or product surfaces.
Tip #2 - Build a team that trusts each other!
Once you get everyone on the same page as far as the style guidelines you will see communication on your team grow tremendously! However, communication is more than just having a style guide. You still need to help each other hold to the standards that you’ve agreed upon.
You need to be able to communicate inconsistencies to one another without members on your team feeling attacked. We are all human and we all miss things, so we need to be able to take feedback from our team. High functioning teams all realize their need for one another to share feedback and be honest.
And on top of that, clear and consistent feedback is a core pillar to any healthy company culture. Building trust is the key. You will not only be pumping out consistent high-quality images, but people will love to work at your company because you’ve built a place where people feel safe giving and receiving feedback.
Tip #3 - Use the same screen every time you evaluate your imagery.
You might be surprised how many people forget how important this is. Sure, life is busy. You have a project at work and spend the bulk of the time on your work computer, but then run home that night after grabbing some to-go Chinese food and pull up your laptop to finish some work.This is a surefire way to create inconsistencies with your images!
Each screen is slightly different. If you are trying to create consistency it is crucial that you evaluate images in the same way, on the same screen, every time. Ideally, this will be a calibrated screen, but at minimum it should be the same.
Tip #4 - Save time and money outsourcing your images.
Here’s the deal: business owners and marketers like yourself are beyond busy. You’re wearing about 100 hats on any given day. So hiring a professional studio might be a great route to go.
Using a professional photographer with e-commerce experience ensures a much faster editing process. And a professional retouching studio guarantees the consistency which fuels your high-quality visual content.
You save time because you know your images are being handled by specialists, you have peace of mind that your brand will be perceived properly by your customers, trust is built, and your business grows.
Don’t be left behind with a mediocre visual content strategy---your images deserve to look their best! Look for a partner equipped to help your images stand out, be admired, and most importantly, be remembered.
For more information on how View Imaging can help make the most of every image, visit our website: www.viewimaging.com. With View Imaging, e-commerce companies benefit from a team comprised of experts in their fields who’ve worked in the e-commerce landscape since its inception.