According to a survey, approaching 80% of people shopping online expect to see photos of a product that’s for sale on a website.  

That’s quite high isn’t it?

One thing is certain though, that the surveyed % response will go up as consumer expectations will continue to rise. Global situations like the Covid-19 pandemic will only continue to have a massive impact on situations like this.

So let’s look at some of the areas that surround the world of eCommerce, what lessons your business can learn from the 2020 online shopping boom. How your product photography can have a direct impact on your ideal customers buying decisions and ultimately

How to influence your customers.


Firstly it’s worth pointing out that customers are usually buying in order to resolve a problem they have.  It may be a physical problem – the toaster is broken beyond repair and I need a new one.  Or it may be an emotional problem – I’m going out for dinner and I want to look and feel great.  So bear that in mind first of all, and that it’s sort of down to you to resolve their problem too.

Before we start with anything….

A Lame Duck is still a Lame Duck even if it’s covered in gold.

Great photography alone will not sell your product! I’m not about to tell you if you employ the best photographer in the world that your sales figures will shoot through the roof. It might, but it’s not just about the photography. Customer reviews, the price, social media chatter and postage costs will also play a part in the decision making process.


Put yourself in the shoes of your customer.  In most cases customers are faced with multiple choices of where they can buy identical products from, or similar products being offered to do the same job.  If the look, function and the price are essentially the same then it comes down to you to guide the customer make a well informed decision and buy from you and not your competitor by giving them the tools to do that.

The Mobile Influence & Clarity

Huge numbers of purchases are now made solely through smart phones.  Scroll stopping product photos will quickly make up the minds of those who live their lives on-the-go as they might not read much (or any) of the accompanying descriptions! If customers can see the product, clearly from all angles, and it’s looking appealing then it’s highly likely to convert to a sale. As a side note this should reduce the potential for margin zapping Returns too.


If the photos shows someone looking happy, content or fulfilled by owning this product then the potential customer will mentally convert that to how their own lives could look and  how they could feel if they do the same.  Again, the conversion rate increases.


With these 4 brief points you now know some of the things to consider when you are looking to influence your potential customer’s thinking and decision making processes.   What’s next – how do you now photograph your products with all of these in mind?


There’s really only 2 main styles to product photography.  The white background product shots, known in the industry as Packshots, and Lifestyle In-situ shots.

Packshots are ideal for smaller items and are great for seeing all the product details.  They are generally created in a studio set up, well lit and very clear.  When multiple angles of the product are offered or a moving 360 view, then this completes the full visual experience.  Customers know exactly what the product looks like and what’s going to come through their door if they order it.

Lifestyle shots are the photos that add the emotional context to the product, the photos that entice the customer and make them feel like this is the right product for them.  They want to look how that person in the photo does by owning that product.

As an example a watch company might show photos of someone wearing their watch, smiling and maybe lightly touching the watch.  The connection of touching the product and the smile on the face is what can ultimately get the customer to click the Buy Now button as it’s suddenly relatable against their own needs.

Which to choose?

There’s times when you probably only need one over the other.  Washers and widgets for a trade plumbing business probably only need the packshot approach for their online catalogue.  However if you were a kitchen retailer then a glossy brochure, or a social media campaign, that shows someone standing at their Butler style sink, laughing as they peel spuds with their kids in their home might entice a buyer to want that feeling and suddenly they’ve gone from just needing a stainless steel sink to wanting a lifestyle choice.

The Summary

The huge surge with online retailing during the start of the Coronavirus pandemic has taught us a lot and your visual presence is important now more than ever. The best products for the job aren’t always the ones bought – an inferior one with better marketing or photography will take your sale. Poorly photographed/advertised products rarely sell well.  One of the best ways to prevent Returns is by being clear in all your content.

Finally, that great service is still really important. Customers want to feel loved, particularly in tough times, but will repay you with loyalty so long as they can easily see what you offer and that it fulfils a need they have in life.

I offer a range of options for business looking for product photography.  Please do get in touch to discuss your needs.


Rachel x