As a B2B retailer, product images might be the last thing on your mind when you’re building out your e-commerce business. How much could using a few stock images harm your brand? What’s the benefit of investing time and money in fancy photos?
You might think that it’s what on the inside that counts—i.e. the most important thing is the quality of your product itself, not the packaging. But even the highest-quality products won’t turn a profit if potential customers are turned off by a low-quality website. When shopping online, buyers are already taking a leap of faith by ordering a product they can’t hold in their hands, and that goes double for savvy B2B customers. In order to make sales, you need to increase their confidence in your business. A slick, professional web presence will go a long way, and images that capture your brand and highlight the best of your products are a vital part of that.
So where should you invest your efforts when it comes to images? In this post, we’ll take a look at best practices for capturing images that will boost your conversions and keep your customers coming back for more.
Basic Requirements for Product Images on B2B Platforms
Every sales channel has its own specifications. Generally, you’ll find these requirements for product images:
1. High resolution
Blurry and low-resolution product photos will drive customers away, full stop. Worse, they signal a lack of professionalism and hurt your brand in general. Make sure your images are crisp and high-quality.
For many sales channels, plain white backdrops are required for product images. In general, it’s a good idea not to distract your products with zany patterns or special effects. And you can always start with a white backdrop and add a custom background in post-production if you want to experiment with colors and branding.
This may seem obvious, but the consequences of poor cropping can be painful: off-center images in product galleries or products that appear far away because the photo isn’t cropped close enough to highlight it. Make sure your photos are centered and cropped close to show off the product.
4. Multiple angles and styles
Consider capturing interesting angles to show off every aspect of your products and dressing them up with accessories that help to showcase how customers could style or use them. This helps the product feel real and three-dimensional to your buyers.
Pro tip: Highlight all the unique aspects of your products and be sure to include the details in closeups.
Implementing Best Practices for B2B Product Images
1. Take a photography course
While it may be tempting to save money by diving straight in without training, remember—buyers can differentiate between amateur and professional shoots, so the quality of your photos will impact their perception of the quality of your goods. You’ll always get the best results with professional guidance. Even a basic class can teach you the essentials of proper lighting, camera settings, and backdrops.
2. Place your hero images on white backdrops
Always shoot your hero images against white or neutral backdrops. This eliminates visual distractions, intensifies the vibrancy of the colors in your images, and creates a clean look. If you can’t use a crisp white background when capturing your photos, consider editing them with background customization.
3. Let the product fill 85% of the frame
You don’t want your product to be adrift in a sea of white space or swallowed up in the backdrop. Remember, each product photo represents the chance to communicate with your audience. What are you saying when you let your products be overwhelmed by the background, barely catching the viewer’s attention? Follow this rule to make sure you’re giving your audience the right impression: make sure that your products fill roughly 85% of the frame.
4. Add zoom-in functionality
This is another feature that you might not think is important for the user experience, but it can significantly enhance their perception of your products. Highly detailed, high-quality images invite your audience to look closer, which in turn helps them feel confident in purchasing from you. Your goal should be to keep your customers from having any doubts about the quality of your products, and a seamless zoom-in feature makes it easy for them to say yes.
5. Capture your product as it would appear on a store shelf
This goes hand in hand with previous tips about making your products feel real and ready to sell. Your products are being purchased for a retail channel, so help your customers picture how the goods will fit into their physical store. This is a great place to show off the packaging for your products.
6. Use lifestyle imagery to tell stories
Showcasing your products in use is a great way to connect with buyers and stand out in the B2B industry. If you have the budget, shoot your product in scenic locations with well-staged props. If this isn’t doable, try using stock photography to create dynamic custom backgrounds for your photos.
7. Create infographics to keep your buyers on the page
Make it easy for your buyers to quickly capture the information they need from your product gallery. Include logos, key ingredients, dimensions, size charts, etc., as infographics with your product photos. This is just one more way to keep customers on the page and reduce the time it takes to convert each sale.
8. Optimize your product images
You don’t want to chase your visitors away with poor load times—most buyers won’t hang around for photos to load. Make sure your images are optimized to balance quality with fast load times. This will also boost your SEO for Google image searches.
Why Invest in Product Images?
If you’re still unsure about allocating resources for product images, consider the following:
· They draw attention
How often have you heard the phrase “A picture is worth a thousand words”? Your product images are likely the first thing your customers will see of your brand. Make sure you’re putting your best foot forward.
· They build your brand presence
Fact: People can remember the contents of 2500 pictures with over 90% accuracy after viewing them for only 10 seconds, even 72 hours later. — Crockett, 2010
That’s fantastic news for your branding—but only if you show your customers something worth remembering for the right reasons. You don’t want to leave them thinking your business is unprofessional or forgettable. Take the opportunity to wow them.
· They help build sales and avoid returns
Good product photos mean more sales conversions because customers feel they can trust your products. Likewise, when your photos cover every angle, you’re less likely to have returns cut into your bottom line and you’ll avoid angry consumers who feel misled by your product imagery.
· Your B2B website needs high-quality images. Not having them is hurting your sales.
· Having at least one product image is better than nothing, but wherever possible, invest in multiple angles and lifestyle images to fully showcase your images.
· High-quality images can be a crucial differentiator in establishing a good brand presence.
Choosing how to allocate your business resources is one of the most important decisions you can make. Naturally, you want to cut corners where possible to keep your expenses low and profits high. But one place you should never cut corners is high-quality images because they will be your brand ambassadors everywhere your products appear. Since digital buyers commit to products without seeing them in person, product images are an essential aspect of establishing yourself as a trusted brand.