As we know: the better the product photography, the better the sales.
Good product photography is about accurately depicting your goods in a way that people can quickly and easily understand – highlighting your best features, and providing visual context to help prospective customers decide if they want to buy, or not. (You can learn more about what kind of product imagery actually sells in a previous post – The Four C’s of Product Photography.)
But, while product shots are functional by design, there is no need for them to be boring in execution.
Brands can – and should – ensure their product photography shares the same personality and uniqueness that they exhibit elsewhere: from their in-store signage to the tone of their social media posts. The customer must feel like they are still enjoying the same brand experience when they’re on your product detail page; or else, they might as well be shopping on Amazon.
A few years ago, Spanish retail giant Zara decided they would do things differently, adding movement and interesting crops to their product pages.
And we are still feeling its ripples of influence in e-commerce today. Brands ranging from Reformation and Merlette to Free People and Loft all incorporate some form of movement or attitude in their product imagery.
Well, it looks simple enough: just have the model move around a bit and snap away, right? Not quite.
In reality, there is a lot of planning that goes into these images before, during, and after the shoot. You need an expert model, a highly skilled photographer, and a detail-oriented art director to add eye-catching variety, but without distracting from the product itself. A customer might be enticed and interested in the unique swing of a dress, but if they can’t decipher the back details or fabric, the dress will never get into the shopping cart. Zara has invested heavily into their photography to achieve this balance between transactional and emotional imagery – and it shows.
Straight-forward, to-the-point shots can look beautiful and have personality in their own right. Many high-end designers and sites opt for this approach. Brands like Moda Operandi, Victoria Beckham, and Alexander McQueen. The idea is that the product can speak for itself, with the more editorialized heavy lifting taking place elsewhere on the site – usually on the homepage – where a brand’s personality comes to life.
So what type of product photography is right for you? Here are a couple of considerations.
At the end of the day, what Zara is doing is working for them. As a multinational, $10+ billion brand you know they’re pouring over their analytics to be sure of it. And many brands are following their lead. Could it be right for you too? A-B testing two versions of the product imagery before going all-in is always a good way to minimize the risk.
If you have any questions on whether your brand is right for “Zarafication”, or how you might execute either the shoot or the test, please feel free to reach out to us at email@example.com.
Monthly Industry Insights from the E-commerce Imagery Experts