Photography For eCommerce Brands

ecommerce product photo of three pairs of sunglasses

eCommerce photography is essential to the success of brands that sell their products exclusively online. Even if you’re a hybrid brand with eCommerce offerings, images are important. 

About 20% of all retail purchases are made online. As the markets and technology progress, more and more brands are becoming eCommerce exclusive. To stay competitive and keep customers happy, you need to provide detailed, quality images on your site. 

In this post, I’ll cover a wide range of information about eCommerce photography services. Continue reading to learn: 

  • What eCommerce photography is 
  • Different types of photography that eComm brands can benefit from 
  • Why photography is important for eCommerce brands
  • How eCommerce photography works 

What Is eCommerce Photography?

eCommerce photography is professional photography for online brands that rely on eCommerce websites to sell their products and services. While all brands can have an online presence, eCommerce brands are 100% remote, existing solely in a digital space. 

eCommerce photography is not only used to sell products online. Images from an eCommerce photo shoot also build a visual brand and marketing materials for the organization. 

Types of Photography eCommerce Brands Can Benefit From 

Virtual brands and eCommerce businesses benefit from more than just product photography. Professional eCommerce photography combines different types of business branding photos that establish an image library for your brand to use. 

The main two categories of eCommerce photography are: 

  • eCommerce product photos
  • Brand imagery for eCommerce businesses

In the sections below, I’ll break down the two categories in greater detail. 

eCommerce Product Photos

When thinking of eCommerce brands, the first images that often come to mind are photos for product listings. And you’d be correct in your thinking! eCommerce product photography is a wide range of detailed photographs that vividly depict a product or service. Product photos are used for online listings, but can also be used in marketing content.

pair of cigars positioned on wooden equipment

So, why is product photography so vital to the success of an eCommerce brand? It serves as the main deciding factor whether consumers purchase your products. Since there’s no brick-and-mortar store to physically experience the product, eCommerce product photos need to: 

  • Make customers feel connected to a product or service they aren’t physically able to connect with 
  • Convey what the product is, what it does, and why the customer should purchase it over other options
  • Clearly showcase features and benefits 

A professional eCommerce photographer understands how to capture products in a way that appeals to customers. Typically, they focus on: 

  • Using purposeful, effective lighting 
  • Capturing multiple angles 
  • Highlighting close-up details 
  • Shooting crisp packaging shots 

To equip clients with enough imagery for an eCommerce product listing, photographers will capture the following: 

  • Individual product shots
  • Detailed close-ups 
  • Scale shots 

Imagery for eCommerce Brands

The next category is made up of multiple types of business branding photography. The variety of images can be used to create a robust image library usable across various mediums. 

Here’s a few examples of additional imagery for eCommerce brands: 

  • Lifestyle: Capturing candid examples of the product in use to be used for visual marketing and supplemental website imagery through commercial lifestyle photography
  • Advertising: Images strategically framed and staged for advertising that depicts the product in use or the result of using the product
  • Headshots and portraits: Though eCommerce photography typically focuses on products, it also includes headshots and portraits of team members and staff to be used for your professional website or other uses.
  • Industrial and manufacturing: If your product is manufactured in an industrial facility, manufacturing and industrial photography documents the process of creating the product. This can be used on eCommerce product listings, social media posts, website images, and more. 

frontpoint security system ecommerce product marketing photo

These various types of photos are more focused on building a brand than actually selling the product.

Why Is Photography Important For eCommerce Brands?

I briefly touched on the importance already, but I want to emphasize that professional photography is an essential investment for eCommerce brands. 

There are more reasons why eCommerce photography is important than I can count on one hand, including to: 

  • Improve marketing content 
  • Create a trustworthy, reliable brand
  • Build a professional eCommerce website 
  • List products on various platforms
  • Boost social media engagement and sharing 
  • Reduce returns 
  • Increase sales 

I’ll expand on these reasons in the following subsections. 

Improve Marketing Content

A professional photographer equips eCommerce brands with a diverse library of visual assets to use across print advertising and online marketing

Along with the benefits of product photos, branded advertising photography helps depict the benefits and/or positive impact that your product or service provides to the consumer’s life. The actual product photos can also be used on social media and in traditional marketing to push customers to your eCommerce site. 

Create A Trustworthy, Reliable Brand

Reputation is paramount for eCommerce businesses. Professional photography helps eCommerce businesses create a trustworthy, reliable brand. 

Don’t you hate it when you order something online and it shows up looking nothing like the pictures provided? Professional product photography that accurately depicts the details and specifications of the product ensures that customers are well-informed before making purchases. Honest, transparent branding is key to forming an emotional connection with customers. 

