FlixStudio

Leveraging Photo Retouching for your E-commerce Store

Product photography is a strategic step-by-step process of capturing your products and displaying them in the most appealing and click-worthy way. With the evolution of commercial photography, technology, and high-resolution imagery, the expectations of customers have been steadily rising. Customers today expect e-commerce stores to display their products through sleek, vibrant, and aesthetic images that help them in their buying process. 

On the business front, the advent of Google shopping ads has resulted in product images becoming the fundamental driver for online sales. In fact, 75% of online shoppers rely on a product photo to make a buying decision. That’s not all. Good product photography is 40% more likely to be shared from your social media accounts. An interesting study by eBay points out the importance of product photographs in e-commerce – 

  • Images attract buyers’ attention and increase trust and conversion rate – especially for products where appearance is of importance to customers.
  • Post-processed high-quality product images increase the overall perceived value of the e-commerce store, positively influencing buyer decisions. 

There is no substitute for good product images. This is why e-commerce stores must ensure that every stage of the product photography process is keenly evaluated. The post-production stage is one of the most time-consuming, laborious, expensive, and impactful stages of the commercial photography process. 

It is the final step that transforms raw images into clean, enhanced, and ready-to-display images that can directly help you increase your sales. 

Photo Retouching

In order to create impactful product images, e-commerce stores need to engage in a step-by-step process of gathering equipment, conducting the photo shoot, and post-processing of images. 

The post-production process involves photo retouching, which is different from editing, to create final product images. Photo retouching is the process of transforming the raw images from the photoshoot to optimize the shapes, textures, colors, shades, and size of the items in the images. These changes are done in a photo editing software such as Adobe Photoshop or similar photo retouching services. 

While photo-editing makes minor changes in the overall appearance of the image, photo retouching services can enhance the visual appearance of the product itself. Removing blemishes or spots, softening rough edges, image resizing, and smoothening the model’s skin, are all a part of the photo retouching process. 

Photo retouching services can help you achieve awe-inspiring changes to your product images by introducing, omitting, or changing the visual parameters in the raw images. Here are some of the ways you can enhance your product images through photo retouching services – 

Cropping and Resizing 

Different channels require different image sizes and formats. While this may be a boring process, it is absolutely essential to ensure higher online sales. Digital photo retouching services offer cropping and resizing of images for different social media and communication channels and digital platforms. You can create impactful images in diverse formats to facilitate your e-commerce store’s multi-channel marketing efforts. 

Noise Reduction

Clean images require removing any dust, stains, or wrinkles that can appear in the raw images. Grain also plays a role in improving the quality of your product images through noise reduction. Grainy images can cause blurriness and a reduction in the overall quality and clarity of your image. Photo retouching can help you get rid of extra luminance and noise for a seamless and clear product visual. 

Color Correction

The importance of accurate yet vibrant colors cannot be overstated for commercial photography. Having realistic variations of colors by using a single image is one of the post-production color correction techniques that can result in low-effort, high-quality images. You can also correct the image exposure, contrast, balance, and shadows for under or overexposed raw images. 

Ghost Mannequin Effect

When it comes to apparel and fashion e-commerce, customers tend to prefer images that are realistic. Flat lay images are often not recommended for e-commerce fashion stores. Through digital photo retouching services, e-commerce stores can create a ‘ghost mannequin effect’ that uses post-processing retouching to eliminate mannequins from product images. Using a model, however, allows you to add depth and a sense of reality. This renders sleek, product-focused images that grab your customers’ attention while helping them notice every detail of the product. 

Background Changes

Background plays a vital role in setting the mood, contrast, clarity, and aesthetic of your product images. A poor background can distract customers from your product. Photo retouching can help you remove the background or change it for better colors, surfaces, and contrast.

Straightening

You can make minor but important changes like changing the angles in the photo-retouching process. You can rotate or straighten the product image to give your customers an accurate view of the dimensions and appearance of your products. 

360 Degree Retouching

One of the most exciting developments in commercial photography is 3D imaging and AR. It has been revolutionary in e-commerce, because 3D imaging can help customers view a product as close to life as possible, allowing them to experience it like they would in a brick-and-mortar store. 

Today, AR has enabled a next-level visualization of products, allowing customers to place and test their products from the comfort of their homes. With photo retouching services, you can create rotating 3-dimensional images that let the customer view products in 3D, from different angles, bringing the products to life. This also translates into higher conversion rates, customer delight, and building trust and brand loyalty among customers. 

Image Masking

Image masking is the process of hiding unwanted image pixels through image editing and retouching. The technique can be used in removing background from complex images such as flames, smoke, waving hair, fabric, and other transparent and semi-transparent images.

How photo retouching services can help you boost your online sales

There is no doubt that photo retouching services can help e-commerce businesses greatly enhance the quality and visual appearance of their product images. In fact, a study conducted by Etsy suggests that 90% of the people they talked to consider the photo quality to be ‘extremely important’ while shopping online. 

Photo retouching can not only help you create beautiful images, but also boost your e-commerce business in more ways than one – 

Reduce Bounce Rates

Most customers rely on product images while shopping online. If the quality of images on your website is subpar, chances are the user will lose attention and trust while evaluating options, and leave your website. Investing in photo retouching can make a huge difference in the user’s experience and help them experience your product in the most accurate way. 

Reduce Return Rates

It is no surprise that ‘product return’ is the most pressing issue in the e-commerce industry. In the year 2021, online purchase returns spanned across major product categories, ranging from 8% to 88%! It is also true that one of the major causes of product returns is inaccurate product images. 

Photo retouching services can help e-commerce stores depict their products in the most appealing, realistic way while enhancing the colors, contrasts, and other visual elements of the images. 

Improve Click-Through Rates

It is inevitable that good pictures result in higher click-through rates. You may have experienced this on Facebook, Instagram, and Google ads. Photo retouching services help brands create click-worthy and attractive images that engage and convert.

Increase Time on Page

High-quality images can hold your customers’ attention for longer and enable them to spend a longer time on your e-commerce website. Photo retouching results in images that facilitate the buying process while enabling your customers to experience your brand through visual excellence. 

Bolster Your Brand Image

Every part of your e-commerce website, be it the website copy, product copy, or the product images represents your brand and helps the customer gauge if you are the right fit for them. Product images play an important role in customer buying decisions, and photo retouching can help you achieve stunning product imagery that sells. 

Build Credibility with Photo Retouching

Customer trust is an important factor that results in repeat purchases and reduced return rates. High-quality product images help customers rely on your brand for product appearance, details, color, and clarity, and facilitate their buying process. 

Conclusion

Planning and executing a successful photoshoot is of the essence in product photography. However, it is not enough to have a well-planned photo shoot; the raw images need a lot of time and effort for the final images to turn out vibrant, accurate, and attention-grabbing. Photo retouching can elevate the quality of your images, improve sales, and drive conversion through digital photo retouching services, all while making your life easier.

Platforms like FlixStudio are empowering e-commerce businesses to build a powerful catalog of AI-enabled on-model product imagery. With AI-powered photoshoots, fashion brands can reduce the turnaround times and associated costs tremendously, all while creating impactful, high-resolution eCommerce-ready images. 

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Arunava Acharjee

(Product Marketing Manager)