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. 

Hotel Chocolat product page

  • 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.