What is the most important part of running your online store? No, it’s not the promotions. No, it’s not the ability to add products quickly and effectively manage inventory, although this is very important. And no it is not just about putting your brand, services or product in front of prospective customers via marketing. Again, that’s important, but not what is MOST important.
So what is the most important aspect? Product images. Plain and simple. A restaurant reported an uptick of more than 30% in sales because they added images to their online menu.
If you have a brick & mortar, the display window can draw foot traffic in and then you can rely on your sales reps to close the sale. In this case you have human interactions that will help the customer finish the emotional experience that will get them to make the purchase. So what replaces that experience online?
The only piece of your eCommerce store that communicates to visitors in a similar fashion is the product images. If they’re clean, crisp and tell a story, it creates an emotional connection with visitors and communicates the quality of your brand to them. Low quality communicates the exact opposite.
The best text to describe a product will fail 99 out of 100 times if accompanied by a subpar photo. Sales require an emotional connection and text describing features lacks this wholeheartedly. There are not enough words to describe both a product AND the positive impact it will have on someone’s lifestyle the way one image can plus most people won’t bother reading long paragraphs. The saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” rings true online.
Still not convinced? Check this study which found that larger images for your eCommerce store can increase conversions 63%!
The best marketing is wasted when the 2nd step in the process – converting the customer after they have seen an ad and clicked to your store – is a less than stellar experience. The message this could unfortunately be sending is one of bait and switch; the prospective customer was compelled to click on your creative looking advertisement only to be brought to an online store that looks like an afterthought… like all the pretty girls standing outside a busy nightclub area telling people to come to the hottest club in town, and when you get there, it’s a 2nd rate venue.
So don’t minimize the importance of product images to your online store’s success. You may think it’s just one (equal) part of the equation, but as we have seen above, all parts are not created equal in online commerce. Use your photos to tell your story, give your brand experience and close those sales.
Photography doesn’t have to be crazy experience but the payoff from this investment can be exponential!