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On-model Imagery for E-commerce Stores: How does it work?

High-quality product images are one of the most important drivers of online sales and conversions for eCommerce stores. They not only give your brand a formidable persona and add to your brand’s DNA but also offer your customers and website visitors a chance to experience your products virtually before making a purchase.

There are many creative ways photographers and brands can capture and display commercial products, including flat lay photoshoots, using mannequins or ghost mannequin effect, white background product photography, texture or close-up shots, and on-model imagery. Depending on the product type, budget, category, and target audience, eCommerce stores can choose from these photography techniques and display their products in the best possible light. 

This blog will help you understand how on-model imagery for eCommerce stores works and the best ways to optimize your product shoots using bleeding-edge technologies. 

Importance of Product Imagery in eCommerce

Product imagery is arguably the most important component of your eCommerce website. Over 90% of online buyers believe that photo quality is the most important factor governing  online sale. Compelling product images not only capture the essence and quality of your product but also helps build credibility and authenticity for your brand, encouraging repeat purchases and higher sales. 

Here’s why you need high-quality product imagery for your eCommerce store –

  • Give your website users a rich shopping experience

Beautiful and clean product imagery can help brands establish a strong persona, especially because images are the primary interface between your brand and the visitor, and play an essential role in informing buying decisions. They can also help eCommerce stores instil credibility, authenticity, and trust among customers by providing a clear view of the product. 

  • Display your products with accuracy and attention to detail

High-resolution product images deliver accurate information and visual details of your products, helping customers and visitors truly gauge the suitability and quality of the displayed products. Low resolution or poor quality images do not do justice to the product, nor do they result in conversions, because people cannot even view the product accurately.

  • More product images mean more conversions

According to an eBay.com Research Labs study, product images “help increase buyer‘s attention, trust and conversion rates.” Moreover, the study also found that as photo count increases, the probability of making a profit also increases. You can also experiment with using larger images as supersized images tend to increase conversions. 

  • Invite users to experience your brand’s story through visuals

Product photography is a powerful influence when it comes to customer buying decisions. Depending on your target audience, eCommerce stores can help visitors and customers imagine their products in real life, and with a rich context. Brands have an excellent opportunity to make prospects and visitors a part of their brand’s story through compelling photographs and visuals. Well-executed product photographs also result in making your brand appear more professional and luxurious.

  • Reduce product returns

There is no doubt that product returns are a major problem in the eCommerce industry. Having high-quality product images on your eCommerce website can help you display your products with as much accuracy and attention to detail as possible. This inevitably helps visitors make their buying decisions with more confidence, and choose products that serve their needs, leading to reduced product returns. 

On-model imagery and its benefits for eCommerce stores

On-model imagery for eCommerce stores, as opposed to mannequins or product shoots, allows users to view your products on the human form. As can be imagined, on-model product photographs display products on models, which adds movement to the products and helps users visualize them on real bodies.

This is essential, especially for fashion and apparel brands, and can make a sea of difference in your customer experience. Seeing a product on a mannequin can still work, but it is not a sustainable, nor an aesthetically appealing option for your customers. It is also static, and can only provide a one-dimensional view of your product. On the flip side, displaying products on a live model brings them to life, helps prospects visualize products better, and inform their buying decisions – 

  • Realistic product images

On-model imagery offers a realistic display of your products, and often brings them to ‘life’. ECommerce stores can get creative with them by creating mood boards, context, and themes for their product photoshoots. Brands can also choose models that represent a diverse range of bodies to have a profound impact, depending on their target audience. 

  • Offer exceptional product images to your customers

Brands can showcase products from different angles, against natural or planned backgrounds, and choose lighting that best displays the details and colors to help visitors assess the products accurately. 

  • Inform customer buying decisions

On-model imagery can help customers and visitors associate eCommerce brands with luxury and quality, which is absolutely critical to driving sales and repeat purchases. 

