Why Superb Photos Are Essential to E-Commerce Success

Written by Lance Trebesch, BBB Board Member and TicketPrinting.com CEO

Editor’s note: This article first appeared in the September Torch Talk. We’ve all heard the saying “a picture’s worth a thousand words.” As far as e-commerce goes, while copy is essential, in truth it’s nothing without pictures. Quality images are what will ultimately boost conversion rates.  

Credit card - online shopping and payments

Before you head off to populate your site with pictures and wait for orders to roll in, there’s a catch. Low quality photos won’t do, and the images you use need to be unique to your business, engaging and relevant to the information being conveyed.

Here’s why – the world we live in today is, by and large, driven by visuals.

The quick scrolling we do on social media feeds is the same approach taken upon landing on a website. Visitors make a split-second decision whether your site is trustworthy, has what they are looking for, or is even remotely interesting. The images on your landing page, blog, and product pages need to catch attention, which means, upon further inspection, the pictures must make sense.

For example, if you sell all-natural dog treats and toys, but your site’s landing page has a lovely photograph of a forest, new visitors to your site will be at a loss. What does a forest have to do with dog treats and toys? Where are the dogs? The treats? The toys? Yes, it is all-natural, but the image provides no context. Before you know it, that potential customer has added to your bounce rate, which is not good for SEO. This is because the higher a bounce rate for a page, the less important that page becomes to search engines. So, not only did that picture of the forest cost you a sale, but over time it could affect future sales. A scary thought, and proof, incidentally, that if a tree falls in a forest it does indeed make a sound.

Products listed on your site also should be represented with great imagery. To borrow from my previous example, if you use the same, low-resolution dog toy image over and over, today’s consumer won’t stick around. What makes it special? Why should they buy this toy over another? Consumers want to be able to zoom and see alternate views and other contextual shots of the item. In short, they want to get a real ‘feel’ for the item you’re selling. Providing this visual information has the secondary effect of giving your site credibility, which in turn contributes to converting a casual visitor into a sale.

Essentially, shopping online should be as ‘real’ as possible. When browsing your e-commerce site, customers should get an immediate sense of what your business is about and what it is selling. Use pictures to build a relationship and connect with customers – sometimes the most powerful tools at our disposal happen to be the simplest.

Lance Trebesch