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3 Warning Signs Your Product Photos Are Hurting Your Sales (And how you can fix it)

Product photos are your customer's first impression.

According to Science Daily,

"First impressions are so powerful that they can override what we are told"

This means a customers first impression of your product, which happens within milliseconds, will over ride anything they read about it. The most perfectly worded product description can't make up for the bad first impression of a low quality photo.

What does this mean for your web store?

Poor Quality Photos = Bad First Impression = Less Sales.

Check out Nike and Samsung:

You may have noticed they use exceptionally high quality photos and videos. This is part of integral plan to create trust in their brand and desire for the benefits of their product. They invest huge sums of cash crafting a quality brand image because they know it creates sales.

You may not have the epic marketing budget or personnel to pull of such an amazing feat of branding, but you can do well with limited resources. The first step is figuring out if your current product photos are letting your down.

So what are the top 3 signs your product photos are hurting your brand?

1. Complaints

Customer complaints are a red flag.

Like huge, but at the same time good.

According to "Understanding Customers" by Ruby Newell-Legner, businesses only hear from 4% of dissatisfied customers.

4%

That means for every four customers complaints you get, there are 96 dissatisfied people walking around, not happy with your product or service. Worse, they could be telling everyone else.

This could be for a variety of reasons, however, if you are receiving complaints like:

"It's not the colour I was expecting"

"It doesn't look like the photos"

Then you need to address your product photography.

What is the #1 way your product photo can contribute to creating happy brand ambassadors, instead of brand trashers?

Accuracy.

There are 3 components needed for accuracy:

1.Clarity

2.Resolution

3.Colour correct

Quality photos will score a big yes on each of these 3 points.

What about your brand?

2. Lack Of Branding

If you and your competition swapped photos, would your customer know?

No?

That's a problem.

You might think branding is only for the big businesses, but it's really vital for us too.

What are the benefits of establishing a brand?

  • Trust
    Number one because it's vital that a customer trusts you to buy from you, especially online. More trust = more sales.
  • Relevance
    By creating a brand that is inline with your target audience, you'll resonate more strongly with them. This will inspire them to choose you over your competitor. The more you know your audience and the better you tailor your brand to them, the more you will sell.
  • Loyalty
    Loyal customers are repeat customers. They are also customers who will rave about your business to their friends and family. The stronger your branding, the stronger the loyalty.

According to Small Biz Trends,

"When customers have seemingly endless choices, branding becomes a crucial competitive edge."

Branding is a huge topic - I suggest checking out this post from Entrepreneur for a quick intro on steps you can take to establish your brand.

How does branding relate to your product photography?

Your product photos are an integrative component in your over all branding. MIT neuroscientists found the brain can identify images seen for as little as 13 milliseconds.

I don't know about you but I certainly can't read that fast.

The visuals of your brand are quicker for your customer to assimilate and recognise. They are also what your product will be judged on in less than a second.

So how do you created brand identifying photos?

There are 3 key factors to take in to consideration :

1. Colour

2. Background

3. Consistency

What does this look like for the big guys? Check out Cadbury and Vodafone:
You don't need an EPIC marketing budget to create product photos that fit your brand.

What do product photos in line with your brand look like for every day small businesses?

Check this recent photoshoot with MisFitNZ. Her branding is bright pink, complimented by; white, black, and a little bit of blue. So I worked this into her product photos.
These photos will serve as a key part of her branding.

So without a solid brand - why should a potential customer choose you over your competitor?

The final warning sign is all about sales.

3. Lack Of Conversion

Do you have heaps of traffic going through your website, but not a lot of sales?

What is a 'normal' conversion rate anyway?

According to Smart Insights, conversion rates were an average of 3.48% for 2015. That means if you have less than 3.5 people per 100 visitors buying your product, your conversions are below the global average. I have no idea how half a person buys something, but that's the nature of stats.

There are a huge number of reasons a customer won't convert, product photos are a big one, but by no means the only. Check out the blog over at Shard Web Design, they have loads of posts about cart abandonment and ecommerce.

How Can You Fix Poor Product Photos That Are Costing Your Sales?

There are two ways you can get better product photos - learn to take better photos or outsource.

Learn To Take Better Product Photos

Learning to take better photos is a bit of a process. Here are 3 ways you can learn to improve your product photography.

1. Study for a degree or diploma in photography

I have a Bachelor of Media Arts, photography major. What does that mean?

I spent 3 years learning how to take photos. It cost me tens of thousands of dollars and I had to buy expensive gear. I did NOT learn how to photograph products during those 3 years. I did develop the foundation skills needed to learn to do it myself.

There may be better suited diplomas or degrees out there, but they will be designed to create professional product photographers. They won't be created to give you the basics you need, to use what you have, to improve your product photos.

If this doesn't sound like it will work for you, let's checkout the rest of your options.

2. Google And You Tube

My dear friends Google and Youtube. I logged an impressive amount of hours in both during and after my degree. You can do the same. There is a tonne of free info out there on improving your product photos. After logging some impressive hours yourself, you can eventually improve your product photography.

Sounds overwhelming?

Do you want a shortcut?

3. How To Photograph Your Product - for small business owners

So you want to do it yourself and don't want the cost and time associated with other learning methods?

I've created a course that is the culmination of all the shortcuts I know to getting better product photos. It's short and easy to understand. It's in the beta testing phase right now, but subscribe to my newsletter at the bottom of this post to keep updated on when it's released as there will be a big discount for the official launch.

Really not up for doing it yourself? Luckily the best option is also the easiest:

Outsource

What are the top 3 reasons business owners outsource?

1. You don't find it enjoyable.

This is a big one. That's why it's first on the list. I don't enjoy doing accounting at all, so I outsource it. You'll feel so much better about your business if you're focusing your energy on the parts you love and are good at. If you're daydreaming of being anywhere but behind the camera, then outsourcing is for you.

2. You don't have time

With juggling a family and running a business, women in are more time poor than ever before. A good question to ask yourself when you're spending hours photographing your products; what's the point of amazing profits from your business, if you have no time to enjoy it?

3. You don't have the skills

We all have our strengths, mine is photography and helping small business, yours is likely your product. A good exercise to do is write down everything that needs to be done in your business.

Put a blue star next to the ones you love to do.

Put a red X next the ones you don't enjoy.

Of the things you don't like doing, ask yourself 3 questions:

  • Could someone else achieve better results than me, and in a shorter time?
  • Will the time saved outsourcing be better used elsewhere to boost sales?
  • Will I feel better having professional results, with virtually no effort?

If you answered yes, it's time to look at outsourcing.

  • Don't know where to start?

Check out this blog post I wrote about finding the right product photographer for you.

The 3 basics are:

  • Do you like their work?
  • Do you like them?
  • Ask questions.

Check out the post for details on each of the basics, including a bonus tip.

Want to make sure your get product photos you're happy with?

Check out The Cheats Guide To Hiring A Product Photographer

Marketing

Product photography should come before marketing. If you spend $50 on a facbook ad campaign, using poor product photos, you will see less conversions from that $50.

According the testing legend KissMetrics,

"The most important part of your ad is the image. You can write the most brilliant copy in the world, but if your image doesn't catch a user's eye, you won't get any clicks."

Reading the post this quote comes from, is well worth your time.

I'm usually a big softy when people talk about their products photos. But we can't ignore the elephant in the room:

Poor product photos hurt your brand and cost you sales.

I want to help you sell more products.