Traditional vs AI-powered on-model imagery

Traditional model photoshoots can yield impressive results for eCommerce brands, but it can be a long-drawn and tedious process, from planning the photoshoot to executing, and then post-processing the raw images. They also have multiple challenges and stakeholders, that can cause unpredictable issues and dependencies –

  • Time-consuming process

Without a doubt, traditional on-model photoshoots can take a long time, and that too with no certainty of the results being at par with your brand’s expectations. Depending on the number of products sold on your eCommerce website, you might have to invest a large chunk of time in planning, gathering insights, getting a team together, finding the right models, creating a set, and then executing the photoshoot.

  • High costs 

There is a high amount of resources and investment that go into executing a traditional on-model photoshoot. The brand needs to invest in makeup, stylists, photography crew, equipment, set, lighting, and many other elements that shoot up the overall cost of the photoshoot. 

  • Risk of failure and inconsistency in images

Using models for your product photography can be an intriguing idea, but the reality is you ought to have consistency in the quality of all your product images, which can be difficult to achieve with traditional photoshoots.

  • Images and poses can be misleading with a standard model body type

This is a major concern with on-model product imagery, especially today when fashion eCommerce is embracing body diversity with not just more product sizes but also a wider representation of body types in product photographs. ECommerce brands need to choose models keeping their audiences in mind, otherwise, it can be a misleading display, because products, especially apparel look different on different bodies. 

  • Multiple stakeholders involved with high turnaround times

Traditional on-model product imagery involves multiple parties and teams that come together to create the images. In order to compensate for the costs involved, image volume plays an important role, but that further increases the already significantly high turnaround times for the final images. 

With the advancement in AI technology, however, on-model product imagery has become exceptionally simple, streamlined, and fast. AI-based on-model photoshoots make high-quality product imagery accessible to eCommerce stores by automating the process and cutting down the overwhelming costs associated with traditional photoshoots. 

How AI is revolutionizing on-model imagery for eCommerce stores

AI-based product photography is transforming the way photoshoots are conducted while creating equally beautiful or even better product images at a fraction of cost and time. AI on-model imagery for eCommerce stores leverages the power of software and hardware components to create high-resolution, impactful on-model product images with barely any human intervention. Here is how AI-powered on-model imagery is changing the game for eCommerce stores- 

  • Introduce inclusivity and diversity in your product images 

Create product images displayed on different body and skin types without investing extra time or money. This can elevate your brand image and DNA while helping customers find exactly what they are looking for. 

  • Create impressive, on-model images without using a real model

AI-powered photoshoots process your photography requirements and render images that look realistic without using real-life models. This drastically reduces the costs while offering high volume, high-quality on-model imagery for eCommerce stores.

  • Contextualize your product imagery according to your audiences

Choose the lighting, mood, angles, and backgrounds according to your brand’s specific needs, while delivering on-point, on-brand images to your customers and website visitors. 

  • Ensure consistency in your brand’s personality and image quality

Eliminate the need to control image quality and consistency with AI-driven photoshoots by feeding the specific parameters into the software. The result is consistent, high-resolution on-model imagery that converts. 

  • Drastically improve your image turnaround times

AI-powered photoshoots can render eCommerce-ready images within minutes, something that traditional photoshoots can never compete with. If you are an eCommerce store that sells many products and cannot afford long turnaround times, AI photoshoots can be just what your store needs. 

  • Access and use a large number of product images for your eCommerce website

AI can create a high volume of competitive, web-ready images at scale, which can make a sea of difference in helping your brand build a strong online presence while catering to your product photography needs. 

Platforms like FlixStudio are at the forefront of AI-enabled product imagery, especially on-model imagery for eCommerce stores. Not only do brands get access to cost-effective, scalable, and beautiful product images through AI, but they also get them at just a fraction of the cost and at faster turnaround times. Replacing traditional photoshoots with AI-powered on-model imagery can help you generate large volumes of high-quality product images and boost your eCommerce store’s growth and success.  

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Arunava Acharjee

(Product Marketing Manager)