Preparing Images for Your Ecommerce Shopping Cart

We all know that good quality images help to sell a product. But how do you go about getting images that are consistent and make your site look professional. Having built numerous ecommerce websites, I’ve discovered a few things that I’d like to share. First, you should be aware that multiple images are better than a single image. I recommend having at least one image of just the product, on a cut-out white background, that is used as the primary image. All of your primary images should be the exact same dimensions (800×800 pixels is a good size for most computer screens). Keeping both the height and width the same (a square image) insures that your images will line up properly on a page, which is much better than the amateur looking sites that have some horizontal and some vertical images. You can (and should) have secondary images, showing the product in context. Those secondary images can have a different aspect ratio, as they are not displayed on category pages, so it doesn’t matter if they are vertical or horizontal. Here’s how you create quality images for your ecommerce website. 

First, use a light box. You want to have a bright, flat light with your product on a plain white background. this won’t entirely eliminate shadows and lines, but it will create a relatively un-cluttered background that you can then clean up. Take your photos with a professional camera and get the highest resolution possible. You will be resizing your images and optimizing them for displaying on the web, but you want to start with the highest quality photos that you can.

Next, take your images and cut out the background. This can be done using a tool like Vertus Blingit! This software finds the edges, and allows you to remove the background.

Notice that the original photo has a grayish background, even though we took it on white. After cutting out the background, save the image on a square white background.

Having a white background will cause the images to appear to “float” on your website. having all the images fit within a 800 x 800 square will insure that that all line up, regardless of whether or not the product is standing up or laying down.

Finally, include secondary products that show the product “in-action” or “in-context”. This gives the customer a chance to visualize how the product can be used. this is the internet, so photos alone cannot be used to describe a product – you must still include keyword rich text descriptions so that search engines will find your product and so customers can read specifications, ingrediants, instructions, etc., but high quality, consistent photographs are a good start to making your product offerings more enticing.