The Importance Of Good Product Photography

I was talking to a retail company recently about the importance of product photography and trying to explain just how much professional quality photography impacts sales and conversion rates on e-commerce websites. After much deliberation I put a test in place where I’d take a couple of their products, rephotograph the attempts they had made of photographing them in house and we’d see if it made any impact on sales.

We agreed upon a product they had found quite tricky to photograph, a set of personalised natural wood colouring pencils and a set of graphite writing pencils. This is the original product shot one of their internal employees (not a photographer) shot and put on the website:


Original Retailer Photo

Now this isn’t a bad effort at all, the products are clear enough and they have tried to make photograph interesting by putting the pencils on a map. Personally however, I believe the photograph doesn’t really demonstrate the key selling point of the product and this is the fact that they can be personalised with a name or other text of your choice.

I took the pencils back to the studio and used a Macro lense usually used for shooting the miniature world on the pencils so I could get in nice on close on the personalisation. I used a sheet of wallpaper off-cut for the backdrop and within 30 minutes had come up with the following (more photos at the end of this post):

Pencil Photography

Now I did nothing special here, removed a few of the pencils as the previous image was a little cluttered, used a different background so the colours stood out a bit better and got in nice and close.

The proof that good product photography is paramount to good eCommerce conversion rates were in the sales figures however. In the month following the implementation of the new photos the retailer saw an increase of 136% in conversion rate of the product, the only change they made we’re using the new images.

An hour of my time = £60. The increase in sales for the product would have covered that in a day, with the conclusion from our little experiment being that it makes absolute financial sense for any retailer to invest in their product photography, because it will pay for itself very quickly.




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