Key visuals for e-commerce

The importance of good images for products and online retail

It’s no longer a secret: the e-commerce market is one of the largest developing markets worldwide. Since online buyers cannot physically experience and inspect a product, something else has to compensate..

Visuals! In the e-commerce world, visuals are everything.

Br24 Key Visuals for e-commerce: Yellow couch in a living room

Indeed, product images are one of the most essential marketing tools for e-commerce. Visuals are a key trigger for online sales and one of the most efficient ways to sell products. They are just as important, if not even more important, than product descriptions. They are a perfect opportunity to present products, convey their features and quality and ultimately sell them.

What are the most important key visual elements that a perfect e-commerce experience needs? Let’s take a look.

Various angles

Give the shoppers all they want and more.

To fully present a product, you need more than just one static image. Consumers don’t want to see a simple side view of every product. They want to see everything and more. They want to see the whole product, every detail, every feature, how it looks in a real-world context and how it is used. To fulfil these expectations, you need to provide as many images from every product as necessary and show it from various angles.

Br24 Key Visuals for e-commerce: Different views of a black boot

Our recommendation:

– Main shot from the front or at 45-degree angle.

– Shots from various angles: front, back, diagonal, side, bottom, top, inside.

In addition: Close-ups to illustrate details and textures as well as quality. Additional shots of special features, modifications, packaging and function. Lifestyle photos that show the product in a real-life context. We’ll dive into more details of this later.

To keep a consistent and professional overall look, all different variations should be taken from the same angle and distance and have a similar background colour. Professional clippings and maskings make it easier to maintain visual consistency.

Different variations

Show the variety of all products.

Do the products come in different colours, materials, textures? Show them all! What is true for different angles is also true for different variations. Show the full variety of all products and present all possible variations to the consumers.

Br24 Key Visuals for e-commerce: Orange bangleBr24 Key Visuals for e-commerce: Blue bangle

But doesn’t that involve a lot of effort in terms of organisation and photography? Not necessarily.

Colour maskings and recolouring makes it possible to change colour tones, textures, materials, designs and to recolour individual parts of a product. The clue: only one set of initial photos is needed. This makes masking and recolouring ideal for presenting different product variations and collections without having to take photos of each variation. Especially for product visuals, this is a very efficient way to create many images.

Function & feature shots

Clearly show what the product is about.

Some products are more complex and offer more functions than others. To clearly communicate all product functions to the consumer, it is important to illustrate all possible features and functions within the visuals. Make it easy for the consumer to understand every function and feature of the product.

Br24 Key Visuals for e-commerce: Grey armchair in a living room without pull-out function shownBr24 Key Visuals for e-commerce: Grey armchair in a living room with pull-out function shown

Whether it is a backpack with multiple pockets and zippers or an armchair with a hidden extension function. The visuals need to show all features and functions of the product. So make sure to have additional product pictures of special features, functions and modifications.

Individual parts, accessories & extras

What’s in the box?

At least one picture should show everything that comes with the product. The so-called “What’s in the box?” images are beneficial for any product that comes either in several individual parts or with included accessories and extras. So consumers understand exactly what they are buying.

Br24 Key Visuals for e-commerce: Toy doll with accessories

The visuals must contain an accurate and effective representation of the complete included product’s content. And they must be clearly distinguished from those showing additional extras that the consumer has to purchase separately. Otherwise, confusion, disappointment and returns are inevitable. This brings us directly to the next point..

Lifestyle & setting

Show real-life context

In addition to product images that show the product in all its details, lifestyle and setting visuals show products in a real-life context. Usually this means to present a product in the intended usage environment. Lifestyle shots catch the eye and make products appear more personal. This makes them perfect for social media and advertising, as well as a great addition to product pages.

The images should be as natural and realistic as possible and ideally be taken in an authentic setting that is relevant in relation to the featured product. This does not necessarily mean an expensive location. In the fashion sector, even a model showing how a product is worn achieves a great lifestyle shot.

Br24 Key Visuals for e-commerce: Male model in a simple setting before retouchingBr24 Key Visuals for e-commerce: Male model in a simple setting after retouching

Lifestyle photos not only show a product in a real environment, but are also great for adding an emotional touch to a product presentation. As well as reflecting the culture and story behind the product and the brand itself. They also serve as a reference for consumers to understand the sizing and real look of a product. Always remember that the product must always be the focus.

Br24 Key Visuals for e-commerce: Three photos of toy cars in real-life settings

What if your products or images are not perfect?

No problem, we fix it for you! Professional digital image editing and retouching is an integral part of product photography today to get high-quality, consistent, and great product images. We will handle all the time-consuming post-processing for you.


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