When building a website, imagery is one of the very first design components to tackle. In today’s visual world, a website is nothing without its pictures, especially if the site is an online store. When people decide to make a purchase online, they will usually want to see photographs of the item that they are buying before they pull the trigger. The ecommerce market is increasingly congested, which means it takes more to get your audience’s attention. It then takes even more to gain enough trust to convert them into a customer. This can all start with getting good, on-brand photos for your online store.
Now that we have established the importance of visuals, it’s time to discuss the options. In this post, we’re comparing all of the ways in which you can source photos for your online store. You can then decide which is best for your team, skill level, and overall budget.
Stock photography is essentially collections of images that are available to the public for both personal and commercial use. These photos usually come at a set price, although some sites offer select images for free. An advantage of using stock photography includes the fact that you can get access to professional photos without hiring an outside photographer. This can save you money when building your website, as it eliminates the need to interview, meet with, and add an additional member to your team. Another upside to stock photos? It’s fast. If you have a tight deadline and don’t want to deal with the hassle of planning your own photo shoots, stock photography might be the way to go.
Here are some examples of reliable and professional stock photography sources:
However, there can be a few drawbacks to using stock photos on your site. Because these images are available to the public, they are not exclusive to you only. This might bother some due to the lack of originality. Also, stock photography can sometimes be fairly limited. If you rely solely on stock photos for your visuals, you might find yourself stuck if you can’t find the type of content you are looking for. For example, product photography is a tough visual to fulfill with stock photography. Although this method might be great for the more generic photos on your website, an ecommerce website owner will inevitably have to create some of their own content in order to properly showcase their merchandise.
Professional or Freelance Photographers
If you are looking to have one-of-a-kind photos for your online store that are specifically created for your brand, then you might want to think about bringing in a professional. If you feel uncomfortable with your own skills or don’t have the time, a freelance photographer could be a great addition to your team. A huge advantage of hiring an outside photographer lies in the connection and collaboration between you and the creative. With a professional on board, you can meet directly, fully explain your brand, and tell them exactly what type of images you are wanting for your site. If you are able to build a relationship, you can eventually trust them to help you build your own brand’s visuals so that the results are naturally on-brand every time.
However, if you are searching for a cost-effective method, this might not be it. A typical product photography session with a professional can reach into the thousands. Hiring a new team member also means adding a new payroll and relationship to the mix. Depending on your budget and timeline, you can decide if using an outside photographer is worth it.
Do It Yourself
This one is simple: if you’ve got the skills, use them! If you have confidence in your photography skills, then give this method a try. This is definitely the route with the smallest price tag, but keep in mind there are extra responsibilities and costs that come along with it. For example, you can take your own photos easily, but you’ll soon realize that you need to acquire the appropriate equipment in order to get professional results. You will also need to book your own locations, models, and props for each photo shoot. If you’re a “do it yourself” person, this method can produce a great payoff in the long run.
Whichever method of accessing photos for your online store suits your business best, it’s important to understand just how crucial visuals are for your overall success. With great photography comes an audience that is more likely to trust your site and, in turn, complete the conversion.
Got your visuals down but still need help optimizing? Check out some of our services at FiD to see how we can help boost your online store’s visibility!