Taking Stock of Product Imagery

Creative Taking Stock of Product Imagery

As we’ve stressed before on this blog, moving into 2015, with the prevalence of mobile and the fleeting attention span of users, the quality of the visual content on your site really is of paramount importance. It’s not just the case that the governing trends of website design focus heavily on imagery and branding, but the accessibility and visual appeal of your product imagery has also been proven to have a direct impact upon your conversion rates.

Now, as a professional web design agency, if we had a pound for every time we reached the “stock photography vs. amateur imagery” debate with clients, well let’s just say we’d have much better coffee in the office. The truth of the matter is that in almost all cases, professional stock photography trumps amateur imagery, and we’ve laid out our blog this week to explain why.

Selfies Aren’t Healthy
Having worked in the industry for as long as we have, we’ve probably seen more ecommerce sites than you’ve had hot dinners (does anyone still say that?), and it’s fair to say we’ve seen our fair share of great designs that are let down by poor imagery. Obviously, if you want consumers to part with their hard earned money and make a purchase from your ecommerce site, whether you’re selling anything from novelty spoons to vintage books, you’re going to need a bank of convincing yet clear product imagery. We’re still in agreement so far right? Good.

Now, it’s normally around about this point that our designers and clients start to knock heads; we’ve built the stellar website, the client is happy, the champagne is flowing etc. etc. and then we get round to product imagery. Centrally the disagreement comes down to the delicate balance between accuracy vs. professionalism.  Clients want to use imagery that’s an accurate reflection of their products, especially if what they have to offer is unique or distinctive in some way. It’s often the case, however, that homemade imagery (and by that we mean pictures you’ve taken on your iPhone) simply doesn’t do justice to the original quality of the product. More than just putting your consumers off your products, these images can actually damage the credibility of your organisation.

Between a stock and a hard place
So if you can’t take your own imagery, what’s the next best alternative? Well, fortunately it’s the internet, and you can normally find an answer to pretty much anything on here. Stock imagery websites are a great place to source professional, gripping photography for a very reasonable price. In fact, any web design agencies worth their salt will probably have subscriptions to services like Shutterstock or Getty Images that you can make use of. Even though the images contained on sites like these might not directly reflect your products, they’re still a much better alternative to some of the grainy, pixelated, poorly lit examples we’ve seen over the years. Professional product photography evinces both credibility and validity, and it can help to demarcate your brand from other, less convincing services on the market.

Image Problems
Professional stock photography can cement your brands credibility, and at the end of the day, if your products are unique and innovative enough, they should be able to sell themselves. Don’t invest thousands into a professional web design only to let all of your digital efforts fall at the final hurdle. Even if, after searching far and wide throughout the litany of stock imagery sites available, you can’t find what you’re looking for, don’t despair; here at SO we’ve got our very own professional photographer, and are more than happy to offer this service in conjunction with our normal web development packages.

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