Essential to Business

One of the known perils of an online retail company is the Risk of Returns.  In a recent report at least 30% of orders are returned, that’s a huge difference to products purchased directly in store where the rate is below 10%.  With annual events such as Black Friday & Cyber Monday coming up those numbers could get worse.  So how do you combat the rise of returns?

One of the simplest ways to reduce the return rate is by using clear product photos.  

Your Customers Numbers

With nearly 2/3rds of people saying they are visual learners it’s interesting to understand customer thoughts & habits. Research from an Advertising Agency threw up these super interesting facts – well worth remembering when you consider your process, layouts & image needs.

  • Consumers are significantly more likely to think favourably of ads that emphasize photography, over ads that emphasise text.
  • According to Esty, 90% of online buyers say the most crucial factor with an online sale is the quality of the photo.
  • 67% of consumers say that the quality of a product image is “very important” in selecting and purchasing a product.
  • 78% of online shoppers want to see the product as if it’s part of their own daily lives. 
  • Using a larger product photo size on category pages increased sales by 9.46%.

So now we know how photography is important in the decision making process of a customer, let me give you some simple tips on how to improve your own. 



I’d recommend at least 3 but no more than 5.

You want to take one of each relevant view, which is generally front and back, and then take some close up shots of the detail or special elements to your products. Maybe the pattern, or a cuff detail on a shirt, the grain in the wood, or details of ingredients.  Whatever is relevant to that product.



Depending on your industry & the product you sell, I suggest that you work with a mix of standalone product images and some more contextual lifestyle images.

Pure product shots ensure there’s greater clarity to what you are actually selling.  There’s no fuzz to confuse.  Keep those images super simple.  White background or simple clear backdrops where the product is the ‘hero’ work best.  However lifestyle images, maybe of the product in use will encourage your viewer to actively understand how your product would fit into their life.



If you are selling a horse riding top, then putting on a model wearing it in a coffee shop might not help too much, but putting it on a model in a stable yard is perfect.  If it’s in the wrong context they’ll just be thinking ‘well thats a bit weird’ and potentially miss out on the best riding top in the marketplace.

Try also to avoid cluttered backgrounds with pure standalone product shots.

& Finally…..

It’s really easy to think that getting anything up on your site is better than nothing. However considering these few simple steps will really help make things run smoother and give you a much better chance of reducing the dreaded returns. 

Thanks for reading & if you need help in this area, or know someone who’d really benefit from a Brand Photography session, then please do get in touch today.

Until next time…

Rachel x