Making Your Picture Worth a Thousand Words


By Kelsey Shea, Creative Manager

Let’s cut to the chase: Looks matter, especially when it comes to your ecommerce strategy. And if you’re operating in the home furnishings space, strong imagery is absolutely vital.

Research shows that when brands incorporate robust imagery into their marketing collateral used for their ecommerce efforts, they experience a significant lift in sales. Our internet retail partners have seen double-digit lifts in conversion when a product has three or more images, and when a product meets the ‘Best in Class Image’ standards outlined below, the conversion lift is even higher.

This makes sense. Humans are inherently visual creatures, and imagery is our primary means of making judgments online. And in this era of information overload, contrary to what one might think, consumers are more likely to overlook the written details in product descriptions and features, making a quality image even that much more important.

What’s more, images are easily shareable through social media, which means that a great image can actually increase brand exposure. According to SproutSocial, 74% of consumers rely on their social networks when they’re looking for information before making a purchasing decision. The more attractive the image, the more likely it will end up in a retail partner or influencer’s social feed…and then subsequently in a consumer’s shopping cart.

To that end, the quality of the image is crucial to the perceived value of your brand. Poor lighting, awkward composition and other aesthetic ills can damage the way potential customers view your brand or a particular product. Conversely, expertly shot and edited photos can enhance a customer’s opinion of your brand and make them more comfortable in their purchasing decisions.

And believe it or not, images are SEO-friendly. Inclusion in “Shop by Look” programs are based on algorithms that can yield big returns when used strategically.

We understand that best in class imagery is a big investment, so we suggest starting with your top 25 best-selling products and then analyzing your ROI. The goal is to create a robust and complete suite of images with three crucial elements for each product:

  • Silhouette photos showing every angle — this includes front facing, three-quarter angle, side angle and back, to demonstrate key features and overall look. Ideally, these silo shots would be shot against a white background. This is especially important for furniture, as consumers want to ensure the style and materials will work within their spaces no matter what angle they’re viewed from.

  • Product features and detail photos – These images give close-up views of an item’s features and selling points. Remember customers don’t always read product descriptions and feature bullets, so this type of imagery is an opportunity to visually communicate this information. For example, photos of a lamp may show the light on and off, with and without the shade. Other good photos might be a decorative cord or chain, the inside of a drawer or cabinet, or something to show scale and/or dimension. These images give customers a feel for how the product works and can outline features that set it apart.

  • Lifestyle imagery - These are staged and scenic to help the customer create a connection with the product and imagine it in their daily lives. Research shows nearly a triple-digit lift in conversion rate when a lifestyle image is used as the main image, and lifestyle images are particularly valuable for blogs and marketing collateral as well as for sharing via social media.

In the case of an ecommerce strategy, a good picture really is worth a thousand words – and a better chance at a sale!

Josh Walter