The importance of professional photos for your e-Commerce business

The importance of professional photos for your e-Commerce business

If a picture is worth a thousand words, imagine how much more it’s worth when it’s converted into Rands or Dollars!  In the ‘good old days’ before e-Commerce and online shopping we didn’t have to worry too much about putting our products out there in terms of advertising for our customers to buy.

 

Face-to-face interaction and the closer-knit communities meant you only had to make sure you have at least one satisfied and happy customer to get the word out.

Things have changed a lot and in our fast moving and modern times E-commerce is very dependent on pixel perfect photography.

Consumers cannot simply walk into your shop anymore and pick up, sit on, sit in or even taste the product they are interested in.

The only means many of us will shop in future is via an e-commerce website – and we need to make a buying decision based on only seeing photographs, videos and at most some testimonials.

For online retailers, product photography for e-commerce needs to supplement the 5 senses for the item that a shopper would normally rely on to make a purchase decision in-person, and then to increase the odds that they will actually click ‘add to basket.’  Quality product photography should be able to replace more than 50% of the customers five senses.

Every retailer should be aiming to showcase their products to their fullest to their potential clients.  Something we often forget as online store-owners is that while you may know your product inside and out, your customer may not.

Today’s web-savy customers know how to seek out information that will inform and steer their buying decisions, such as online reviews, social shares, Pinterest boards and bloggers, to name but a few.

Therefore presenting products through quality photography enables an e-commerce retailer to cut through the ‘noise’ and add value and worthiness.

Good photography adds authority and thus generates the trust of the customer.

There is a lot of discussion about the ‘perceived value’ of a product, in the eyes of a customer. This is especially important when distinguishing between competitors. When a customer is faced with two identical products, with identical prices on separate websites, it is usually the quality of the photography used to showcase the product that will convert the sale. By nature, humans look and browse things that look good on eye. So it’s no surprise good photography can lure to sell more.

Pixel perfect photography for e-commerce have these things in common:

  1. Simplicity and viewing options – photos of the front, back, sides and a grouped shot is essential.
  2. Consistency – a clean background for pack-shots and a relevant bit of ‘clutter’ in lifestyle photos guides your potential client towards the selling points of your product. Think ingredients of skin-care products, like essential oils.
  3. Neatly edited transparent backgrounds of pack-shots when images are placed on your website’s coloured background will make the images pop and eye-catching.
  4. Use website optimised high-resolution photography on your website as much as possible. Not only does this showcase the product best, but it also allows for clearer images on retina screens (Apple devices) and the ability to add a detailed zoom feature to the website.
  5. Label and product colours are correct and true to the real item to avoid mis-representation. Labels are often part of the brand identity and need to confirm to the official brand colours.

Hot Coffee Media – The elements of professionally photographed products.

We recommend you invest in good photography as non-negotiable aspect of your e-commerce project.

We will be happy to assist you with top quality photo of your products – no matter how big or small they are. We can either come work in your space or shoot in ours.

Speak to Lynn today about Hot Coffee Media’s product photography packages.

Property photography guide for property-owners

Property photography guide for property-owners

So, you need photos to advertise your property for accommodation (see example) or to rent/sell(see example). If you’re not a professional photographer then we’d like to urge you to consider the following.

Professional photos of properties are very effective to ensure bookings, rentals or sales. Your property become a ‘product’ and need to be photographed to show off it’s best features.

Generally, people looking at photos of a home to buy or rent will be looking at it’s geographical location, number of rooms and overall condition. For accommodation the homes offering comfortable furniture with inviting & cozy interiors will attract the ideal person or family.
Accommodation in rural or remote areas with clear overview of the approach road(s) is essential to create the right expectations of the routes to travel. (Travel with the 4 x 4 as opposed to the Mercedes.)

As professional property photographers we will not only help you get ready for shooting day with our easy to follow property preparation tips but also make sure nothing is out of place on the day to avoid returns and re-shooting.

We have compiled simple overview to help you understand what to expect in terms of pricing, duration and number of images.

