7 Reasons Photos Make (or Break) Ecommerce Product Pages
When is a picture worth a thousand sales? Answer: on ecommerce product pages.
For CPG brands, product detail pages (or PDPs) are the front line for influencing shoppers and winning those coveted sales. As Plum provider Field Agent outlines in their guidebook, How to Build Ecommerce Product Pages that Win Sales, few things elevate a PDP more than eye-catching, high-quality photography.
Yet even a quick glance at Amazon, Walmart.com, and other ecommerce platforms suggests many brands aren't taking full advantage of the benefits brand photography can offer.
Correcting this course begins by recognizing just how important photos are to CPG companies and their success online. And for that, we heard from over a thousand online shoppers.
No filter necessary.
How Important are Photos to Online Sales?
In the survey, 1,100 shoppers spilled the tea on the influence of product photography on their online purchases. Each shopper had made at least one online purchase in the past month.
Below we uncover seven shopper insights to help brands better understand product imagery and its role in winning ecommerce sales.
1. Photos carry a lot of weight online
54% of shoppers said photos on PDPs are "extremely important," and 36% "very important," to their online purchases of electronics, attire, home furnishings, and other non-grocery purchases.
Ready, set, pose.
That's 9-of-10 saying photos are essentially deal-makers (or deal-breakers) online!
2. ...even for online grocery purchases
And it seems photos aren't just important to non-grocery purchases. 36% said photos were "extremely important," and 39% "very important," to their online grocery purchases.
Bottom line? No matter the online purchase, PDP photos matter to shoppers.
3. Photos are considered even more important than product descriptions and reviews
But just how important? Do shoppers consider photos more or less important than other common PDP features?
We asked online shoppers to rank five PDP features. As you can see, shoppers identified quality photos as their top product page influence, with 31% ranking it at #1.
But the operative word here is "quality," cccording to Field Agent, one of our trusted providers. In their report, How to Build Ecommerce Product Pages that Win Sales, they emphasized the importance of well-edited, high-quality photos.
"When people are browsing pages they’ll sometimes stop right at the images," said Heather Paul, director of content for ecommerce agency OneStone. "If they’re seeing poor quality images or if they’re not seeing enough information in those images, they might just skip that product and go on to the next one.
"High-quality images convey you have a high-quality product."
And not just on the PDP – but in the search grid as well.
Because they take up so much space in the search grid, quality photos are also important for first getting traffic to your product pages.
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4. Shoppers need more than basic product photos
Not all product photos are created equal. Photo carousels on PDPs, after all, contain different types of photos, like:
- Basic photos of the product against a white background
- Lifestyle photos featuring a person using the product in a "real-life environment"
- Concept photos, or "still life" photos, of the product being accessed, served, etc. but with no person in the image
But which type is most influential over shoppers' online purchase decisions? We asked.
45% of shoppers found photos featuring real people (aka lifestyle imagery) to be the most impactful to their purchases, followed by concept photos at 29%.
Both types allow shoppers to imagine the product as part of their world.
5. Photos give shoppers a sense of space
A good follow-up question might be: How do photos help shoppers make purchases?
Here's one use that might be easy to overlook: 80% of respondents said they use photos to understand the relative size of the product they're considering.
One can see this being especially true for durable, household goods.
6. ...and a 360-degree view of the product
Photos also give shoppers an important panoramic view of the product. And this is especially important online, where shoppers can't inspect products in-person.
Altogether, 75% said photos are important to their online purchases by giving them a complete picture of the product "from every angle."
More than half of shoppers surveyed also said photos drive purchases by allowing them to inspect small details of the product (56%) and to read package labels (57%).
7. Product showcases influence shoppers
Some PDPs go even further to engage with their shoppers, including photo-rich recipes, outfit combinations, tablescapes, and other visual ways to showcase their products.
And they can be powerful. 88% of our shoppers said showcases like these are at least moderately influential to their purchasing decisions.
So whether it's purchases of sneakers or cereal, whether it's a product against a white backdrop or in the hands of a model, product photography is clearly a driver of online sales. In all its shapes and forms.
For CPG brands, high-quality brand photography is nothing less than a competitive advantage.
CPG Guidebook: How to Build PDPs that Win Sales
Of course, it takes more than photos to build effective product detail pages.
How to Build Ecommerce Product Pages that Win Sales, a free guidebook from Field Agent, is specifically designed to help CPG professionals optimize their PDPs.
The guidebook features several tips from ecommerce experts, including:
- Carefully balance SEO and engagement
- Stand out from others selling your product
- Manage the whole portfolio
- No two ecomm platforms are alike
Ready to take your product pages to the next level? Download the guidebook below!