The year is 2021.

You’re sitting at home on your computer. All your shopping has moved online.

Welcome to the age of e-commerce.

You’re probably hard pressed to find a brand that doesn’t have an e-commerce site nowadays. Whether you’re someone who has been ahead of the game and have had your site for years, or the pandemic has forced your hand and you’ve only just ventured into the world of e-commerce, you’re probably all wondering the same thing: what makes a successful e-commerce business and how can I get there?

There are many factors that contribute to the success of your online business, but the one point that we’re going to focus on today, the point that we here at WOW would argue is the most important aspect to whether your e-commerce site sinks or swims, is … the photos!

You heard me right, the product photos are one of, if not the most, important factor to running a successful e-commerce business. Have you ever shopped on a website where the product photos were more like editorial shoots? Doesn’t that just frustrate the heck out of you? Personally, when I’m shopping online, whether that’s for clothes, bags, shoes, or homeware, I want to be able to clearly see what the product looks like and nothing annoys me more than when websites either have a singular photo, or their photos are so fancy I can’t properly see the product they’re trying to sell me.

Your product photos could literally make or break your online shop. If customers feel like they can’t thoroughly examine the product online, chances are, they won’t be making a purchase and are less likely to return to your website. I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to have clear, concise, and inclusive (for fashion) photos. I’ll be talking about what makes a strong photo a bit later, so keep reading to find out some tips and tricks on product shoots and which brands we believe do an amazing job at it.

When it comes down to it, the two most defining factors for whether customers are likely to return to your website are how easy your site is to navigate, and how coherent your photos are. You want your photos to make sense to the consumer, which means not including any items that you either aren’t selling, or you don’t currently have in stock. If customers are constantly seeing items they want to buy, but aren’t presently available, it could put them off, which is the opposite of what you want to do. So how, you may ask, do I take a strong photo?


Number 1: Keep It Super Simple!

This means, no fancy background, no editorial-like poses, and don’t include anything that your brand isn’t selling or that you no longer have in stock. You don’t want to confuse your customer. Consumers want to be able to clearly see the product. If your photo is too crowded with irrelevant things, whilst it may look pretty, it will also make it more complicated to decipher, which could turn away a potential customer.

You want to have a neutral background, with straightforward poses. Keep the photo as scaled back as possible. Be sure to focus on the product you’re trying to sell. There’s nothing worse than not being able to tell if you’re looking at the top or the bottoms in a photo. Customers don’t want to have to guess when they’re trying to shop.

Number 2: Be Inclusive!

This point is more catered towards fashion brands, but inclusivity of models is so important! As a customer, you want to be able to imagine what an article of clothing would look like on your body, so seeing a model that has a similar body shape to yours is extremely helpful. Remember, product photos aren’t about the models, they’re about the product! Therefore, you want to always make sure your focus is on the product. If someone wanted to see this item on a model, they’d look to a fashion magazine and not an e-commerce site. When you’re shopping online, you probably don’t care whether the model can make the product look amazing, you just want to see what it would look like on an average person, like you or me.

Number 3: Angles, Angles, Angles!

It’s essential that you have multiple shots of the same product, but from different angles. The reason I say this, is because if you think about an in-person shopping experience, you’ll normally pick up whatever you’re wanting to buy and look at it from different angles. Or if you try clothes on, you’d probably turn in a circle to see it from a 360 point of view. This should be the same for online shopping. The customer wants to be able to thoroughly examine the product before they buy it, so having various photos, from different angles, makes a world of difference.

For fashion brands specifically, the inclusion of a video would be the cherry on the cake. This video doesn’t have to be very complicated, in fact, it shouldn’t be complicated at all. All it should include, is a model walking into shot, turning around (so all angles of the article of clothing are shown) and walking back out. This allows customers to see the clothing in motion and whilst not essential, could really propel your website to the next level.

I can’t talk for ages about what makes an incredible product photo and not give you some examples of brands that do an amazing job. So, in case you want to check out some great examples of everything I’ve just talked about, have a look at LululemonKollar ClothingASOS, and Knix for some prime representation. Hopefully this helps you advance your e- commerce site, and we’ll see you next month for more industry insight!

If you want to learn more industry tips and tricks, keep up with the ongoings of the fashion industry in general, or get promotional offers, be sure to sign up to our mailing list.

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