Product images are indispensable for selling online. They serve as a visual representation of what your clients are buying, even if those images are stock images provided by manufacturers or other retailers. As a Shopify user, you probably make extensive use of product images yourself.
You should know that your product images can affect both website performance and conversion rates. It’s a good idea to optimize all your images in order to maximize both. Below are two suggestions for improving your product images regardless of the kinds of products you sell. Bear in mind that these tips apply to e-commerce across the board, not just to the Shopify platform.
1. Remove Image Backgrounds
Have you ever noticed that high-end retail sites tend to have product images that show nothing but the product in question against a white background? They do this for a reason. Smart retailers know that they want to focus the customer’s attention on the product, and the product alone. Backgrounds are distracting. Not only that, backgrounds can interfere with site’s cohesiveness by clashing with theme colours and styles.
It’s best to completely remove backgrounds so that you’re left with either nothing but white or a transparent background that will not show up on your website. Don’t worry; it’s not hard to do as long as you have a decent graphics manipulation program. Here are a few examples:
- Gimp – Gimp is an open source program that works on Windows, OSx, and Linux. You can use it to remove backgrounds with either transparency or bucket filling.
- Preview – Preview is the image preview program that stands as the default in Mac’s OSx. What many people don’t know is that it’s more than just a previewer. You can remove backgrounds by using the Smart Lasso tool and a nifty little trick known as inversion.
- Photoshop – The granddaddy of them all is Photoshop. If you’ve already invested in this software, you should have no trouble using it to remove backgrounds. You probably already know how to do it.
2. Settle on Image Standards
The second suggestion for improving product images is to settle on some standards for size, alignment, image padding, and cropping. You should already be familiar with size and alignment, so we won’t explain them here. As for image padding, that’s the amount of space between the outside edge of an image in any text that surrounds it. Cropping is the actual size of an image in relation to its borders.
Developing standards will give your e-commerce website a more uniform look that is easier on the eyes. Standard images also make for faster page load times, especially if you choose settings that can reduce images from several megabytes down to a few hundred kilobytes.
Remember that your product images influence your customers and their decisions. So use these two suggestions to present them with better images that load faster and don’t distract them from making that coveted purchase.