A range of different photography helps build a brand identity that customers trust, resulting in a positive, reliable brand image

employee picking up pile of hand rolled cigars

Build A Professional eCommerce Website

Professional photography is one of the largest components in building an eCommerce website. Outside of the technical specs that create a seamless user experience, photos are what sell your products. 

The core of any eCommerce website is the product listings. Customers rely on images – preferably in large quantities – to make their purchase decisions. The key to success is variety. A variety of images from one photo shoot can be used as additional website imagery, to build staff pages, and more.  

List Products On Various Platforms

eCommerce brands can sell products on more platforms than just their website. With high-quality images, brands can increase their visibility on these platforms. 

Some examples include: 

  • Amazon 
  • Etsy 
  • eBay
  • Walmart

Boost Social Media Engagement And Sharing

Social media engagement and sharing help businesses reach new audiences and build loyal support bases. eCommerce brands can leverage quality imagery on social media to increase engagement and social sharing. 

For eComm brands in particular, social media is such a powerful space. The entire brand experience is online and you have the opportunity to capture new audiences to funnel to your website. 

With the full slate of images from your photoshoot, a variety of image types can be used to ensure your social feed stays fresh and engaging. Quality visual content is 40% more likely to get on social accounts than low quality. 

flextouch pharmaceutical product photo

Reduce Returns 

Poor or inaccurate depiction of a product results in returns. 22% of returns from eCommerce customers occur because the product looks different in person. 

On the flip side, accurate product photos provide a clear depiction of what customers expect and result in fewer returns.

 Increase Sales 

Sales is the most important metric to the success of your eCommerce business. Detailed, accurate product photos and supplemental marketing imagery lead to increased sales. 

There are a few stats that back up this fact. Consider that: 

  • 63% of shoppers say “high-quality product photos” are very important when deciding whether or not to buy a product online 
  • 87% of consumers say product photos are very important when making a purchase decision online 
  • 65% of consumers say that the quality of a product image is more important than the description 
  • 56% of consumers say they would be more likely to buy a product from an online store if the images were better 
  • 67% of shoppers say that bad products make them less likely to buy from an online store 
  • 92% of shoppers say that “clear and detailed images” are the most important features when shopping online. 

The numbers speak for themself. High-quality, professional product photos are essential to more sales. 

How Does eCommerce Photography Work?

There are two forms of eCommerce photoshoots that brands can invest in: 

  • On-site eCommerce brand photo shoot
  • Off-site eCommerce product photography 

Brands can invest in a combination of the two, opting for a photo shoot in person but also using the photographer’s studio for offsite product photos. 

I’ll explain each form in the subsequent sections below. 

ecommerce product photo ad for sunglasses hut

On-Site eCommerce Brand Photoshoot

The most beneficial type of investment is an on-site eCommerce brand photoshoot. That’s where the photographer comes to your facility to capture a range of images. 

The process of booking and completing an on-site shoot includes: 

  1. Finding a professional photographer: You want to do your due diligence and find the right photographer to hire. Looking through portfolios and pinpointing photographers who specialize in your industry can help expedite this phase. 
  2. Schedule an on-site shoot: After selecting a photographer, you’ll collaborate on the scheduling and logistics of your shoot. This includes creating a mock shot list to identify what types of images you hope to get out of the engagement. 
  3. Shoot team photos and advertising images: This phase includes staged shots with your staff and/or hired actors. 
  4. Capture detailed photos of products: This phase is interchangeable with the last in terms of order. It’s where the photographer uses their expertise to shoot an expansive array of detailed images of your product.  
  5. Receive the final library of images: Once the shoot is complete, your photographer will share the final library of images. You can organize your image library however you see best fit for your brand. 

Off-Site eCommerce Product Photography 

An alternative option is off-site eCommerce photography. This is where you send your products to a professional photographer who captures product photos at their studio. 

This engagement is relatively straightforward: 

  1. Ship products to the photographer 
  2. Pre-shoot planning 
  3. The photographer shoots product photos at their studio
  4. Final images are delivered

bowman brothers virginia straight bourbon whiskey bottle held by blurred man

Work With Casey Templeton For Your eCommerce Photography Needs

eCommerce businesses that leverage professional photography are more likely to find success and longevity in their organization. Professional photos enhance your visual brand and accurately depict the details of your products. Although iPhone cameras have advanced, no amount of tips or tricks will bring the same quality as hiring a professional. 

Casey Templeton Photography offers professional business photography services to the greater Nashville, TN area and beyond. With years of technical experience behind the lens and branding expertise across various industries and business sizes, Casey helps you blend corporate branding and photography naturally. To learn more about eCommerce photography or get started on a project, fill out our contact form.

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