eCommerce Images: How to Set Up Your Online Store
Updated · Mar 06, 2023
There are a lot of things to think about when it comes to ecommerce images. What makes a good product photo?
How can you make sure they’re attractive and useful to customers?
What are some common pitfalls?
In this guide, we'll answer all those questions.
So whether you're just getting started with selling online or you're looking to take your ecommerce business to the next level, this guide is for you.
Best Practices for eCommerce Images
When it comes to product photos, you should keep a few things in mind.
Not only will the quality of your photos need to be top-notch, but you’ll likely need a few different types of ecommerce product images per item.
Keep reading as we run through them.
First up, you need a main image.
This is what will catch the customer’s eye as they’re scrolling and will be the first one they look at in closer detail.
It needs to be high-quality and of a particular size.
But what is the best size for ecommerce product images?
You have some choice here if you’re running your own ecommerce store, but if you’re selling or dropshipping through a third party like Amazon or Walmart, you’ll need to adhere to a certain standard.
We recommend getting a photo of 2,000x2,000 pixels. That way, you have room to size it down if need be.
The product should be on a plain white background and take up between 50% to 85% of the photo’s area. Aim to be closer to 85% than 50%.
You can use a white sheet as a background, but we recommend using a greenscreen for a much cleaner look if you have photo-editing tools and skills.
Mobile Ready Hero Image (MRHI)
Mobile-ready hero images are product images that are designed to be easily viewed and interacted with on a mobile device. This is important because more and more people are using their phones and tablets as their primary means of accessing the internet.
As a result, it is essential that websites are designed with mobile users in mind. Mobile-ready hero images are typically large and clear, with condensed information.
GS1 sets out the standards of what they should contain in an easy-to-remember formula—who is the brand, what is it, which variety is it, how much of it is there (normally applicable to consumables. How many Oz, lbs, etc.?
You’ll need to do a bit of creative editing, but the end result will be a new product image that allows mobile shoppers to get the most important info about your product as they scroll through the results.
The next type of photo is a detailed shot of the items.
Customers want to be able to see what they are buying in detail, and they should be able to zoom in and examine the product closely from multiple angles.
Additionally, these photos can help to show off the features of the product and demonstrate how it can be used.
Next up, include shots of the packaging.
Customers often want to see how the product will be shipped and how they’ll receive it.
In addition, retail images of the packaging can also give customers a better idea of the quality of the product.
This can be particularly important when selling collectibles such as action figures or electronics that contain sensitive parts. It may sound strange, but for some discerning buyers, poor packaging can be a deal-breaker.
In a similar vein, customers want to see everything they're getting for their money, and your ecommerce images should make sure they don't want any surprises.
The product may be a phone, but customers what to see what comes with it—i.e., a charger, a cover, and so on.
Customers are more likely to purchase from you if they have detailed retail photos with info about what it is they’re getting. It may seem pedantic, but many customers want to know everything down to the finest detail before spending their money.
Include a few shots of the product in use.
This does two things.
First, it entices buyers because they can see the product in use. Having good-looking models and interesting locations helps. Products are often sold as part of a lifestyle, and action shots can help enforce this.
Second, action shots show scale.
When a model is holding, wearing, or next to a product, prospective buyers can use these ecommerce product images to better envision what the product will look like when they have it, making them more confident in buying it.
These are similar to action shots but only applicable to certain products.
These images are intended to show what products can do.
For example, if you’re selling tools, these images should show the quality of the tool’s work—a piece of wood that’s been sawn by the blade you’re selling, how the paint looks on various surfaces, and so on.
It can be difficult to know what a product “does” from a description alone.
Showing quality outcomes in the product images for your ecommerce website is likely to increase sales.
Things to Avoid
You should avoid a few things if you want the best product photos and maximize your chances of converting viewers into customers.
Broadly, you want your visitor’s experience to be easy and not mislead them, intentionally or unintentionally.
In today's digital age, pictures are worth a thousand words. When customers are shopping online, poor-quality images can be a major hindrance to the shopping experience.
Blurry or dark product images for ecommerce make it difficult for customers to see what they are buying and can give them a negative perception of your business.
If you are selling products online, it is essential to invest in high-quality images.
Also, remember what we said in answer to the question, “what is the best size for ecommerce product images?”
Make sure your image is big enough to adjust comfortably.
Good pictures will help customers make informed decisions and also give them a positive impression of your business.
In contrast, poor-quality images will only serve to frustrate customers and damage your reputation.
As a business owner, it's important to be truthful about your products and services. Misrepresenting your offerings can damage your reputation and cost you customers.
In some cases, it can also lead to legal trouble. Misrepresentation can be intentional or unintentional.
An intentional misrepresentation can be a photo of a similar product to the one you’re selling but of a higher quality.
Or perhaps your ecommerce images make a product look bigger than it really is.
Some stores do this and then shift liability by putting disclaimers in the fine print. While that may save you from legal troubles, it won’t stop customers from forming a negative opinion of your business.
Taking Images From Other Sites
This can lead to both of the issues mentioned above.
While it may be tempting to simply grab images from other sites, this can lead to serious problems.
The images might be the wrong brand, or they could be slightly different from the product you're selling.
The ecommerce images could also be of poor quality, limiting your ability to resize them.
This can confuse and frustrate customers, leading them to take their business elsewhere. It's always best to use high-quality, professional images that accurately represent the products you're selling.
Stores often do this unthinkingly. For example, we’ve seen videogame retailers use photos of “complete editions” when they’re actually selling the base version of games. We’ve seen tools that end up being the wrong size.
Worst of all, we’ve seen wholesale package shots being used to sell single units. Sites using concept images for products that are already out are another offender.
While this may be okay for forthcoming products, a concept retail image could give customers the wrong idea. If you must use concept images, clearly label them, and update them as soon as possible.
When it comes to great ecommerce images, quality and accuracy are key.
If you want to make a good impression on potential customers, be sure to use high-quality, professional images that accurately represent your products, whether you’re selling on a website of your own creation or a third party.
Keep the following tips in mind, take your time in getting the right photos, and you’ll be well ahead of the bulk of the competition.
Garan is a writer interested in how tech reshapes the environment, and how the environment reshapes tech. You'll usually find him inoculating against future shock and arguing with bots.