The Importance of Product Photography for Brands and Retailers
Differentiate by Design - Nov 22, 2020, by Asja Nastasijevic
Our brain loves visuals. Since the dawn of time, visual stimuli have served as an essential source of information for our survival. Scientists say that more than half of the human brain is devoted directly or indirectly to processing visual information. Human eyes are capable of registering 36,000 visual messages per hour, and over 80% of all information that is taken in and processed by our brain is visuals. Text-based content, on the other hand, humans have learned to analyze and utilize only a few thousand years ago. As a result, our brain process visual information more naturally and more efficiently than, for example, text alone, which makes visual content like photography and video one of the key elements in digital marketing for brands and retailers today.
Product Photography Helps Recreate Real In-Person Shopping Experience
For a business to stand out, having great product photography is a must. It is no secret that a beautiful, high-quality photograph that tells a story sells a product. With the rise of e-commerce, this has become even more the case. With more and more retailers and brands now communicating and running their business virtually and focusing on top social media platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook as their selling channels, the need for high-quality product images is increasing too. The very fact that their customers can’t touch, smell, taste, interact with or see the product in person before buying imposes the use of visual communication in their marketing strategies. Purchasing decision of online buyers relies almost entirely on visual stimuli. Product photography, therefore, contributes to compensating for the lack of other senses and helps to recreate a real in-person shopping experience. This potential of photography has proven to be essential in driving non-store sales during the current coronavirus pandemic.
A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words
This often-cited saying has never been more true than in today’s digital age. Images are a powerful communication tool - a single photograph can convey a full range of messages and emotions. 93% of consumers consider visual appearance to be the primary deciding factor in making a purchase. In e-commerce, this means having outstanding, high-quality product photography. But it doesn’t stop there. In addition to quality, buyers love big images because they are more appealing and engaging. Making large hi-res images helps to enhance a buyer’s experience, which should eventually lead to more sales. 360-degree views of the product, close-ups, and a zoom-in function to be used by the user are some of the great ways to further help customers get a feel of the product almost as if they are shopping in a brick-and-mortar environment.
Color attracts the eye quickly and has the power to create a mood or provoke a feeling, which is why color photography is preferable to black & white in marketing strategy. Interestingly enough, consumers make up their minds within 90 seconds of their initial interaction with products, and about 62% to 90% of the assessment is based on colors alone. Consumers engage the most with authentic, true-to-life, and relatable content, which explains the recent emergence of visual commerce. And finally, with image search technologies gaining in popularity, product photography can be of great help in driving more traffic and sales.
Make them Dream
Beautiful and relatable pictures with real people rather than models are trending because they engage with the audience mentally and emotionally, creating a desire to be part of the story. They are a powerful aspirational marketing tool because they resonate with peoples’ hopes and ambitions, allowing them to visualize the positive impact of the product shown on their lives.
The World is Moving towards Visual Communication
With the rise of new digital technologies, the world is moving more and more towards visual-based communication while human verbal intelligence is showing a decline. Hence product photography plays a crucial role in communicating the brand and its values and connecting with consumers. The chances are that brands and retailers will continue to use visuals even more heavily in the future as more and more people turn to the web to make their purchases.
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Journalist and Writer
Asja is a content writer specialized in the arts, design, and culture. She holds a BA degree in Art History from the University of Belgrade and an MA in Art & Cultural Management from the University of Turin. Over the years, she worked as an art gallery assistant, art writer, editor, and content creator for various art-related and design-related magazines, galleries, and online marketplaces. She currently lives in Paris, where she works as an art history and world heritage guide. When not writing, researching, or leading tours, Asja is strolling through her favorite and most beautiful districts in Paris – Le Marais. Her motto is: "Put all you are into the smallest thing you do." It is a verse from a poem by one of her favorite poets Fernando Pessoa.