How many product images do you need?
We often get asked how many product photos are required per product, and when too many actually start to negatively affect the customer experience .
The simple answer is that there is no single answer. It all depends on your site, the products, and your customers.
The best way of answering the question for your site is to put yourself in the shoes of your typical customer. What do they do when they come into the physical store and browse? If they typically just walk straight up to a product and pick it off the shelf without even looking at it, then very few images will be required. This will be a highly untypical customer, unless they are all doing their research elsewhere -which means you have other problems. Your typically customer generally picks up product, reads the packaging, feels the weight, touches the fabric, tries it on, and inspects it from many angles. Why not allow them to do the same online?
The right amount of product images therefore depends on a number of factors. These include:
- The aesthetic nature of the product: Is the product primarily going to be bought on what it looks like or what it does?
- The complexity of the products: How much information is there to convey about the product?
- The context of the product: Does the product need to be shown in context of how it is used?
In fashion, the number of images will be driven by the cost of the product, with high-value products needing more images to justify the investment in quality brands. Also, what it actually looks like on a model is crucial. And of course conveying all the details that the designer put into the product, from the fabric lining to the intricate patterning and maybe even the quality or style of the stitching.
In electronics and appliances, many customers will want to look at the back and side of the device to see the location and quantity of plugs. They may want to see the remote control, or even where the buttons are on the back of the camera. They may want to see it in action or understand the technical specifications explained with a video.
In furniture, it will be necessary to convey the quality of the fabric, the sturdiness of the construction, show the product from every angle and how it scales against other items of furniture. 360° rotation would be great for this.
In hardware, how the tool is held and other ergonomics of its use will be important. Customers are also going to be interested in quality and sturdiness which can be conveyed with photographs of detail and finishing.
As an illustration, we recently photographed a pet food container as part of a larger job for a pet web site. This had a number of features including an airtight seal to avoid food smell escaping, a food scoop which could be neatly stored in the lid, a hinged lid for easy access, size and dimensions on the label. So a simple pet food container resulted in six images.
Our general philosophy is to use as many images as are required such that the customer does not need to go into the store to get additional information, but no more. Do not go overboard and drown the customer in superfluous information, as yo diluting the core feature messages and spending more money acquiring the images for little to no benefit.
SKUvantage has experience of photographing products from just about every single category. This experience gained both at Tesco in the UK, with the Woolworths non-food brands in Australia and of course all our clients from Coles to Alex Perry. If you would like a consultation, please don’t hesitate contact us.