If you would like to book or have any questions then please get in touch with us at info@hotcoffee-media.co.za

Property Photography guide

Tips to prepare your property for a professional photo-session

Tips to prepare your property for a professional photo-session

You’ve booked the photographer, your accommodation website or listing is in progress and the last touch if your photos…

Here are 10 things you can do to ensure your property looks its very best on the day of the photo-shoot.

  1. Ensure stylish and simple decor in harmonious colors.
  2. Spring clean – do the windows, ceilings, bathrooms or paint the property.
  3. White linen on the beds ensures the ‘light and airy’ feel.
  4. Make sure all lights work! The photographer will need them all to be on during the shoot. Yes, even in day-time.
  5. Start cleaning up and watering the garden a month before the time (unless it’s winter)
  6. Have fresh flower or fruit decorations handy. One set of each should be sufficient.
  7. Ensure books for any book-shelves.
  8. Clean the garage floor or don’t have the inside photographed.
  9. Pack away all cleaning detergents/tools/buckets/bins/bags.
  10. Clean the pool.

 

What is personal branding, and why do you need it?

What is personal branding, and why do you need it?

If you’re in any line of business, be it your own products/services or a franchise, you’ve probably heard the term ’personal branding’ quite a lot lately. Let’s have a look at exactly what this means, and why it is imperative to work on yours!

The term

Personal branding refers to your entire image, this is who or what you will be seen as when growing your brand, so you need to keep this in mind when building your strategy.

When looking at your branding, it is important to remember that consistency is key, so if you’re going to be creating ads, content and marketing, it all needs to carry the same look and feel. If you want to be seen as a more playful brand or a more professional brand, carry that across in your design work as well. Take a look at the below example. Now, image 1 would be more suited to a creative and will not appeal much to a corporate audience, whereas image 2 would immediately be more appealing to corporates and less likely to catch the eye of your average online shopper.

Image 2 (Suited more for a corporate audience)

Types of branding, and where they belong

A common mistake that many business owners make, is failing to make use of all the different types of branding. In order to run a successful campaign, you need to make sure that you have launched a FULL campaign. This means your personal image (if you are going to be affiliated with the company directly), your social media image (This is very important as most consumers are now finding products on social media) and an online presence (This would be your website mostly, Google Ads and SEO).

An easy check-list to remember would be:

***Professional Services!!** When starting a branding campaign, your logo, product images and website NEED TO BE PROFESSIONAL. This means, no logo copied and typed out in Microsoft Paint, no quick-fix template websites that look like they come from the 70’s, and no blurry products images of that creased bag on your bed.

Facebook: Paid ads are not a MUST, but they are quite important at a certain stage of your marketing.

Twitter Short and sweet, but visually appealing is always a winner here.

Instagram: Your younger, more eager online audience would be here, so keep in mind that your images need to be of a certain standard.

Website: Your website will be the first stop when a prospective customer is deciding whether to use your service or not. Make sure that it is modern, user friendly and has enough information, yet not so much as to make it boring. See our article on What my website needs in 2019

Conclusion

Your personal branding needs to reflect who you are, what your product market is, how serious you are, and how far you intend to go. When a customer looks at your page or advert, they want to be able to immediately find more information. They want to be able to see that this is your product even before they scroll down to your name. They know that if you put in the hard work, THEY can trust you because YOU trust yourself!

 

  • Make sure that you know what your product or service is, and that you know your market BEFORE you start your campaign.
  • If you have already started marketing without a proper logo/page/website, make a big deal about your growth and launch of these branding tools. Something as simple as “Yay! ABC Company is so proud to show of our brand new logo AND website! After all of this hard work (Thanks to our amazing design team) our order sheet is so much easier! Have a look! *Insert link here*” already gets everyone interested in your excitement.
  • Do your research, investigate trends, and keep an eye on your closest competitors. NEVER COPY strategies, but do take ideas and personalise them to work for you.

With that said, Hot Coffee Digital Media would love to hear your thoughts, and we would love to offer advice wherever we can. Please check out our most recent blog posts on our website https://hotcoffee-media.co.za , have a look at our Facebook page on https://www.facebook.com/HotCoffeeDigitalMedia/ or pop us an email on info@hotcoffee-media.co.za if you’d like to have a one-on-one, no obligation chat with us!