Nothing frustrates online shoppers more than seeing a thumbnail or other small photo of a product and clicking on it to take a closer look only to see a grainy or blurry image pop up. Even if a photo is crystal clear, a customer will likely want to see the product from other angles and if they can’t do that, they’ll go to a different site where they can.
Think about when you walk into a brick and mortar store and you see a product you want to buy. You don’t just look at it on the shelf and make your decision. Whether it’s a demo model or the real thing, you pick the product up, turn it around, turn it upside down, feel the weight of it, check out all the details and generally size it up against other similar products you’ve looked at.
When you have excellent quality product photos on your website, you allow shoppers to (virtually) do just that. They can zoom in on details and really get a feel for a product even if they can’t actually feel it. Add 360 degree photography and video into the mix and it’s the next best thing to actually being able to handle the products.
Good photos will get people into your ecommerce store, excellent photos will get people seriously considering buying your products, excellent 360 degree photography and/or video will get people buying your products.
A Thousand Words
We all know it. A picture is worth a thousand words (as of this writing, conversion rates might be different by the time you read this).
The longest and most detailed product description would be completely useless if you didn’t have at least one photo to go along with it. People are visual creatures and they respond to visuals. The more they can see, the better they like it.
Generally, a product should have at least four photos showing it from the front, the back, the top and one side. If it’s important to show the bottom, add that in and if the sides are asymmetrical, you can add in the other side. Plus, it’s also good to show it from a 45 degree angle from the front view.
Up Close and Personal
Regardless of how many photos you have of a product, it’s important to also give people the ability to zoom into the photos to get a close up look at the smallest of details of the product. You never know what will draw people into buying a particular product.
Nine people might just look at the photo without zooming in, but that tenth person is going to want to look at the stitching and make sure it’s up to their high standards. That stickler for stitching should be able to have as close a look as they want. The more details a person is able to see, the greater the chance they’ll form a connection with the product and want to buy it.
Turn it Around
Even better than a lot of photographs from various angles is a 360 degree representation of a product that customers can turn in any direction via their mouse or screen. This is the virtual equivalent of being able to pick up a product and turn it every which way so you can see it from whatever angle you want.
The true beauty of the 360 degree experience is the customer is the one who controls it. They don’t have to rely on your photos to see the product the way they want to. They can view it from the angle they want and check out the details they deem important. Giving them the ability to view it the way they want empowers them as shoppers and gives them a sense of ownership of the product that they don’t get from merely looking at photos.
DueMaternity.com actually reported a 27% increase in sales when they implemented a feature where their prodcut images would start spinning slowly when hovered over with a mouse to give a full 360 degree view of them.
Demo-lish the Competition
Sometimes a photo isn’t enough, even a 360 degree one. That’s where video comes in. For products that will be judged more on their ability to perform than how they look (power tools, for example), a video demonstration of the product’s capabilities and features would be a good addition to a website.
Obviously, the videos should be good quality and not just promotional. They should actually show the product in action so they’re worth viewing. Make enough of these videos with the same person, and that person can even become the “face” of your ecommerce site and lend an air of trust to the site. People are more apt to purchase from sites they trust and product demonstrations done consistently by the same person or team of people will help build that trust.
You might think that you need a professional photographer to come in and make your products look amazing, but with a little trial and error and some not-overly-expensive equipment, you can have a small studio to do your own product photography and videos without going overboard on costs.
Some simple lighting rigs and a decent camera will go a long way to making products look amazing online. 360 degree photography takes a bit more of an investment, but it can easily pay for itself if your sales conversions increase, which they almost certainly will if you give people the opportunity to virtually handle your products.
As the internet continues to move more and more toward images and video, the ability to give shoppers at home the experience of manipulating a product will become more crucial for ecommerce sites. Soon, we’ll look back at sites that offered one grainy picture of a product as quaint reminders of the past.
Something else that helps to increase conversions is a superb animated explainer video, especially if your product or service is especially complex. Click here to schedule an appointment with WizMotions to see how we can help you make the perfect product or service explainer video.