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Without a doubt, the barrier to worldwide commerce has been lowered – if not destroyed – by the internet. Data from Statista anticipates a 246.15% increase in worldwide ecommerce sales, from $1.3 trillion in 2014 to $4.5 trillion in 2021. That’s a nearly threefold lift in online revenue.

The idea of a local tribe trading goods and services exclusively is long gone. Now, we can buy everything from snow to an original poster for the 1932 movie, Freaks with the click of a button.

An analysis by Slice Intelligence found that, in 2016, 43% of all US online retail sales were done through Amazon. Not only that, but many third-party brands leveraged the retail giant’s fulfilment and commerce services to the tune of $23,000,000,000 (that would be billion) in 2016.

There are several factors that can make or break an online sale. Perhaps none more important than product photos.

High quality product photos are often the buyer’s first impression of what you are selling. You may have a rock-solid product description, but without images, buyers are left to guess about the details of a product.

Consider this awkwardly proportioned teddy bear or embroidered decorative carpet …..swatch.

High quality, visual media is not just critical to ecommerce sales, but also social media success. Social media is likely the primary referrer of traffic to your website. Facebook posts with images average 2.3 times more engagement than other post types. And Shopify reports shoppers referred by image-heavy Pinterest spend an average of $80 compared to the Facebook average of $40.

It goes without saying, visual marketing components like photos and videos represent a huge opportunity for online retailers to make more money.

That is why I was quite disappointed to read a respected internet marketer advising that brands can avoid hiring a professional photographer by using photo editing apps on their phone and applying filters.

Filters?

Seriously?

Let me be clear: Applying filters to your product photos is not a good idea. It does not replace a professional photographer.

Ever.

A professional photographer does more than just make a few tweaks in Photoshop and call it a day. No, a true professional understands balance in a photo. They understand how to use light to accentuate your product’s features and downplay imperfections. They understand how to capture your product and share the desired message. A professional understands transparency in advertising.

Thinking one can replace a professional photographer with filter-applying apps is like thinking you can replace an auto mechanic with a bottle of fuel additives.

Take your product seriously.

Invest in a photographer who can capture your product and brand in the best possible way. Share your story in a way that is visually captivating.

Don’t rely on cheap filters to sell your stuff.

You should demand better.

Your customers deserve better.

Photo by Alexander Dummer on Unsplash

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