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Webcredible’s Mrudula Kodali has published some handy tips for using photography in e-commerce – an issue etailers are increasingly grappling with as competition increases and search engines display more multimedia results.
Mrudula says photos can help consumers get a better feel of products on offer, but have to "work hard" to overcome the web's limitations.
See a brief run-through of her suggestions after the jump:
- Use professional quality images – Mrudula says improved photos have been known to more than double conversion rates for some etailers. Hotel Chocolat is one firm using high-quality photos to differentiate its online offering.
- Provide alternate and detailed views – the next best thing to viewing items in the flesh. Videos and 3D animations can also help present more complex products.
- Make images enlargeable – many etailers benefit from allowing shoppers to take a closer look at their products, typically in a pop-up window. Laura Ashley is an example - as is Empire Direct, which has a whizzy Ajax product gallery function but only has single images for much of its selection.
- Optimise images for downloading – consumers won’t hang about it you don’t.
- Provide proportionate detail – crop images when displaying them as thumbnails on home and/or category pages.
- Provide scale and context – show the product’s size by using human models, as well as its context of use.
- Show it all – display all accessories and components so shoppers can see what they’re buying.
- Make them relevant – don’t confuse or annoy customers by displaying pictures that aren’t connected to the text alongside them.
For further thoughts on allowing online shoppers to ‘get a feel of’ products - not just through photography but also through alternative delivery/refunding models - see our recent interview with Webtogs founder James Balmain.