There is something quite satisfying about shopping online. For starters, I don't have to wear makeup or change out of my jammies. That in itself is really enough reason, but if you need more...
How about having more options at your fingertips? There are SO many vendors online selling unique items that you could never find in the malls or even high-end boutiques.
How about saving time? I can't tell you how many hours I've saved not having to jump in the car to travel to the stores by ordering what I needed online.
How about being able to buy anything you want anywhere in the world? Being a US expat in Canada, I can attest to how many awesome things American companies have that just don't exist in Canada. I can't easily make a trip to California for a shopping spree, but I can pay shipping and duty to get what I want sent to my front door.
The biggest downside of online shopping is not being able to touch and feel the product in my hands. Consumers need to be able to pick up your product and twirl it around our hands to see if we love it. This is why brick and mortar shops are still necessary.
So what can you do as a creative business owner to make your products touchable and twirlable? I mean, I can't walk into the Internet and just try on your T-shirt to see if it fits me. (Gosh, wouldn't that be awesome if we could? But also creepy at the same time, so let's just move on.)
I know when I'm shopping online, I linger the longest on websites that have taken the time to provide quality photographs of their products. I like to be able to see things at all angles and zoom in close to the details. I like to see how those pair of boots would look with that floral dress. Take the time to put quality into your product photos and make sure you have these three types of photos for every product in your online shop.
1 | THE SIMPLE PRODUCT PHOTO
This shot is the feature photo. It's the one that gets front row seating in your shop, so make it count. The simple product photo is best done on a neutral background with few or no props. This type of photo needs to let the product speak for itself, so the less distraction you have, the better.
While it may seem that white backgrounds are the "go-to" neutral backdrop, I challenge you to rethink this. If you sell handmade soap bars and they're predominantly cream or pastel colors, do you think white will really show them in the best light? Neutral does not mean black or white. It just means uncluttered and clean.
2 | THE DETAIL PHOTO
Your customers can't pick up your product and touch it through their computer screen, remember that. This is why the detail photo is so important to include.
This shot gets in close to your product to showcase your quality workmanship and handcrafted attention that might be lost in the main product shot. Have a pattern that deserves attention? Take a close up shot. Do your journals have impeccable leather binding? Get that detail shot. The hem of the skirt that is straight stitched? No, don't shoot that. No one wants to see that lame detail.
3 | THE LIFESTYLE PHOTO
If you found the first two types of photos quite boring, then you'll love this one. The lifestyle photo is where you place your product in the environment it will be used to give the customer a sense of its size or proportion as it relates to something familiar and how it functions.
In this shot, you can style it accordingly to draw your customer into a world where they would use your product. If you sell more than one product, you could stage several of them together to really sell your collection. I recommend having loads of fun with the lifestyle photo.
Are you getting these three shots with each of your products? Which one is your favorite? Tell me in the comments below!
If you liked these tips, there are plenty more in my new product photography eBook, Lifestyled Product | Creative Product Photography For Makers.
It's full of creative ideas on how to style and photograph your handmade products using inexpensive camera equipment and props. I focused the eBook on giving you all my knowledge and insider tricks on how to use props, advanced composition techniques and lighting equipment you already have to get those beautifully styled product photos that will attract your ideal customer.