E-COMMERCE, PHOTOGRAPHY & THE PIXEL CULTURE
Photos and video define the communication culture we live in today. Nearly every social media platform has the means to record, send, receive and view media. This movement has defined the pixel hungry populace, and the exponential rise of cheaper technology and accessible giant bandwidth means that everyone doesn’t just want it – they crave it!
The same cravings that drive the social media world likewise drive e-commerce consumers – the impulse for instant gratification! From the casual web surfer to the die-hard digital shopper, alike they demand visual stimulus to satisfy their shopping appetite. If they can’t see what they want to see, in literally seconds they are onto the virtual doorstep of the next proprietor. It is just as one would stroll shop to shop through Carnaby Street, only in the digital world, shops are at the mercy of a simple button click and the prospect’s gone.
It is not only the ‘engaging’ of the customer with strong visual assets (videos, photos and lately 360-degree pictures) that’s important. This is definitely vital to the buying cycle, but by ensuring you are visually answering the customer’s questions, you are less likely to have your merchandise returned. Around 1/3 of all on-line items are sent back, and thus, it is of paramount importance that on-line retailers focus on how to reduce return rates – photos, videos, 360° and 3D photography are all very strong solutions to this problem.
You’ll read and hear countless stories on the percentage booms in revenue through strong, well presented visual assets on your website. Like a shop window designed to entice potential buyers, a well laid out website, with hot-spot visuals, and other cleverly positioned media and icons, will serve you well in driving through website sales.
According to a study conducted through Adobe Scene7, 91% of individuals surveyed want the ability to turn products around in full 360° spin and zoom in on any perspective. Golfing superstore Golfsmith found 30% higher conversion rates amongst products being showcased in 360° & 3D views.
TOP BRANDS GETTING THEIR PRODUCT PHOTOGRAPHY RIGHT
Nike, Reebok, Asics and many other top sports brands are all great examples of companies who’ve maximised the use of good product photography on their websites. You can peruse clothing, trainers etc. with ease, and usually get a good visual impression of what you are interested in.
Asics recently streamlined their product photography process with The Orbital Rig; a powerful, high-speed photography rig designed to dramatically decrease the time it takes to get through high volume product shots. Switching trainers and other clothing items that require the same shots can be very time-consuming. With the Orbital, you can greatly increase the efficiency of this process. As Austin Langley Photographer for Asics comments:
‘We get the same shot, every time, every product, for every shoot. No variances in position or angle, which creates the uniformity we need.’
The longevity of any company today will depend on its ability to keep pace with the competitive digital landscape and to satisfy the consumer’s voracious appetite for visual content. Organisations both big and small should consider their options in terms of how they are going to standout in the insanely cluttered e-tail market and the means of showcasing their wares – whether it is generated through their own in-house photography studio, contracting the work out or purchasing the necessary photography equipment (cameras, turntables, photography rigs etc.).
As final thought, simply Google some relevant product images and see what stands out – what image do you see first? What photo do you like? What attracted you to that one image you clicked? – How can your product be that image?