The Importance of Product Images for Your Online Store


Do you run an online store where you sell physical products? In that case, you have to do everything possible to convince customers your products are worth buying. That means you can’t afford to underestimate the importance of product images. 

Here’s the thing…

The presence and quality of your product images could be the tipping point in your online sales success. If you have low-quality photos, you’ll always struggle to maximize your sales potential. After all, your photos give your customers an idea of what they can expect out of your products. 

With that said, let’s talk about why product images (good ones) are important and what factors to consider…

7 Reasons Good Product Images Are Important

The purpose of having photos on product pages and throughout your website may seem pretty straightforward. To sell your products, you have to show them. But the importance of product images goes beyond that. 

Ultimately, providing a variety of high-quality photos that customers can interact with when shopping online can have a huge impact.

Here’s how…

  1. They Allow Customers to Imagine Using the Product

When customers are shopping online, they’re limited in how they can examine a product. They can’t try it on or test it out like they could if they were shopping in person. However, providing them with excellent product images can help bridge that gap. 

By sharing the right type of photos, you can give customers the opportunity to envision themselves using the product. 

Some examples include the following:

With photos, you can invite customers into a story and make it easier for them to see what they could do with your product. And if you can connect your product with a positive end result, they’ll be more likely to buy it. 

  1. They Can Help You Stand Out from Competitors

You need every competitive edge you can get, which is where the importance of product images comes into play. According to research from Google, 85% of shoppers consider product information and pictures when deciding which brand to buy from. By creating and uploading great images of your products, you can stand out from competitors with poor or nonexistent photos. You could even capture the sale before a customer checks out your competitors! 

  1. They Are More Likely to Be Shared

Having eye-catching product images on your website and social media pages can also increase your reach. Social media users—especially those on highly visual platforms like Instagram and Pinterest—often share attractive photos they come across. So, by putting effort into your images, you can increase the chances of them getting shared. As a result, you can generate interest in your business and product line from new potential customers.

  1. They Can Boost Search Traffic

The importance of product images also extends to SEO (search engine optimization). For starters, visual search has become more and more popular, especially when people are looking for a particular product. And alt text has proven to be a Google ranking factor. By uploading great photos and putting effort into image optimization, you can increase your rankings. In doing so, you can boost organic search traffic to your website. 

  1. They Can Increase Sales & Reduce Returns

As you probably guessed, product images can go a long way toward increasing online sales for your business. Customers who like what they see are more likely to add the item to their cart. In fact, 63% of consumers believe good images are more important than descriptions when making purchasing decisions. So, by sharing quality images of your products, you can look forward to better sales. 

But more than that, you can also enjoy fewer returns. According to research by Invesp, 22% of returns occur because the product looks different from the photos. Uploading actual photos of your products can ensure customers know exactly what they’re getting. And as long as there aren’t any other issues, they’ll be less likely to return it. 

  1. They Help You Meet Customer Expectations

When you have great images of your products, you’re also meeting customer expectations. Product photos are now necessary for e-commerce businesses because customers expect to see them. And they don’t want to see just one either. Studies from Shopify found that 33.16% of consumers like to see multiple photos. By providing a variety of images, you can show that you understand your customers’ needs and make the buying decision easier for them. 

  1. They Can Position Your Brand in a Positive Light

The importance of product images is also tied to brand perception. The quality of your photos speaks to the quality of your brand. So, when you have a variety of real (not stock), vibrant photos on your website, it forms a good impression in your customers’ minds. They’ll trust you and your offerings more!

“Product photography complements your brand. ‘A picture is worth a thousand words,’ and including high-quality and well-executed product photos not only adds credibility to your brand but also lets your customer’s imagination run wild. How will your customer imagine themselves owning and using your product?”

What Makes a Good Product Image?

Joel of Viral Solutions taking a photograph of a bicycle figurine to demonstrate the importance of product images.

Now that we’ve covered the importance of product images, here are a few factors that go into creating great ones:

First and foremost, you should never use a file that has been overly compressed, is blurry, or is poorly lit. All photos should be crisp, high-resolution images with good lighting. Gone are the days of having to worry about large images throttling load times. There are plenty of ways to get around that. So, there’s no excuse for poor-quality photos.

Why it’s important: Low-quality photos can reflect badly on your brand and make your business seem untrustworthy. Plus, if people can’t clearly see an item in your shop, they won’t want to take the risk of giving you their hard-earned money. 

With every photo you upload, you should give your customers the ability to zoom in and view it in greater detail. This feature should be as convenient as possible for customers—whether it’s a click-zoom, hover-zoom, or a zoom that opens the image in a new tab. Just give customers the ability and optimize your product images for the zoom function

Why it’s important: Some people want to get a closer look at certain products. They might wonder what the stitching or seams look like on a pair of pants or confirm that a model number is the right one. Offering zoom functionality can help you get more traction in your online sales, as it could inspire more purchase decisions.

If you offer multiple options for a product, show each one in your images. For example, if you have a shirt that comes in black, white, gray, and blue, you should show all four examples. Don’t just leave three of the four up to their imagination.

Why it’s important: It can be very frustrating for customers to see there are multiple options for a product, but only one is pictured. And a frustrated customer is one who probably won’t buy. So, avoid driving customers away by showing them every option you have available. 

For certain types of products, you are going to want to give your customer a view from multiple angles. One option is to take several different photos and post them all. Alternatively, you can use a feature to allow your customers to rotate the product 360 degrees to get the angle they desire. 

Why it’s important: Offering multiple angles in your product images ensures there’s no confusion. It allows customers to see exactly what the item looks like from the front, back, sides, top, and bottom. That way, they can feel confident they know what they’re buying and whether it works for their purposes. 

Bright, well-lit pictures set a much better mood for just about any type of product than dark, dull, dingy photos. Any product will look friendlier and more positive when placed in the appropriate lighting and setting. So, make sure to position your product (or model) in a way that conveys the right mood for your product. 

Why it’s important: You can influence how a customer feels about your product by the mood of your images. And this can go either way. You want your customers to feel good about purchasing your product, which is why mood matters. 

Don’t Underestimate the Importance of Product Images

Ultimately, the importance of product images can’t be stressed enough. The photos on your product pages, throughout your website, and on your social media pages can have a huge impact on your business. So, make sure to create the best pictures possible to highlight your offerings. You can start by following some of our best practices for product photography for e-commerce.


At Viral Solutions we are committed to seeing YOU succeed. It is our goal to grow your business with proven digital marketing strategies that will help your business for the long haul.

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Filed Under: E-Commerce & Sales