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Can Immaculate Product Images Improve Abandonment Rates for E-commerce Stores

eCommerce businesses in 2022 are striving to delight customers through all possible means, be it by adopting cutting-edge technologies, AI-powered live chatbots, 360-degree product images, augmented reality (AR), or social commerce. The pandemic fueled the industry’s growth as many customers moved to online shopping due to convenience and necessity. In fact, in the year 2020, US consumers spent more than $861 billion online, with a 44% spike from 2019. 

The promising growth of the industry is also leading to tougher competition and the need to build brand loyalty. Issues such as high return rates and cart abandonment rates still affect online sales for eCommerce brands, with the average cart abandonment rate across industries standing at 69.57%. That is a significant percentage of high-intent online shoppers who, for whatever reason, decided to not make the purchase after adding the desired item to their shopping cart. Cart abandonments can be a result of different factors such as complicated checkout processes, vague or incomplete policies, long forms, unoptimized pages, and more. One of the major factors that can decrease cart abandonments is product photographs. 

ECommerce product photography is one of the fundamental factors driving online sales and conversions. Over 90% of Etsy buyers agreed that image quality influences them to buy, more than cost, shipping, or reviews. With more than 75% of online shoppers relying on product images to make an eCommerce purchase, high-quality product photography has never been so important for any growth-oriented business. 

What Causes Cart Abandonments?

Cart abandonment is a complex issue to decode, especially because it happens at a later stage in the consumer’s buying journey. It is very specific to your website and needs to be addressed as soon as you notice a trend of increasing abandonments. Here are some of the reasons why shoppers abandon shopping carts – 

  • Extra costs

25% of customers abandon their carts due to high shipping costs. Extra costs are a major reason why customers are driven away from completing their purchase and can be a major turn-off.  

  • Long page-load times

In a world of decreasing attention spans and patience, shoppers are seeking lightning-fast page loading times to have a seamless shopping experience. What’s more, 57% of shoppers will abandon if they have to wait three seconds for a page to load. 

  • Complicated checkout process

The checkout process needs to be as smooth as possible if you want shoppers to complete their purchases. Complex checkout processes are one of the common reasons shoppers get impatient and abandon their carts. 

  • Lack of or poor-quality product images

This is a big one. Not including product images on your checkout page is a big no-no. This is absolutely essential. You want to give your customers a visual of the added product to help them solidify their buying decision. 

  • Trust issues 

Online shopping is a risky business, especially for new visitors who are not acquainted with your eCommerce business. A lack of social proof such as product reviews or customer testimonials can sway the intent of the shopper and fuel doubt in their mind. 

How Compelling Product Photography Can Improve Abandonment Rates

Product imagery is what makes your eCommerce business appear professional, customer-oriented, and competitive. Not having enough product images across your website or having poor-quality images can be detrimental to your brand and online sales. After all, it is a visual world, especially eCommerce which depends on how well the product is portrayed through images. 

High-quality product photography can give your eCommerce brand and website the facelift it deserves by doing your products justice and displaying them in the best light possible. Not only can product images significantly reduce product returns which are a glaring issue in eCommerce, but they can also elevate your conversions and reduce cart abandonment. 

Include Images In Cart Abandonment Emails

Cart abandonment emails have an impressive open rate of 45%. These emails serve as an important opportunity to encourage prospective customers to return to their carts and complete their purchases. Here is the good news – around 11% of these people who open the email actually complete a purchase. 

There is no surprise that adding appealing, high-resolution product images will make your cart abandonment email more attention-worthy and possibly convincing enough for the receiver to remember why they liked the product(s) in the first place. Choosing lifestyle or contextual images can be the key to reminding them what they are missing out on. 

Go for ‘High-Resolution’ for Your Product Imagery

With more internet users relying on high-resolution gadgets and mobile devices, pixelated product images that don’t offer a detailed or accurate view of the product are bound to fail and will most likely taint your brand image. Bad product images are sure to drive customers away, increase bounce rates, and negatively impact your customers’ experience of your website, and as an extension, your brand. 

It is wise to choose higher resolutions such as 1000 to 1600 pixels to offer clear, beautiful, and detailed images that allow the user a lifelike view of the products. This will help them gauge whether or not the product suits their needs and will further decrease the chances of cart abandonments and product returns. 

Offer Your Website Visitors Plenty of Product Images 

A larger number and variety of product images result in more conversions and sales. The more generous you are with product images, the better it will be for your eCommerce business. This makes sense since online shoppers want to have an in-depth and immersive experience of your product before they decide to spend their money on it. 

Having multiple images from different angles, zoomed-in shots, showing intricate details such as textures, zippers, and accents, and including contextual and action shots are all excellent ways to display your products on your website. 

Include Larger Images

Another insightful finding is that the size of your product images plays a significant role in improving eCommerce conversions. Czech retailer, Mall.CZ drove conversions on category and product pages by an enviable 9.46% by just making their image larger. What’s more, 50% of online shoppers say “large, high-quality product images are more important than product information, descriptions or even reviews.”

By increasing the size of your product images across your website, you can gauge your audience’s response and optimize web pages for greater conversions. 

Offer 360-Degree Product Images

A recent trend, 360-degree product images are wonderful to delight shoppers and elevate your product imagery to the next level. The results speak for themselves – 91% of individuals want the ability to rotate products around in a full 360-degree spin. In fact, brands offering a 360-degree view of specific products see 30% higher conversion rates for them as compared to the products without a 360-degree view. 

That is quite telling of the swiftly changing customer expectations and the elated adoption of newer technologies in product photography. It is no surprise since a 360-degree product view can emulate a real-life or in-store purchase experience and offer a hyper-realistic view of the product. Not to mention the excitement of experiencing a brand in a new way through immaculate imagery. 

Telling a Story Through Product Images

Product photography does not just offer functional benefits such as gauging the product details and checking if it fits the user’s specific needs. Consumers today are seeking an emotional experience when interacting with brands, and images can be powerful to establish that. 

Lifestyle or contextual product shots are excellent to share your brand’s unique personality and values with your audience. They will also help attract the right audiences to your brand, those who can actually relate to it and have the potential to turn into loyal customers. 

Beautiful Product Imagery – The Key to Online Conversions

A picture is worth a thousand words – the adage holds true in our technology and internet-fueled world where the competition is cutthroat and most people are in a hurry to find the best deal online. Using product imagery that is accurate, vibrant, and well-planned can be just what you need to ease cart abandonments on your eCommerce website while engaging customers visually. 

Platforms like FlixStudio are revolutionizing the way eCommerce photography is perceived today. Powered by an end-to-end AI-enabled studio, FlixStudio offers hundreds of catalog and eCommerce-ready on-model images at a fraction of the cost and time. With turnaround times as fast as 48 hours and costs as low as one-fourth of a traditional photo shoot, FlixSudio makes high-quality, high-resolution on-model imagery accessible to eCommerce brands. 

AI-powered photo shoots are the next big thing, and they are already transforming the industry by producing immaculate product images at scale and helping brands achieve high standards of customer experience. 

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Arunava Acharjee

(Product Marketing Manager)