How to take great product photos

Product photography tips

Following on from our blog on how to write great product descriptions, we’ve rounded up our top tips for taking great images to match. When you’re selling products online, it’s absolutely vital to show them off with professional-looking, accurate images. A well-taken set of photos will immediately instil trust in your customers and make them more likely to purchase. While descriptions are great for explaining the ins and outs of a product and winning over customers, 90% of the information we absorb is visual. More than that, 93% of consumers consider appearance to be the most important thing when making a decision!

Choose your camera

The good news is that you don’t need to splash out on a big, swanky camera to take great product photos! Most modern smartphones have great cameras these days – and if yours doesn’t, you probably know someone whose does, who’d be willing to let you use it for an afternoon in exchange for a cup of coffee/chat/evening of babysitting. For more tips, Hubspot have a great guide to taking good photos on your phone.

Name your images

Give your product twice as much chance of showing up in search results by giving it a relevant title. It’s unlikely that many people will search for ‘image123456.jpg’ – and if they do, they probably aren’t looking for your image! Use concise, clear terminology to help people to find you. This will also help search engines to index your image, as well as providing a backup description if your image doesn’t load for some reason.

Consistency is key

The key thing to consider is uniformity; always try and shoot your images in the same style. This will ensure that the customer has a clear idea of what the products look like, and make your online store front look really professional.

Pick your light

Avoid fluorescent overhead lighting – nobody looks good under this, and that goes for inanimate objects too! Natural light is normally a safe bet, so try to shoot in this wherever possible. The light changes dramatically throughout the day, so pick a time when you like the light and try to always shoot at around the same time.

Use multiple images

Just as you need to make sure your written descriptions help customers to really get an idea of your products, you should also include enough of the right images to help people get a feel for them. You’ve probably noticed that most online stores include product shots from multiple angles and this is why – the majority of customers need to know that they aren’t missing any details by not being in a physical store and seeing a product for themselves. This also applies to product variations: if you have a product in multiple colours or sizes, always show them all!

Give an idea of scale

Hopefully you’ve provided the technical specifications of your products, but unless your customers have a tape measure to hand, they might want a more tangible idea of how big something is. You can help by providing a point of comparison: if your product can be held in your hand, think about including a photo of this; if it’s designed to be worn, show it on a person; if it’s something you put in your home or garden, include a photo of it in situ. This will help your customers to make an informed decision and help you to avoid having to deal with complaints when a product arrives and is a different size from the one they were expecting!

Create professional backgrounds

You can create a sleek, uniform background for your products by taping a large sheet of white paper between the wall and the surface your products are on, to form a curve or sweep. This creates a really professional look, and gets rid of any annoying unwanted background marks or shadows!

If you keep these tips in mind and get into the habit of following them, you’ll be on your way to having an online store to rival the best of them! A little effort and consistency goes a long way, and will ensure that you’re never selling your products short. 

If you don’t have an online store yet, you’re in luck: a Go Sitebuilder subscription includes an online store (with unlimited product listings!) and much more – for less than the price of a coffee a week. Sign up for a free trial today and put your newfound product photography skills to use!

How to write effective product descriptions

When shopping online, your customers are relying on you to give them a clear, informative and persuasive picture of your products, as they can’t get a feel for them in the same way as they might in a bricks-and-mortar store. We’ve rounded up some top tips for creating effective product descriptions to help your products sell and make your store a success.

Define your target audience

Who are you trying to win over? In an ideal world, you would have customers from all demographics and all walks of life, but chances are there’s one group of people who are more likely to buy your product. Think about what kind of language they would and wouldn’t engage with, and keep this in mind when you’re writing. For example, if your target audience is people over the age of 50, they probably aren’t going to be overly receptive to slang words or excessive familiarity; however, if you’re targeting millennials, they’ll be more receptive to this style of language.

Tell a story

Did you decide to create a product because you needed it and realised it didn’t exist yet? Did you already make it, and decide to start selling it because it was your grandma’s favourite? Many products have a story behind them, and this is a great way to gain customers’ trust and engage them. It doesn’t have to be long, but a personal touch in a product description can go a long way. 

Explain the results and benefits

Rather than just explaining what’s good about a product, explain why it’s good. If you’re selling a travel mug with a rubber sleeve, for example, what does this sleeve do? Chances are, it makes it easy to carry the mug on the go! Wherever possible, include this kind of justification so that your customers know exactly how they can benefit from the features you’ve put time and effort into!

Create evocative descriptions

Sensory words (e.g. ‘feels’,’ sounds’, ‘looks like’) are really effective when it comes to making sales. Always use these where you can – although don’t fall into the trap of using them where they’re really not relevant!

Don’t forget the product specifications

It’s easy to get bogged down in the stylistic elements of creating a product description, but don’t forget to include the basics! Make sure you supply product dimensions, care instructions and other details as applicable for each product.

Use relevant keywords

It goes without saying that people need to be able to find your store for you to make sales. Using relevant, SEO-boosting keywords will help your website to show up on Google, so that people searching for products like yours will end up in the right place (on your website!).

Include reviews

Nothing breeds trust like trust. Wherever possible, include positive reviews on your product listing pages – either with the tried-and-tested star rating system or just as quotes from satisfied customers. If you don’t have any reviews to hand yet, try asking customers for feedback – although make sure you’re complying with GDPR and only contacting them if it’s okay to do so. This article has some great tips on how to get reviews, so you can start building that trust straight away.

Keep these guidelines in mind and you’ll have a simple format to follow for all your product descriptions. As with all creative business activities, you’ll find your own style, but these are things you should always try to include. A little effort will go a long way, and you’ll soon find your products flying off the virtual shelves!

If you don’t have an online store yet, you’re in luck: a Go Sitebuilder subscription includes an online store (with unlimited product listings!) and much more – for less than the price of a coffee a week. Sign up for a free trial today and put your newfound product listing expertise to use!