10 Tips to get the Best out of Your eCommerce Product Images
Images are always a better way to communicate the actual message. Before the text was invented, pictures and drawings were the ultimate way to communicate. Even the first letter that was ever written only comprised of the images engraved on a piece of birch bark. Images certainly boost visitor's response and help grow your online business.

Images have been in the world for such an eternal time. However, the images that were used way back then and images that we use today have a difference of ground and the sky. Now we have latest technology and skills to create and take ultra-high definition images and these images are used in almost every sphere of daily life.

the first written letter

But here, we are very much concerned about the use of a special category of images in a special category of business - "Product Images in eCommerce".

Use of images in the eCommerce

An eCommerce website uses the images for exaggerated purposes. However, the most popular category of images that are used by the eCommerce website is the Product images. An eCommerce website uses the product images for basically informative purposes:

- To complement the textual product descriptions with something that is more engaging.
- To explain the products in a more clear and understandable way.
- To make the product pages look complete with information

All these purposes point to a single objective- To make the product page as informative and engaging as possible. Since the customers on an eCommerce site cannot touch and feel a product by their hand, there is always a doubt about the product. In this case, high-quality product images act as doubt killer by letting the customers see and virtually feel every minute detail of the product through the multiple angles.

For example, though the customers cannot touch this bag, the product images here let the customers see the bag from every possible angle and understand how it looks actually and what are its features.

product design image

This is how an image can kill the buying confusion and let them shop on your store without any tension.

However, not always the images help the store owners as expected. Sometimes they make some crucial mistakes in using the images on the eCommerce store and kill their conversions instead.

Here in this article, I am going to list 10 tips that will help you avoid the mistakes and let you use the product images in the best possible and conversion friendly way. So let's just start it.

Tips to get the best out of eCommerce Product Images

1. Show them bigger

Product images are for educating the customers and let them discover even the minute details of the product by just looking at them. However, some stores despite using high-resolution pictures, show the product images in a quite smaller block.

This is a mistake and kills the actual purposes of the product image. You must try to keep the product images somewhat bigger as not always every customer will zoom it. Also, despite the zooming feature, they won't be able to have a clear full view of the image if it's showing in a small block.

This is how Myntra, an Indian Fashion store displays bigger images which are also of very high quality.

ecommerce design

If you look at the page and image ratio, it hardly feels any requirement to zoom in the image. Bigger images let the customers see the whole image in a single view, that zooming cannot provide.

2. Zooming facility is so important

Despite you have shown a bigger image, if you do not let your customers zoom in, it could be a serious problem. Zoom on the eCommerce product images has become quite a standard nowadays. Almost 100% of your customers won't forget to see the zoom view of the images for a refined view.

online ecommerce images design

Now that zoom is important, you will also have to understand that your images must be able to support the zoom requirements. This brings me to my next point.

3. Use HD images that do not blur or pixelate on Zooming

Ideally, every product image should be large enough for allowing the customers to zoom in the picture without losing the pixels or quality of the view. There is no meaning of using the zoom feature if the image breaks after zooming.

Use high-quality product images with enough pixel size so that it won't blur or pixelate on the zooming. This below image will help you understand the point.


Image source: emmiebean

4. Put multiple images in multiple angles

Unless you are selling book covers or DVDs etc., your customers will always want to see the product from the multiple angles. Seeing the product from multiple angles always help the customers to clear the possible doubts about the physic of the product.

Here is a good example from Flipkart which has used 5 different images from various angles so that the customers can get a clear view of the Shoe. 

image design ecommerce

Moreover, it has also shown multiple images for all the color combinations available.

image design ecommerce

5. Don’t forget to show the inside view if required

Usage for some products is not limited to the outer view only. In fact, they are more concerned with the inside view of the product. For example, if you consider a Laptop Bag, then the customer would definitely want to know about the inner built of the bag.
This is how Amazon shows the inside view of it’s Amazon basics bag-pack.

image design ecommerce

Or probably a customer would be interested to see how she can put cash, cards, pen, and so much in here ladies wallet.

image design ecommerce

6. Don’t compromise with quality on mobile view

Mobile devices might have a big screen size, but they are nowadays more advanced than that of desktops to show the images of massive resolution like 4k. People these days spend more time on mobile phones and order things from there itself.
So, while using the images for the mobile view of your website, or your mobile app you must have a perfect collaboration among these following two factors:

-Maintain the image quality
-Optimize the image for faster loading on mobile

These two points seem to counter each other as an image having the higher quality will obviously have a higher file size and thus slower loading time. However, there are various image editing software and images formats which are used to compress the file size of the image that too without loosing the quality. 

This is how Amazon mobile view shows the high-quality mobile product images that also load very quickly on a mobile network.

image design ecommerce

7. Sometimes Home cooked images work better

Though professionally photographed product images are always the best recommendation, sometimes you might find the personally taken images working good enough for some products.

For example, this image was taken from Etsy marketplace. Probably it's the seller's baby or has borrowed the neighbor's or something. While this image is not a professionally taken one, it still does not fails to serve the purpose. In fact, it is adding a more real context and authenticity to the product.

Home cooked images

8. Real context images always work better

Customers always want to know that how would it be to use the product. Out of the multiple product images, some images showing the products in action in real context by actual users would be a great addition.

For example, this tent listed on Amazon shows how big it in the real context which a Photo-shopped or graphic image cannot.

Real context images

Or the image of the baby in the previous point is also a good example of the real context product images.

Or how can I ignore this peculiar, improvised, and real context use of a "Step Stool" listed on Amazon?
Real context images

9. Use Size charts to complement the product images

People shopping on the internet cannot try the product on themselves to see if it fits them. Moreover, this problem acts as a blockage for many shoppers who might be confused if this size of the product will fit them.

This problem is well handled by the by showing a size chart that defines how exactly the product is going to be measured. For example, Nike on it’s Magento based store, uses the size chart by showing a link on the product page which opens a pop-up showing every detail of Nike's Shoe sizes.

Image Size charts


Image Size charts

10. Don’t forget the SEO

Every image that you use on your eCommerce site has a great role in improving your conversion rates as well as SEO. One thing that you need to know here is that Google Bots cannot read your images. However, they take the help of the meta tags and descriptions about the images to know what’s the image is about.
So, if you don't put this three information with the images on your store, Google won't be able to recognize your images and will omit them while deciding your ranking:

- Alternative or ALT Text
- Meta description
- Caption

While the ALT text and Meta description are used by the search engines to read about your images, Caption can help the users to know about the images as a guiding text. Even when sometimes the images fail to load or take a long time to load, the caption will tell what's the image is all about.

For writing the ALT Text and description, use these tips:

- Use simple words to explain the image exactly.
- Use keywords in the text but do not stuff them.
- Use the important keywords in first few words itself.
- Take care of the character limit.

ALT Text should have less than 125 characters, and Meta description should be written in less than 160 characters. Try to finish in as few as possible characters.

Over to you

There are multiple ways to get the product images for your eCommerce store. Use any of the ways but always remember these tips and follow the best practices. You will always excel with your product images. It’s time you must try these ideas and A/B test product images to see how it works for you. I can bet this will work in favor as always. You can use a free A/B testing tool if you don’t have already.

Author Bio: Ethan Roy, a technical content writer by Profession. With years of experience on various eCommerce platforms (Magento, PrestaShop, OpenCart, Shopify), he has a lot to share with the readers. Currently working as Technical Content Writer at Mockingfish.
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