Understanding Lifestyle Imagery for Ecommerce Products
When selling products online - A single image can be worth a thousand words.
I know... I know.
You never thought you'd see those very words come flying from out of my mouth.
Make no mistake about it. Typing that opening line was just as painful to write as you could imagine. Probably more.
But facts are facts.
There are more people who respond positively to images than they do words.
And this makes total sense once you understand the buyers mind and its connection with the purchasing process.
Online Window Shopping (aka Speed Dating for Shoppers)
You see, as with most relationships – the initial stage is centered around infatuation or desire.
Don’t @ me. It’s true!
If people were simply interested in nice long meaningful conversations with potential love interest, then the dating apps wouldn’t begin with the swiping of photoshopped profile photos.
Which begs the question, are we that superficial?
Well let me ask you… When was the last time you went directly to the product information section without seeing an image of the item?
Look, there’s nothing wrong with taking a gander at the goods.
For the most part, people want products that fulfill their aesthetic inclinations.
And whether it alludes to a minimalistic or luxurious lifestyle, they want merchandise that communicate who they are or who they want to be.
Which is why your product images need to do the same.
Going Above & Beyond
“But... But... My online marketplace only requires that I post an image of my product with a clean white backdrop. Isn’t that enough?”
Short answer: No
Long answer: No no no
Yes. Simplistic product photography is important.
Please note: I’m referring to images of your actual product staged against a seamless background. Did you notice I used the term actual? Listing a digitized mock image of your item is similar to posting photoshopped images of yourself landing on the moon. Adorable I’m sure. But no one is buying it… neither literally or figuratively.
Clear, Concise and Visually Stimulating
Most shoppers prefer a 4K level of visual clarity when shopping online. They want authentic images accompanied with a look and feel that gives them the ability to reach through the screen, exploring all of the various angles.
Which is why the clean white (or black) backdrop is always recommended as the main profile photo. It’s as if your product showed up to the first date dressed to impress.
However, research has also shown the effectiveness of lifestyle imagery. Outside of the written content, this is where you truly connect with your audience.
We already know that lifestyle images help to further develop your brands identity – separating you for competitors.
Lifestyle images also allow your customers to envision owning your product. Conversely, they’re also meant to help consumers imagine a life without it. But in a good way. You know… FOMO (fear of missing out).
No matter how good of a salesman you are, there’s no one more equipped to talk us in or out of a product purchase than ourselves. So, why not allow an image to initiate that process? When paired correctly, the written content will simply validate their wise decision… to buy.
Let’s take a look at an example.
Let’s say you’re the creative type and your job requires long, blinding hours of screen gazing. You’ve probably gone ahead and made an instant connection with this image. Because... you've been here.
Yup! That’s your mouse, your keyboard, and computer screen with your work in the background.
Oh… and that’s also your blue bottle of pick-me-up.
(courtesy of Results Imagery)
What if that bottle were just staged against a plain backdrop? It doesn’t connect quite as well. Does it?
The point here is that...
effective lifestyle photography incorporates the product into the consumers lifestyle.
Look. This isn’t a how-to tutorial, nor an outline on which images you should be posting.
It’s simply a message (and reminder), to allow every element of your listing to work for you. Not against you.
I generally recommend a 30% ratio for product lifestyle images. That means, if you’re an Amazon seller, you should have a total of 7 profile images per item. Three of those photos should be some form of lifestyle imagery.
Whether you hire a professional or prefer to capture high quality images yourself, do so with the mindset of the buyer. Start by asking yourself… How, when and where they’ll be using the product.
Afterwards, it’s time to get a little creative with the camera. Use props, the surrounding environment and anything that adds to the visual story.
If you’re struggling in the creative department… no worries. I’m prolific at product photography and a creative genius.
Drop me a line. I’d be more than happy to help evaluate your current images and offer a recommendation or two.
Either way… Just remember to utilize every tool at your disposal when selling products online. Content isn’t just written or visual cues. It’s the whole shebang.
Happy selling, my friends.